Friday, 14 August 2015 07:16

Toasting the Mancunian summer

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Fourpure summer beers

By now I'm sure you're aware it's grim oop north.

When we're not cowering beneath a leaden sky or sheltering from the persistent drizzle, we're usually complaining about something trivial.

But a strange thing happened over the past week. An unusual golden circle emerged from between the clouds and it suddenly became very warm - apparently this phenomenon is called summer.

So, I took the whippet down to the local park and toasted this strange occurrence with a couple of beers designed especially for the occasion. Given we struggle with the concept of summer, I looked to London for inspiration and found two perfect candidates from Fourpure. How's that for collaboration across the north/south divide?

In the early days, I'll admit I found their beers uninspiring and sometimes bland but I get the feeling they have spent the time since honing recipes and perfecting process - to the point where they are producing some of the most reliable beer in the capital.

There might not be anything remarkable about their range but, equally, they don't ever seem produce the kind of murky, muddy beers that have become a blight on London brewing.

 

Fourpure Dry Hop Pils, 4.7% ABV

The Dry Hop Pils is a great example of what they do well. It's clean, crisp and bright and delivers outstanding clarity of flavour.

On the nose, it's a typical German pils, spicy, grassy Saaz hops launching from a dusty cereal base but the taste provides another dimension.

Although it starts with a hit of floral hops, crispness slices cuts quickly from one corner of the mouth to the other, allowing a grassy, herbal bitterness to emerge. This bitterness is then kept in check by a glow of ripe fruit, peach, apricot and tangerine softening any jagged edges.

A dash of lime juice precedes a bone dry finish containing lingering flavours of orange zest and faint cereal, alongside the returning herbal bitterness.

 

Skyliner Wheat, 4.8% ABV

The Skyliner Wheat is perhaps less sophisticated than the Dry Hop Pils but just screams summer. It's the kind of beer you could happily knock back all afternoon while piling cheap meat on the barbecue and cultivating a lobster tan.

Also unlike the Pils, it doesn't doff its cap to German tradition despite the suggestion in the name, falling into the white IPA category rather than a typical hefeweizen.

The aroma isn't far off stuffing your snout into a bag of Haribo, in that the fruity smells seem unnaturally vivid and sweet, ringing clear as a bell. It starts with potent double act of mango and orange, but waves of peach, passion fruit and orange zest follow, underpinned by creamy cookie dough.

The taste follows suit - smooth, creamy mango and peach slathering the palate like an indulgent fromage frais. But this initial sweet creaminess is counteracted by a dry, airy finish with just a lick of zesty bitterness, helping it to slip down with consummate ease. A stab of sharp lime and liberal helpings of lemon zest are followed by a lasting floral character, sprinkled with pepper.

The balance of fruity and creamy with bitter and dry makes it perfect for those hot days when perpetual thirst takes hold. In fact, I could have summed all this up by saying when the sun's out you'll want to drink this by the bucketload.

Read 7293 times Last modified on Friday, 14 August 2015 10:57

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