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22-07-2012, 17:40
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Having tried these new beers from East London in the spring, I admit I’m a little late in posting this up. Fitting, perhaps, that we pay a little more attention to all things brewed in London in the upcoming weeks. God knows the independent beer scene – be it pubs, bars or breweries in the capital are going to have a rough time of it in the run-up to the Olympics. There’s plenty of shameful examples (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/news/9301233/Olympic-beer-to-cost-7.23-a-pint.html) of how the major sponsors are using their reach to ensure visitors to the city have their experience cosseted as much as possible, going home with a sanitised version of London in their memories and nothing but dust in their wallets. Still, with new breweries in London popping up at a rate of knots – and a firm, established ‘new wave’ of the likes of Brodies, Camden and Kernel producing consistently excellent beers and ales, we all know there’s plenty to go at. Redchurch’s (http://theredchurchbrewery.com/index.php) beers are simply packaged and simple in taste – and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Just solid, tasty beers that provide a good stepping-on point for any curious visitor wanting to taste something local and new.
Bethnal Pale Ale (5.5%abv) pours sunrise-amber and has an enticing aroma packed with Pine-needle and that same spicy oiliness that fresh Sierra Nevada Pale Ale carries. The mouthfeel is surprisingly thick, with an initial biting sharpness that mellows out as waves of hard-candy sweetness arrives. The end picks up with a decent rolling bitterness that just lifts that sweetness off the tongue, and wraps it all up in a Grapefruit-led finish. It’s an interpretation of that archetypal US Pale Ale flavour profile – but one well done. A satisfying Pale Ale.
The majestically – titled Great Eastern India Pale Ale (7.4%abv) ploughs much the same furrow, flavour-wise, as the Pale Ale; lots of rounded, sweet malt and a tropical-fruit, sharp bitterness – but adds a noticeably warming hit of alcohol on the way down. I did think that the nose was a little dull – particularly for an IPA – but I would rather put this down to the bottle or the batch. I’ll be trying this again; and I’m sure I read a tweet recently saying that the recipe had been tweaked.
Hoxton Stout (6.4%abv) is a fruitier style of Stout. The nose is dominated by Brambles and Earthy spice (Soil? In a good way?) with a slightly phenolic note – again, in a good way. It’s light, and has a decent amount of carbonation adding to that perceived lightness, with more spiky blackcurrant mixing with drying coffee and roasted malt. The beer finishes juicy and fruity, with only a faintly drying edge. Not what I expected, but a pleasant surprise. If you prefer Black IPA’s to Stouts, maybe this is one for you to try – not too dry, not too harsh.
S0 – A belated welcome from me, Redchurch Brewery! If you want a comprehensive run-down of London’s new breweries, you’ll find it hard to beat Des De Moor’s excellent list here. (http://desdemoor.co.uk/london/brewers-and-beers/)

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