Thursday, 2 January 2014

Weird Beard Brewing Company Hit The Fairy Lights

Weird Beard Brewing Company Hit The Fairy Lights 
Style: Pale Ale
Alcohol Content: 4.6%
From: Hanwell, London, UK
Purchased From: Real Ale Shop, Richmond upon Thames, London, England

So, Christmas 2013 has come and gone faster than you can say Santa Claus. As per usual, I became a gluttonous monster, devouring cheese by the kilo and drinking wine by the gallon. Quite frankly, I was quite pleased to “halt the assault” on my bowel’s and take it easy. After a few days of “drying out”, my inner booze hound returned. After returning to my parents, my dad was kind enough to offer me his remaining Christmas ales. With glee I picked out a beer that I had never tried before; Weird Beard Brewing’s Hit the fairy Lights. Interestingly, this was a Pale ale rather than the generic (and somewhat boring) brown beer that is produced around the festive season. As this was slightly out of the ordinary, I decided to review it. But first a bit on the brewery.

Weird Beard Brewing company is based in Hanwell, West London. Like most brewers, the company’s founders, Gregg and Bryan, first began brewing beers in their kitchen’s. After winning numerous home brewing awards, the dynamic duo decided to up the ante and turn their hobby into a business. And before you ask, yes, Gregg and Bryan do sport some very impressive facial hair. Now as my best friend is moving into this area later this year, no doubt I will be popping in to check the beard’s and beers out for myself.

Hit The Fairy Lights

Colour: Pours a bright, marmalade orange toppled with a dusting of foam. As this drink is bottle conditioned, some yeast also dropped into the glass. Naturally, this caused the drink to become cloudy like a Belgian Wit beer, so it’s best to pour this drink slowly.

Aroma: Big, bold notes of bitter orange peel present themselves straight away. This dances playfully with peppery coriander, to fool you into thinking that it’s Christmas day all over again.  When these sensations die down, a very subtle sweetness will start to revel its self, which helps to take the edge off of the orange. A very well hopped beer in my opinion.

Body: Very Light and spritzy like a good pale ale should be. The zesty orange flavouring cleanses your palate on every sip, leaving a fresh, dry sensation in the mouth.  

Taste: During the boil, fresh oranges and star anise are added to the brew kettle, which helps to both perfume and flavour the beer. For the aroma, it works very well. However, for the taste, it misses the target slightly. Granted, there is a bitter orange taste, but it feels slightly watered down or manufactured. The use of star anise helps to create a warming spiciness which compliments the dry crisp finish. Although not without its faults, it’s a perfect refresher after a Christmas dinner  and makes a welcome change to the dull, brown ales normally drank at this time of year. With a little refinement, it would fit my palate perfectly. 

Hit The Fairy Lights

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