This week, in what is becoming a regular Tuesday afternoon feature from the Huntsman in Chidswell, I'm raving about the current seasonal offering from Abbeydale. L'Age D'Or (Golden Age) at 3.9% is a real return to form for the Sheffield based outfit. Using Brewers Gold hops, this little golden beauty reminds me very much of the first time I ever sampled their wares some ten years since.
At the time I remember thinking if only all beer looked and tasted as good as this - and in no time at all of course it did! Well not quite, but the revolution in light well hopped ale really gathered momentum in the late nineties as everyone had a crack at emulating the likes of Abbeydale and Roosters.
But it's not all been beautiful citrus flavours and glorious sharp bitterness of late. I had a theory at this Spring's Star festival that the reason so many beers of this 'new' style had become disappointingly bland and samey was because of the shortage and price of the more interesting hop strains necessary to make a beer of this style really stand out. This may well be true to a certain extent but whilst ever Abbeydale can produce this quality in this economic climate at this strength then I for one won't cry too much at the next round of price hikes!