Tuesday, November 25, 2014

They don't have to be strong to be good

It is a common misconception that for a beer to be good it has to be strong. Obviously, in some cases that will be true, but recently I have come across some very tasty beers locally with an abv below 3%.

Hand Drawn Monkey were the first brewery that I really noticed brewing low strength beers. Their 'Smaller' versions of their beers were full of flavour but admittedly in some cases there was a lack of body in some of them. They have also had some beers on their HDM bar from Bexar County brewery which have not reached 3% both light and dark and packed with flavour.

However it was one of the innovative breweries from over t'hill which first made me really take notice of the style and prove what flavour can be packed into a weak strength beer. Tickety Brew hail from Stalybridge, and are not afraid of mixing flavours in their beers, but their 2.8% 'Table Ipa' was a revelation. It did not compromise on taste and I had to look twice at the ABV to confirm I was drinking a weak beer, such was its body.

I have come across others along the way but another that really stood out was Rat Brewery's 'Collaboration no3' - Ratler. This is a totally different style, being more of fruit based beer with a light hoppy background, and when I first sampled it last weekend, it so good good that I eschewed my usual tipple in the pub and drank several of them, so impressed was I with the result.

So, if you see a beer with a low abv, do not automatically assume that it will be weak in taste as well as strength. Give it a try, you may be surprised. I certainly was.

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