Those of you who have been reading my drivel for a while may be aware that I am not exactly a fan of flavoured beers. I much prefer my beer to taste of the pure ingredients, Hops, malt, yeast, and water, and not to have things added to them. I generally suffer from this around Christmas but for some strange reason I have encountered a plethora of them this week, some ok, some downright weird.
In fact my first experience occurred in Chesterfield when I ordered a Steel City/Raw collaboration called 'Abandon All Hop'. I am used to Steel City beers being especially hoppy, what a shock. Not a hop in sight, a beer flavoured in the 'old' style with things like bog myrtle and other weird additions. It was not to my taste but I wrote it off to experience, I had not realised then that it would be the taste to come.
North Riding and Five Towns also joined forces to produce a 'Rum and Raisin Dark Mild' - at least I was warned this time ! It tasted a bit synthetic for my liking. The following day brought Leatherbritches 'Bohemian Ginger' - I like ginger beers perversly enough - but this was not right, and hardly tasted of ginger at all, and Jennings 'Queen Bee' - a honey beer, and quite pleasant too. There was a theme developing now, and virtually every bar I encountered had some strange beer on it.
Wharfebank 'Blood Orange IPA' was encountered in the Cherry Tree, and was a bit strange, I am not sure that orange works with a light beer. The strange continued with Siren 'Vermont Tea Party' with its overwhelming taste of Earl Grey tea, unusual but not unpleasant, however a pint may have been challenging despite its 3.6% strength. Fixed Wheel provided another orange beer - this time with flavours of mandarin, and Tickety Brew 'Cherry Berlinerweisse' obviously tasted of cherry, sadly it overpowered the weisse part of the beer.
Yesterday I was back in Huddersfield and encountered Brown Cow 'Thriller In Vanilla' . An overwhelming vanilla taste here in a porter, which did at least, give a decent background to it. I thought that may be it, but I noted on facebook that Sam was raving about an orange beer on the bar at the Star, and guess where I am today !
I know that I don't have to drink all these beers, it is my choice as a 'ticker' but I do wonder what the brewers are thinking when they brew them. Are they just being experimental for experimentals sake ? Or are they trying to provide the drinker with something they will enjoy ? I am unsure but I am sure that the beers they brew do not always work. Having said that I often reminisce over the days of the long lost but often remembered Kitchen brewery who brewed with all sorts of fruit and vegetables plenty of which shouldn't have worked but just did. So maybe it is me that is out of step, not the brewers.