Wednesday, 30 April 2008

This week I have been mainly drinking...

Sharp's Chalky's, Bite 6.8%, 330ml bottle.

Here's the blurb:

"The idea for Chalky's Bite came about as a challenge from Rick Stein to Sharp's Head Brewer Stuart Howe.
The task was to create a distinctly English beer with the character, individuality and quality to stand alongside the Belgian greats. 
The beer created is exceptional with a delicate flavour balance of three different hop varieties and wild Cornish fennel. With a totally natural process and a maturation period of over three months the beer is allowed ample time to develop a high level of carbonation, its own distinctive flavour and a beautiful light golden colour. 
Chalky's patience whilst attending the many development and sampling sessions at the Brewery is justifiably rewarded in the name."

As is all too common, the blurb tells us very little. What are the three hop varieties? I can't be the only person who would like to know. 

Whatever they are, the results are rather good. I am reminded of two legendary beers that just happen to be big favourites – Orval and Anchor Liberty Ale. Fortunately the fennel flavour isn't too obvious. I like fennel but I feel a beer with a big fennel flavour would be difficult enjoy too often. As it is, I'm picking up a couple of bottles every week from my local Booths supermarket.

I find it encouraging that a British brewer has produced a 6.9% beer in a 330ml bottle. If only there were more. The bulk of Britain's craft beers are 3.5 to 5%, many are great beers but for non-pub consumption I prefer less volume and more strength and hopefully, more flavour. An attractively branded bottle and a suitable glass add to the pleasure. More please.

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