It’s only July, but the beer of 2013 has arrived.
I give you: Ticketybrew Pale Ale, on draught.
Ticketybrew are a new brewery with a brand image that’s best described as ‘elaborate’. (And expensive, and frankly a bit pretentious, but very well executed.) As far as I know, they brew two beers – the Pale and a Dubbel – and, as far as I knew up to this evening, they brewed them for bottling only. I’d had the Dubbel and found it nice enough for the last beer of the evening; sweet-ish, complex-ish, aromatic-ish, generally “close but no Trappist”. I hadn’t had the Pale – and besides, there was the curiosity factor of seeing it on hand pump. So I ordered it.
It was superb. It reminded me of the old cask version of 5 a.m. Saint, but bettered it. The aromatic wallop of a good contemporary pale ale runs head-on into the soft herbal richness of a Tripel, and they dance. There’s some sweetness there, but it’s low down in the mix – to put it another way, it’s an integral part of a gloriously complex flavour profile. This is, simply, the best-tasting beer I have had in years.
Seen at: Font, Chorlton. A bit over-priced at £3.80, but a CAMRA card would take that down to £2.85, which would be pretty much the bargain of the year. Get in (although not until I’ve had a chance to get back there).
(I’ll be interested to hear what anyone else thinks. Maybe I was just really ready for a pint…)
Update 25/7 Had it again last night, three days later. My first impression both times was sourness; that sour note was a bit more persistent this time, and I didn’t notice any sweetness. I guess the beer was just that bit fresher on Sunday. Still a big, complex flavour – one of those flavours that seem to open out as you get further down the glass, like walking into a dark room and gradually realising it’s much bigger than you thought. (I’d advise getting a pint rather than a half for just this reason.) Hand on heart, I’m not sure Wednesday’s pint quite scaled the heights of Sunday’s, but it was still a huge beer. Recommended.