I've had quite an exciting beer month in which I've been very fortunate to have enjoyed some very tasty and refreshing beer. Some of these lovely beers have come from some mighty fine brereries including The Kernel, Matuska, Caldera, Redemption, Bernard, Dark Star and Fyne Ales. So, to whittle it down to a trio of trememdous tinctures has been a pretty difficult exercise.
However, when reflecting on what I've consumed this month, three beers jump excitedly to the front of my mind and scream in my ear, "Pick Me!, Pick Me!". Strangely enough, they all have the same thing in common - they are all unfiltered beers and so much more lovely and flavourful for it.
The two runners up for my beer of the month are both unfiltered Helles beers; one brewed in Glasgow, the other brewed in Madrid.
West Brewery in Glasgow's East End produce, very occassionally, an unfiltered version of their St Mungo Helles. I don't know why they don't produce it more often than they do because it is an outstanding beer that stands head and shoulders above, in terms of taste, body and mouthfeel, the filtered version. They call the unfiltered version 'Wild West' and I was fortunate enough to have a few pints of it before the supplies were drunk dry by some very parched Glaswegians over the space of an uncharacteristically scorching hot weekend at the start of April. It went down an absolute bomb and I hope that West Brewery consider making this make a bit more often than they currrently do.
My other runner up for this month's best beer is an unfiltered Helles produced on the premises in the Naturbier pub in Madrid's Plaza St. Ana. In a city of gorgeous wine, sherries and fizzy macro lagers, I thought my time there would be one spent on the grape. That was until I discovered this gem of a Tapas bar that, strangely, produces their own rather delicious Dunkel and Helles. The Helles was a very well made and sweetly thirst quenching beer whose flavours and taste were enhanced greatly by having it outside at a table in the main square in the blazing Madrid sunshine. It's a perfect summer beer, so if you find yourself in Madrid anytime soon, source out this pub.
My favourite beer this month is from a London brewery that has been making major waves not just in the capital's beer scene but also further afield. I tasted this beer in three different pubs on the same day and each time I was blown away by the fantastic full on hop explosion and it's intense tastiness.
The Brewery is Camden Town and the beer goes by a couple of names. It's known as Pompous Red but also has an alias of Filthy Red. Call it what you want but I call it superb. It's a red ale that contains a basket of New World and American hops including Perle, Centennial, Simcoe and possibly Nelson Sauvin among others. The hops are added several times during the boil thats helps give it a punchy rolling hop flavour that fair crackles with flavour right to the last drop. It is also unfiltered which, I think, adds to the flavour and complexity of the beer. I had my share of this gorgeous beer in The Southampton Arms, The Rake and The Euston Tap. If you happen to come across it on your beery travels, have a pint or two of it. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.
That was my three beers of the month.
What floated your beer boat this month?