Thursday, 19 May 2011

Day 88, Beer 88 - St. Peter's "Organic Best Bitter"

Today's Beer

Name - Organic Best Bitter

Brewer - St. Peter's

Classification - Please don't make me write 'organic best bitter'! Please!

Strength - 4.1% ABV

Verdict - At A Glance

On the eye - Rich, elegant amber.

On the nose - Gloriously sumptuous malts. Smooth but vivacious hops.

On the tongue - Ultra dry, ultra bitter, ultra good.

On the subject - St. Peter's pay more attention to the 'organic' end of the market than many breweries. The fact that they brew the same style of beer in both ways makes for some great opportunities for comparison. There are two 'Best Bitters' for example. Both are very different drinks but, sadly, they brew both versions a little too well for there to be any clear winner.

On the market - Pretty decent national coverage. Larger supermarkets are almost guaranteed to stock this. Try the brewery's own online store.

On the whole - 8/10

Full Review

This is a dry beer.

Let me say that again.

This is a dry beer.

Believe me, one mention of this simple fact would have been entirely inadequate.

The immediacy of the super dryness is as breathtaking as it is delightful, with the bitter citrus hops wasting no time in launching their delicious assault on the mouth with ruthless efficiency.

Almost as immediate - is a sense of this beer's freshness, but the 'organic' status of this drink doesn't leave it lacking in refinement or elegance. In fact, this is a very polished and composed drink experience.

The precise source of that citrus thwack remains somewhat elusive, but grapefruit, gooseberry and wonderfully peppery celery each take a punt at winning your affections - to ceaselessly enjoyable effect.

There are faint hints of sweetness, which wash in and out of focus in split second bursts like a dream sequence from some sixties art house movie. It's a very clever, playful brew in that respect.

But mostly it's a full-on brute of a beer, with that dry bitterness dominating proceedings in the most thrillingly relentless fashion.

As regular readers will have noticed, I don't make a habit of suggesting foods to accompany the beers I sample. Mostly, I do like to give my beers some space all of their own, untainted by such horrors as chewable matter. But this beer - more than any that I've yet stumbled upon - made me long for a roast dinner, with parsnips, roasted sweet potatoes, buttered vegetables and a huge leg of Welsh lamb. The toasted caramel sweetness of slow roasted grub would compliment this beer astonishingly well.

Any beer which makes you want to eat a Sunday roast just has to be a decent one, and this one is quite a bit more than decent.

But there's one thing that St. Peter's Organic Best Bitter is more than anything else...

This is a dry beer.

It was easily worth saying that for a third time.


Neil, Eating isn't Cheating said...

Nice review. Had one of these myself the other day after picking up a bottle in the supermarket and was pleasantly surprised.

A really well made best bitter, that actually is bitter! Lovely stuff.

The Hearty Goodfellow said...

Neil - You're right, a lot of very strange beers are smuggled in under the name 'bitter'. Strange in that they aren't bitter at all.

Liked this one, and not least because it's label is accurate!