Anyone who's been following this blog or my Twitter account knows that I've gone through a bit in the past three weeks. I've publicly documented my journey from being scared and injured and bordering on becoming a recluse, all the way to stomping merrily out of the house to buy beer. My blog has lost its beery focus for the past few weeks, with my initial and now-deleted post explaining that I would step away from writing for a while.
Now I'm back from the wilderness, and without any further fuss it's time to crack open a bottle of Freedom Brewery's new Prototype Pale Ale. I've missed (and I am going to enjoy) this.
Gooseberry and lime stilettos thrust at the nose from the open bottle neck, and fucking Hell let me tell you it's good to be back on the job.
The pour is slender and pale, glugging the glass full of parade-ground brass. The head is bubbly but disciplined, a centimetre of lagery ball-pit; foamy adult creche. Arising from all of this, a scent now skewed more to the lemon side of the yellow/green citrus trenches.
Then the first taste, and a snap on the tongue quite unexpected. A bitter and jarring beartrap of orange clamping down on the taste organ, marmaladising the senses and causing the beer writer, in his eagerness to return to the job, to slug back more than he should. The thrill of the chase is back. The beer in the glass is gone.
The second bottle is opened. I relish the "gom gom gom" sounds as it spews into my glass. I put my ear against the fizzing, popping head and it sounds like electricity.
The orange beartrap seems to spring slower and with less force on the second go around. There are elements of peachy, apricotish tastes there too, a juicebox taste ripe for summer nights like this one.
Remembering the order in which the writer tends to write these, a strong huff of the air within the glass informs him that a biscuity scent is now rising along with the fruity work of the Chinook, Cascade, Motueka and Rakau hops.
The carbonation grabs what remains of the beer in a fizzy suplex and throws it down the throat, the final taste one of sour gummi; puckering jelly pale ale. The aftermath is a lingering stickiness and a low hum of lemon/lime.
Freedom Brewery's Prototype Pale Ale came to me with a press release, but I'm a little too busy reveling in my return to the game to cram much of it in. This prototype will be used to inform the core range Pale Ale to be launched in September 2016. It's available at over 100 venues, and online from the brewery itself, and there's details about this on their website.
It's good to be back!
Oh, and thank you to Kayleigh Ross, PR for Freedom Brewery, who emailed me to chase my review up and was very understanding when I told her about why it was delayed. You're good people.