Redchurch Brewery, Hackney Gold - 5.5%, £2.40
And since we’re all a little ‘over’ drinking after New Year’s Eve demolished our desire to indulge, we’ll aim for something a little lighter.
Hackney Gold is, well for one, far from gold in colour – a deep brooding amber with flashes of red at the edges and a thick oatmeal head. The aroma it gives off is simply delightful: a dry bed of walnuts, pecans, and cereal grains are punched throughout with flashes of vibrant citrus hops.
The taste makes good on the aroma’s promise – an even, medium-bodied ale with a tendency toward the sweet. There’s a distinctive pepper and nut flavour, perhaps rye, that takes charge of proceedings, before what might be a small amount of chocolate malt smooths things over with a velvety pass over the palate.
The hops wait for the finish to make themselves known; dry herbaceous cascade (or some relative) provides an even, somewhat-intense bitterness, that dries the palate out.
So it might not be a golden ale, lying closer to the hoppy amber ale region, but Redchurch have made an excellent first impression with this – for something lighter and hoppier, the Bethnal pale is also fantastic. Bravo Redchurch.
• As recommended by Michael Bates of Trembling Madness, Stonegate, York