With the wealth of new breweries and beer bars in
it is easy to dismiss those which do not impress you right from the off. When faced with a bar full of choices, in excess of £3 a pint, it is perfectly understandable to classify the beers into good and bad, boring and exciting, and order accordingly. There is simply not enough time or money to continually revisit breweries and beers which failed to impress you the first time. This makes it pretty tough for new breweries, as first impressions are very important, and if they are going to make mistakes it is likely to be early on. London
After trying a few beers form Redchurch brewery, I had largely written them off. The beers were not good, and at £2.50 odd a bottle I could just not envisage buying them again with so many others on offer. But walking home on a Friday evening to be spent alone eating pizza, I thought I would give them a second chance, not least because they had released a new addition to the range, their 7.5% Great Eastern IPA.
First up was their Shoreditch Blonde, a 4.5% pale ale. I like the way their bottles look – simple, colourful, to the point, with an
East London theme to let you know what they are all about. The beer was decent, a pleasing pale yellow and a thin white head, aromas of lemon and sweet bread which were reminiscent of a wit. Very gentle, light flavours of citrus and kiwi, with a crisp, metallic, bitter finish. Not amazing, but drinkable and pretty.
The Great Eastern IPA is what second chances are made for. It looks great – rich, orangey brown, like autumnal leaves, with a big, beautiful thick head which stays right to the end of the beer. It smells fantastic – pick and mix sweets, candy sugar, caramel, toffee, and vaguely tropical. It is stunningly conditioned, lively and fresh but also smooth and full bodied. The flavour is dominated by big, tropical fruit, super juicy orange and grapefruit, almost sticky, balanced by the bitterness which is not huge and rasping, but assertive and constant. Dangerously sessionable, this was so easy to drink, so rewarding, so delicious. It’s early days, but this was my favourite bottled beer this year. I’m glad I gave Redchurch a second chance – are there any beers/breweries which you didn’t initially like and then changed your mind?