One of the greater things about watching football in America is that most matches, especially those of the EPL, areearly in the morning American time, giving people an excuse to daydrink. This is part of our series discussing exactly what to drink when you’re at the pub, presented by our resident homebrewer, Keith.
The Beer: St. Peter’s Organic English Ale, St. Peter’s Brewery, Suffolk, England
The Pub: The Queen Vic, in Northeast DC
What you need to know: St. Peter’s is a relatively young brewery in England; it was founded in 1996 by John Murphy, a marketing professor and consultant. The brewery claims to focus on “real ale,” doing British classics. If you’ve seen their beers, it’s likely in their “brain tonic” styled clear glass bottles, purportedly modeled on an 18th century gin bottle found, funnily enough, just outside of Philadelphia.
English Pale Ale is a close cousin of the Extra Special Bitter. Like a bitter, the style is very malt-forward, as opposed to the more hop-forward American pale ale, and in the case of St. Peter’s, the on-site water source imparts a certain amount of clarity. Where it differs from the bitter is in the alcohol content (usually higher in the pale ale), and that the pale ale is often sent through a cold-filtering process rather than casked.
So, about this beer: Pours a hazy amber gold color, with a finger of off white head. Citrus and bread play heavy in the aromas. Thin, nicely carbonated mouthfeel carries initial lemongrass/satsuma flavors that fade to toffee and straw. Really nice complexity all around, though the aftertaste is just a bit cloying.
The Verdict: St. Peter’s is a pretty refreshing beer, and the citrus notes are a very welcome change from other English ales. Plus, it’s organic. I’d highly recommend it for a warm Spring day.