One of the greater things about watching football in America is that most matches, especially those of the EPL, are early 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: Wells Banana Bread Beer, Wells and Young’s Brewing Company, Bedford, United Kingdom
The Pub: The Queen Vic, in Northeast DC
What You Need to know: I covered a great deal of both the style and the brewery’s history when I reviewed Wells Bombardier back in April. The main variation here is that, on top of the normal signifiers of an Extra Special Bitter, Wells adds bananas and spice to the beer to create a unique spin on the pub standard.
The history of the Banana Bread beer is hard to track down; Wells and Young’s are quite tightlipped about their history beyond their founding story and the marketing myth of the Bombardier. But it’s a well received beer, having won “Beer of the Festival” at the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) London Drinker Festival of 2002.
So, About this Beer: Pours clear amber with a thin white head that quickly dissipates. Banana and cinnamon heavy on the aroma. Malt and spice feature prominently in the initial taste, with a snappy, mineral finish. For as strong as the banana aromas are, banana as a flavor is quite restrained. Somewhat thin mouthfeel with mild carbonation. For all the flavors the name implies, it’s very refreshing, even on a scorching day like yesterday.
The Verdict: As I said, it’s very refreshing, and low enough in alcohol that if you really like the scent of bananas, you could drink it all day. I don’t know if I’d actually do that, however, even if I would recommend getting a pint of this if you see it, or a bottle if you’re in the mood for something new whilst you’re in the beer aisle.