I had looked forward to trying one of this brewer’s beers – Little Creatures – for a long time; but frankly, hadn’t tried that hard to hunt one down, and none of those wretched PR companies who seem to fling out samples to all and sundry were flinging any out to me. So anyhoo, I find myself in a gastro pub – a contemporary free house if you will – eating a wood fired pizza with a side-order of clichés and some stereotypes on a stick, drinking a Little Creatures Pale Ale. It was very nice. ‘Earthy’ would be the word I’d use. Not vibrant with hoppy overload, but muted, balanced, the malt part of the choir, not just the hops – more in the Pommy style, dare I say it. More Burton than Portland. Drinkable and even exciting for not being a herbal, spicy assault on your bitterness receptors.
But there was also the slightly sour taste of guilt – not towards the beer, or indeed this brewery – and not, I am assured from the Antipasti Skewer Board – rather from the power of free trade and a society that has normalised shipping modified water around the globe for our pleasure. Am I being a spoil sport? Yes? But should it matter? Yes, too.