Craft Beer: Two brews from Yellow Belly – Electric Dreams and Kottbusser
YOU might be hard pressed to snap up a good set of patio furniture these days but, if you do, the best accompaniment to that shiny new table and parasol – and hot dog – is a nice session ale.
To me, a good session ale has to strike the right balance between being uncomplicated and still carrying a fair bit of flavour. Obviously, it needs an abv of no higher than 4 per cent and can't get in the way of the grub too much.
So when I went to the fridge for something to go with a recent al fresco dinner, I reached for a can of Electric Dreams from Yellow Belly. The can design alone makes the beers of the Wexford-based brewers enticing enough, but a session pale ale clocking in at four per cent was just what I needed.
It pours a light amber colour with monumental amount of fizz, ensuring a dominant, white fluffy head, but that all settles down quickly enough.
There are lovely fresh aromas of peach, with a hint of pine. On the palate, it's light but there are sweet flavours of stone fruits with a subtle hint of citrus and a bit of pineapple and mango.
Kottbusser is another recent Yellow Belly offering, but a world away from Electric Dreams. For a start it's a kettle sour which has been brewed in collaboration with Brewdog.
But it's not your average sour at that. It's brewed with heather honey and blackcurrants, which lend it an almost medicinal feel.
It pours a purple colour with a pink head, with low enough carbonation. It's a very fragrant ale with an almost syrupy taste as the blackcurrant and honey flavour come through strongly.
For a sour, it lacks that lip-smacking tang you'd expect – it has more of warming feel to it – and the oats give it a silky smooth mouthfeel. Part of that warmth may come from the 6.2 per cent abv and I'd say it's a beer with fine convalescent qualities.