Craft Beer: Yeastie Boys Bigmouth strikes again

Fight for your right to party in January – Bigmouth from Yeastie Boys

LET'S face it, there was never much chance of me participating in a dry January. For a start, this would be a very short column. But it's also the fact that my approach to beer over the festive season – as it is for the rest of the year – was quality over quantity. A steady intake of quality beers over the year is always preferable to the peaks and troughs of guzzling gassy tasteless brews and then abstaining totally.

However, there is something to be said for lightening the load a little at this time of year – after all, there was the odd imperial stout among that 'quality' festive drinking.

But, you don't have abandon the hops altogether and independent brewers have countered the 'Dry January' crusade with their own 'Tryanuary' campaign – a call for beer drinkers to "make it your mission to seek out new independent breweries, beers, bars and bottle shops, and share your discoveries with people throughout January!"

But if you're still looking to take things easy, I've been checking out a couple of light, session ales this week. A session ale is usually a term which gets attached to a beer which has a relatively low abv and therefore can be enjoyed as part of a session. But if you're just looking for a nice easy tipple, then try Bigmouth from New Zealand brewers Yeastie Boys.

Poured from a can, it's a very pale straw-coloured ale, but that little bit of cloudiness hints at a bit of character. There's rather a juicy peachy and mango aroma but the initial taste is earthy and grassy, almost like nettles. Brewed with South Pacific hops, the fruity flavours come through and there's an almost sour and salty finish. Refreshing and light, at 4.4 per cent, can even be enjoyed on a school night.

A little closer to home, I cracked open a bottle Althea from Galway Bay. Again, this is an easy-drinking session ale that's still packed with plenty of flavour. It's nicely hopped, not overly bitter and has fruity and biscuity notes.

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