Our big days continue. This morning at a well-regarded micro in Sussex (directly south of London). It's named after a Grateful Dead song (sort of apocryphally, as it turns out), which made it a great location for Oregonians. In fact, there's no Dead-headiness about anything. What there is is very good beer made in a kind of fusion between traditional cask ale and American craft brewing.

The beer reminded me a bit of Double Mountain--recognizable beer styles tweaked a half turn. Their Best Bitter has a dash of smoked malt, a touch that creates the impression of an old, traditional beer. Their flagship is a low-alcohol extra pale shot through with a stiff dose of Cascade and Amarillo hops.

My favorite was an exceptional imperial stout full of yeast character. Fruity, plummy, figgy, with an underlayment of chocolate. One of the better imperial stouts I've tasted.

The second stop was Greene King, an apparently controversial brewery among some of the geekier set. But now I'm tired and a post on GK will just fail to do it justice. (Though for anyone wondering how far under the bus I'm willing to through them, consider that it's one of the last breweries in England to vat a strong ale [with requisite wild microfauna] for two years. What sell-outs!)

Anyway, more later. Meantime, here's the vista from atop the brewery, which rises above the town of Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, east of London.

Jeff Alworth4 Comments