Beer of the Week: Newbarns Pale Ale
We've talked quite a lot about Newbarns
over on our socials but realised we've not so far mentioned them on the blog - what an omission!
Newbarns are a new brewery in Leith founded by two former brewers at The Kernel as well as Jonny Hamilton, who headed up the Tempus project at Beavertown (also co-founder of the brilliant Pellicle mag). They focus on classic styles done really, really well, with a similar approach to their pale ale
as The Kernel, keeping the same basic recipe but swapping the hops round regularly.
The current incarnation has Azacca and Galaxy but it's not the tropical fruit bomb many brewers would make. First off, the beer pours crystal clear, no New England haze in sight, thanks to the use of a clean fermenting ale yeast strain. Then there's definite fruit on the nose—I got pineapple, citrus and a little bit of passionfruit—but it's also quite herbal. Equally when you drink it, it's juicy but I also got saison-like floral notes coming through too. It is distinctly pithy and a little green, erring almost West Coast potentially, but I think really just a super classic, pre-New England-everything, pale.
Although we've apparently gone right back into winter (it snowed in the Peak District yesterday!), I am dying to have this with a barbecue. I think the bitterness would cut through rich food really well, and it's also just a really great beer to have a few cans of at once. In a way it has a little bit of everything, with juice and bitterness, plus herbal and floral notes, but all quite subtle and incredibly well-balanced.
We've tried every incarnation of this pale so far and they've all been brilliant, so even if they've moved on to a different hop bill by the time we reach barbecue weather, I feel I'm pretty safe in saying it would still be a great match.