Tandleman’s not the only one to feel a bit let down by microbrews recently. However, after trying a number of rather disappointing British micros in the last couple of weeks, we finally hit a good one worth writing about.
Eichenblatt Bitte is produced by the Oakleaf Brewing company in Hampshire. It is, as you can see from the label, a Bavarian smoked wheatbeer, something you might expect from our wilder American microbrew cousins but is dangerously radical for the real ale market.
It didn’t look inspiring at first; the label could best be described as charmingly amateur, and when it poured, it had almost no head and resembled dirty dishwater.
BUT… it tasted lovely. I’ve never had any kind of smoked wheatbeer, and wasn’t sure how it would work, let alone what a bottle-conditioned English take on it would be like. It had the banana flavour you would expect from a German wheatbeer, with a subtle smokiness that took away the excess sweetness.
Very interesting. Nice to see a British micro experimenting (and more to the point, succeeding) with unusual styles, and I’d certainly like to try more from this brewery. It looks like they have a huge range (not always a good sign!) but I don’t think I’ve ever come across them before. You can find out all about them on their website, here.