real ale

The allure of Spingo

In our part of the world, the Blue Anchor Brewery is one of a number of brewpubs and microbreweries, notable for being the oldest and longest running. They make four beers under the name ‘Spingo’ and we’re becoming aware of the mysterious allure of Spingo Middle (5%).

The three times we’ve tried it (once at the Blue Anchor itself, twice elsewhere as a special guest ale) it’s struck us as a bit… wrong. It’s got a background sourness and a slight saltiness which we’re used to flagging as an ‘off’ flavour. The more we drink it, though, the more we find ourselves craving that tang.

It’s something like the acquired taste of Rodenbach beers, although not as in-your-face as any of those.

Are you an experienced Spingo drinker? Can you tell us if this sour wackiness is a recent problem, or a traditional part of the beer’s character?

7 replies on “The allure of Spingo”

I’ve had it twice and loved it to bits both times, but I like dark sweetish malty beers generally. (I’d never have called it sour, though. Do you notice similar flavours in the Special?) It’s certainly not like “normal” beer, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some salt in there – apparently if you add salt to beer it makes it taste sweeter (wibbly wobbly, chemistry whemistry).

Phil hits the nail on the head when he says “it’s not like normal beer”. It’s ages since I had it but it struck me as being almost like a throwback to a past era. And the Blue Anchor certainly wasn’t a “fillet of seabass” kind of place 😉

I don’t get that with Middle at all, my hubby does though. Have you tried Ben’s Stout by them? It is very good indeed and so is their Easter Special we tried in Penzance on Mazey Day, although at 7.5 abv you have to be careful, it drinks far lower. 🙂

We arrived in Penzance that day so we only saw the late afternoon part and took part the next day in the successful pirate attempt.

I was at their beer tent recently in Penzance and it does have an unusual quality but they are great malty beers.

There’s a brewpub called Bird in Hand near Hayle that make a beer called artists ale that has a similar unusual quality.

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