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Spiral scratch beer

Sign of the Cornish Crown brewery.

Sometimes, you come across a band’s first single and, despite low-budget production and rough edges, recognise raw talent.

Well, that also turns out to be our experience of the new Cornish Crown Brewery which we were so apprehensive about visiting.

On a cold Wednesday night, we made it to the Crown in the centre of Penzance, the tap for the brewery which is actually based on an industrial estate a few miles away at Badger’s Cross in Gulval, where we tried pints of Bitter (3.7%) and Strong Pale Ale (4.8%).

First impressions were not promising: the thin, scummy heads on our pints did not make our mouths water.

What these pints lacked in stage presence, however, they made up for in taste. West Country beer often tends towards sweetness but both of these were bitter in that way that makes you thirsty — a very good sign. There was evidence of a heavy hand with the hops in the aroma, too. Sometimes, a good first impression can diminish as the beer warms up but, in this case, both beers were good to the last drop. Perhaps there was a hint of the burnt waxiness we associate with Skinner’s or Otter, but not enough to be a serious distraction.

The final verdict: we happily stayed for a second pint and will be keeping a keen eye on developments.

The Bitter is better than the SPA; here’s what Darren ‘Beertoday‘ Norbury had to say in a piece for the local paper; Spiral Scratch explained here; and for more beer/music analogies, see Zac’s blog; picture nicked from their website.

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