The First Output of a New Resolution

A glass of Manual Brewing This Elevator pale ale.

There are some­thing like 2,000 brew­eries in the UK but we find our­selves going back to the same hand­ful time and again, most­ly because we know and trust them.

Well, in 2019, we want to break that habit, just a bit, by forc­ing our­selves to try at least one brew­ery that’s new to us every week.

When we’re on our trav­els, it’s easy (Danc­ing Man in Southamp­ton, for exam­ple) but in Bris­tol, where we spend most of our time, it will need a lit­tle ded­i­ca­tion.

It will mean ignor­ing that Bris­tol Beer Fac­to­ry pale-n-hop­py we know we love in favour of some­thing that will prob­a­bly, expe­ri­ence sug­gests, be less enjoy­able.

But then again, it might also turn up anoth­er Stroud or Ched­dar.

Our first con­scious attempt to ful­fil this mis­sion came in Small Bar on King Street, Bris­tol, on Wednes­day night when we ordered two-thirds of Man­u­al Brewing’s ‘This Ele­va­tor’, a 5.5% Amer­i­can-style pale ale. The brew­ery is based in Dundee.

It didn’t look imme­di­ate­ly appeal­ing, being a fog­gy orange-brown, but the head was attrac­tive – whipped cream and oth­er delights.

We both had sim­i­lar reac­tions on lift­ing it to taste: non-ver­bal expres­sions of delight at a frankly won­der­ful aro­ma hot rasp­ber­ry jam and cut grass.

We had to step back from expec­ta­tions of the style to real­ly enjoy the way this beer tast­ed: it didn’t tick the Amer­i­can pale ale box­es, but absolute­ly did work as the kind of unfil­tered amber/red/brown beer you some­times find in Ger­many.

That is, as some­thing whole­some, whole­meal, nut­ty and spicy.

There was noth­ing stale, nasty or jar­ring in the flavour, which counts for a lot.

Of course we can’t judge the brewery’s entire out­put based on one beer, on one occa­sion, but we’d cer­tain­ly be inclined to buy again.

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