By PRAYAG-ARORA DESAI
Another number from the Shepherd Neame stable. Whitstable Bay Organic Ale. 4.5% ABV.
Under normal circumstances, meaning circumstances in which there are enough decent beers around to drink when I decide to drink beer, I would not be caught dead drinking anything with the word ‘organic’ in it. I have my hang-ups. This is not a good thing, I know, and I know this after having drunk a pint of Whitstable Bay Organic Ale.
Organic Ale is cousin to two other ‘Whitstable Bay’ properties of Shepherd Neame’s, the Whitstable Bay Blonde Premium Lager and the Whitstable Bay Pale Ale. I haven’t had either, but after Organic Ale I’d try them in a shot.
Whitstable Bay is a fishing village in the town of Kent, one those quaint places shrouded in locally revered history, I assume. By now, you’d know what the deal is with how Shepherd Neame names its brews. I haven’t read much about Whitstable Bay and the connection it shares with the three beers earlier mentioned. I don’t give a fuck, really. It’s been a hard day. I’ll leave it in the comments later.
Organic Ale is a nice beer to look at. Pours with a reasonable, extremely short lived head. There’s a lot of orange going on, in the beer and on the label. My mind immediately assumes a citrusy flavor, which is confirmed at first swig. There’s a very apples, oranges and even mosambi kind of tanginess to this – like the ‘Maara Maari’ fruit juice at Amar Juice Center, if you’ve ever tried it – underlined by a complimentary note of sweet bread, and some nutty maltiness every now and then. It smells sour, and grassy, but that distinct hoppiness is absent on the tongue. There’s nothing much else going on, but there’s not much else needed. It’s not a kaleidoscope of flavours, or anything like that. If anything, I think you’d find that the citrus only gets bitter after swilling a few mouthfuls, but then, alcohol is a bitter affair. Here’s a drink so wholly complete in its one-dimensionality, it’s actually good. Not great. But good enough to want to drink on a mindnumbingly hot day. It’s a straightforward, uncomplicated beer. And there’s nothing wrong with that. If it were any cheaper, I’d probably drink this again.