Name of beer
Black Betty Black IPA
What the brewer says
“.” (Clearly, they don’t feel the need)
Before we get into this one, let’s address the elephant, nay Beaver, in the room. I’ll do so quickly, for those who missed it the first time around. Yes, it’s a “black IPA”. Yes, IPA stands for India Pale Ale. As in light coloured “pale”, yet this is “black”.
The quick re-hash is that IPAs were originally created by the British as an ale that would keep for six months or so on the long voyage to India, because the beer kept going off and how are we meant to keep a colony going without beer, dammit? The British eventually stopped brewing it in any sort of quantity, but then the Americans started creating IPAs and the British eventually stole the idea back.
It’s just a rather fine style of ale that no longer holds strictly to the paleness of its origins, thus we have IPAs in all shades, including “black” (or very dark brown, if you’re a pedant).
This particular beer is one I first stumbled upon in a bar in Leeds, at an after-show party for two cracking bands, Colour of Noise and Toseland. As per usual, I was three cans in and loving it before I noticed it was 7.4%. Therefore, I can’t for the life of me recall the name of the bar.
I am, however, still learning about it. Having this week been on a trip to the south of England – somewhere traditionally viewed by us northerners as a beer wasteland - I’ve had my head turned a little with this one. I picked this up at the Craft Beer Shop in Little Chalfont and have saved it for this weekend, only to find it’s a London brew. Well done our capital city, because it’s a corker and far superior to the rather poor London-brewed pint I suffered in a particularly well-known restaurant.
To be honest, I was over the moon when I spotted this and it’s going down a treat. It’s rich in flavour, has a beautiful aftertaste and probably goes down far more easily than a 7.4% beer really should, but then we have moved on from the days of volume over flavour.
There’s honestly nothing I dislike about this beer, with the exception that it’s not more widely available.
So, here’s to beers that help you forget where you’ve been and ales that change perceptions of the quality to be found in certain regions.
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I’m 44, I don’t (always) have a beard (partly because when I try it is patchy, has gaps, with ginger and grey bits) and don’t take a clipboard to the pub. So, I’m not the stereotypical real ale fan of old, in the style that I was always told to look out for...read more