Tuesday, November 23, 2010

CT Column 22/09/2010 : Pint Sized Platinum

In 1979 progressive rock musician Mike Oldfield released the Platinum album with a track called Punkadiddle. The song was an anti-anti-establishment statement lashing out at the punk bands that Oldfield felt were robbing record company investment from the more serious releases from artists like him.
Taking some influence from this, the Yeastie Boys have released a seasonal beer called Punkadiddle that is designed to be everything that the big alcoholic, highly hopped beers currently in vogue are not.
Yeastie Boy Stu McKinlay says he brewed the beer because he got bored with all the super-strength, ├╝ber-hop beers that have hit the taps this winter. Of course, a cynic might point out that the Yeastie Boys were partially responsible for this trend with the tap release before Punkadiddle coming in the form of the massively hoppy Yakima and Motueka Monster beers. It’s very much in the post-modern avant-garde nature of the Yeastie Boys to set up a scene and then rip it down. Some might even say it’s rather punk!
Regardless of the context Punkadiddle is a really tasty session beer. At a modest 3.7% alcohol volume, Punkadiddle is brewed in the English bitter style. The beer is highly drinkable, has a subtle flavour and is really well balanced. The English Maris Otter malt has given the beer a nutty cereal malt character with some caramel and biscuit notes, English East Kent Golding Hops have leant a wonderful tangy citrus hop flavour and the yeast culture that originated at London’s Fuller’s Griffin Brewery has given the beer a rounded marmalade note.
This is a style that definitely needs to be enjoyed at about 13C with some of the carbonation released; drinking it cold and fizzy straight from the keg will mask everything that is going on in this beer. Punkadiddle is available on the fill-your-own at Regional Wines and Spirits and you might just catch it on the hand pump at Hashigo Zake, Bar Edward and Pollux.

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