St. Peter’s English AleNovember 1, 2000 Suffolk, England
St. Peter’s Brewery
Imported by: Eurobubblies
Santa Monica, CA
This organic ale is one of a range of sixteen ales produced at the brewery, adjacent to medieval St. Peter’s Hall. The range includes a recreation of a beer from the first millennium, flavored with nettles, dried fruits and juniper, but without hops. The distinctive flask-shaped bottle is a copy of an original bottle circa 1770 from Philadelphia.
Original gravity: 1045
Bottled in an embossed hip flask, obviously de rigueur for a rugby match. The package is unique and handsome--so is the beer, an organic golden ale with reddish highlights. With an initial aroma of treacle, further examination reveals a lovely balance of flowers and earth. The mouthfeel is round and inviting. The taste is clean and complex, dry, yet fruity with a pleasant and lingering deliciously bitter aftertaste. Superb with farmhouse cheddar, organic rye bread and crispy apples. Close your eyes and think of England.
- Charles Finkel
What a wonderful uniqueness. No, I’m not referring to the uniquely shaped one-of-a-kind bottle, but the aroma and flavor. Extraordinarily well balanced and complex. A slight smoky character that serves to enhance the rich malt and hop flavors. This beer truly does remind me of some classic English ales I’ve had no other place but in England. I love this beer with all its complexity and gentle quirkiness.
- Charlie Papazian
This pale bronze is made with organically grown barley and hops. It has a rich, deep aroma of nutty malt (I suspect a touch of crystal alongside the pale), toasted grain and spicy hops. St. Peter's usually brews with Halcyon malt, and Challenger and Goldings hops but doesn't state which organic varieties it is using. Tart, spicy and peppery hops dominate the palate, while the finish is long, dry, bitter and uncompromisingly hoppy. The back label says the beer has "delicate flavors." The hoppiness is as delicate as Chandler's famous tarantula on a slice of angel cake, but this is robust English ale at its best.
- Roger Protz
Founder of Merchant du Vin and the Pike Brewing Co., Charles Finkel is a pioneer in the marketing of craft beers in America.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.