10 July 2007

I'm not a masochist, but...

... there seem to be an awful lot more organic beers around these days. Which is my excuse for continuing to try them despite having, I think, only ever encountered one I was impressed by: New Zealand's Green Man Organic Bitter. Today, the one that jumped into my glass and forced itself down my neck is Brakspear Organic Beer. And, surprise surprise, it was rather dull. For an ale, even a light light one, it's an inappropriate shade of orange. There's very little aroma followed by very little taste. Sure there's hops, and malt, and all the taste characteristics of good ale, but the flavour knob is turned down far too low. Compared to the Ferret the other day, this doesn't really rate for me.


  1. Bailey12:56 pm

    Good point, now you mention it. There's probably an interesting extended post in this. I used to quite like Shepherd Neame's Whitstable Bay, but that's not wholly organic -- it just has organic hops. Freedom Organic Lager is pretty good, but, as you say, not as exciting as many non-organic lagers. Is it because the ingredients are more expensive so they skimp on the amounts of malt/hops they use? Or just that they think being organic is enough of a selling point without making the beer interesting in its own right?

  2. I think part of it is "never mind the taste, look at our Soil Association cert", and there are doubtless people who will buy based on that.

    At the base of it, I think, it's just that organic ingredients don't do the business. I reckon intensive farming gives you the kind of flexibility, both chemical and (as you say) economic, to make more exciting beer.

  3. Bailey5:11 pm

    I've thought of a good one -- Sam Smith's Organic Best Bitter (in bottles in Sam Smiths pubs). It's not ground-shaking, but is way above average.