26 October 2007

No penance

Last night was the first of Oktoberfest at the Bull & Castle Beerhall (continuing today and tomorrow -- tell your friends). Among the special additions to the stock are two from the Franciscan Well pub-brewery in Cork: Rebel Red and their regular seasonal, Purgatory.

I love trying a beer with no idea what style it is. For no reason at all I was expecting Purgatory to be fruity and spicy, like a maibock perhaps. However, it's a super-hoppy, slightly cloudy, light orange American-style pale ale ("Anglo-American" it says on the web site, but the texture is all wrong for England). After the first bitter smack of hops, the flavour settles down to a lasting crisp dryness.

Like many of the Franciscan Well beers, Purgatory is a bit rough round the edges. For me, this shows it's made by humans not machines and I have no complaint.

Much as I love the notion of brewpubs keeping their seasonals exclusive to themselves, I'm a lazy, lazy man, and having a direct line from the 'Well to Dublin is something I could get used to.

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