Biere De Mars (5.1%)
From the moment you pour and are met by this beer’s honeysuckle and white pepper aroma, you know you’re in for a treat.
The beer sits a bright gold with a soft fluffy head that pops and fizzes with life, and taking a swig you initially find a soft chewy honey and toffee apple, brioche and waffle malt body, and this is underpinned by a warm and earthy yeast spiciness that adds a little funk to the backbone of the beer.
The hops ride over this with the zesty zingy snap of freshly mown nettles, lemon rind, coriander and rolling tobacco, leading you to the long, dry and delightfully piquant finish.
Fluffy White Rabbits (6.2%)
This “Hoppy Springtime Blonde Beer” is a superb take on the Belgian style.
It’s a pale gold beer with a big fluffy head and a smell packed with fresh bread dough, spices and garden flowers.
The Belgian yeast strain is all over this brew, bringing a light and airy farmyard fug, ozone and sweet silage, while the malting comes on spun sugar sweet, with gloopy honey, shortbread biscuits and toffee bagels.
The hops are sharp and bright, lemon zest and orange marmalade, bitter herbal greenery and the slap of fresh springtime hedgerow.
Koel It (Nectaron) (5.7%)
Brewed in St. Mars’ Koelship, this is a brilliant little IPA.
It begins with an aroma that takes me back to living in Jamaica as a child and visiting the Blue Mountains, the road lined with traders selling Tangerines, the bright orange skins made gloriously bright by the dark green foliage in the background, and the air full of zesty fresh fruity smells.
Taking a swig you start with tangerines and oranges, but slowly this zingy sharp orangey flavour is softened by a juicy peach and nectarine smoothness.
The malts sit underneath, quietly holding up the backbone of the beer with soft caramel, biscuits and honey coated bagels, all doughy yet light.
But it’s the deliciously fresh fruitiness of the hops that make this a truly outstanding beer.