5% Hoppy Summer Ale
Some beers gain followers for staying very true to their traditional or historical roots, some aim for big punchy flavours and others try to achieve a pleasant and easy-drinking brew for the masses. This week’s BOtW lays fair claim to achieving at least two of these attributes and does it quite well, thank you very much.
Nail Brewing kicked off back in 2000 under the guidance of John Stallwood, one of the industry’s nicest, most genuine and self-effacing blokes. Almost embarrassed at the plaudits he regularly receives, John has recently entered into a joint-venture style production brewery with another of the beer world’s nicest blokes, Feral Brewing Co.’s Brendan Varis.
Those in the west of the country are probably more familiar with Nail’s products although more stock has been appearing on the other side of the country in recent years. Clout Stout and Nail Ale have been enjoyed frequently and Nail Golden Ale probably sits squarely between these two beery extremes.
Nail has nothing on their website to describe the Golden Ale, so Crafty Pint founder, James Smith, gets to kick of this week’s review.
“He may have told Crafty he’s a “pale ale and stout brewer” but there are other tricks in the Nail arsenal. New in bottles in 2013 is the Golden Nail, a golden ale based on a beer brewed by John Luff at Degrees Brewery. It’s a heavily late-hopped beer boasting lots of floral and citrus aromas that’s designed for sessionability.”
Darren Magin at 250 Beers discovered this ale during office-based beer afternoons;
“With the header on the label being a play on words (for golden ale) and a subhead suggesting summer ale, my bottle was opened somewhat tentatively. I was wary of this beer being a flash-in-the-pan fresh-but-drab offering released in time for the warmth of spring and summer. How wrong I was! I was greeted with a delightful hop hit that I wasn’t expecting (even though the label alludes to it). Golden Nail isn’t a hop bomb but this beer is hoppier than some IPA’s that I’ve had. This isn’t a criticism. Far from it. I’m an IPA and hop fanboy after all. Being a non-hop bomb there’s not a huge amount of bitterness. Instead, the driving factor is the refreshing tropical fruit zest. The freshness along with a sensible alcohol content guarantees sessionability.”
Big Nail fan, Pia Poynton (Girl =Beer), has a beautiful turn of phrase saved for the Golden Ale which took the number 55 spot in the Critics’ Choice two years ago;
“John Stallwood’s reputation for brewing killer beers continues with this addition to the Nail core range. Floral, grassy and lemony Golden Nail is screaming to be taken to the beach; vibrant like sunshine and tastier than a ‘shrimp on the barbie’, it’s an instant summer classic.”