Monday, May 31, 2010

Saints We are Not

When you purchase a beer named for a saint there's a fairly good chance it's a quality brew.  Perhaps the brewers take it more seriously when religion is brought into the mix (bad pun intended) or perhaps its the fear of eternal damnation.  We have it on a tip that there's no beer in hell.

Today's beer is named for the 750th Anniversary of the Augustinian priory in Clare - the original home of the Nethergate Brewery.  So, it's not named for a saint but a priory is "a house of men or women under religious vows headed by a prior or prioress" so we're close enough.

Nethergate is located in Stour Valley, UK.  When a brew comes from across the pond we assume it's from a brewery established long before these United States.  Nethergate, however, was established in the 1980s.  That's right, Nethergate was born in the same generation that brought us Flock of Seagulls.  To be fair, the '80s also brought us Spinal Tap.

Augustinian is "bottle conditioned" and pours a dirty gold color with a creamy white head.  The aroma is fruity and citrus and be warned because it may lead to disappointment upon your first sip.  Take a couple of swigs to really appreciate what the beer has to offer.  By the mid-pint mark you'll be ready to open a second bottle.

Overall, the taste is malty followed by slight hoppy bitterness.  There is a strong but not overpowering carbonation that kind of lingers on the pallette.  This ale finishes clean, dry.

Augustinian Ale is a good summer beer, which is fitting because it's 90 degrees and humid in this house and not much different outside.  The bottle is just over a pint and our trusty assistant tracked this down at the local Whole Foods. 

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