Should we count tasty flukes as successes or failures?

Sunday, September 08, 2013
Nobody likes off beer, or infected beer, or beer with an unwanted sourness. Or to put it another way, nobody likes beer that tastes bad.

But some beers such as lambics or wheat beers have unusual spicy, sour or yeasty flavours or characteristics which in other beers would be considered a flaw. But what if some of those unusual flavours creep into a beer where they're not wanted? In most cases they will ruin the beer, but sometimes, albeit rarely, it works.

But here's the million dollar question, if the 'weird' flavours are unintentional but it somehow works, do you think of it as a good beer?

The beer which brought this question sharply into focus for me was a bottle of Tickety Brew Pale Ale. On the bottle an American hopped pale ale is described, yet what I tasted was very different to what you'd expect. But tasty nonetheless.

It pours a glowing orange that is bang on for the style and gives no clue to the tangent you're about to be sent on. Then immediately after pouring you get a yeasty, almost belgian spiciness, which recedes after a minute to a background spiciness spiked through with citrus hops.

The flavour is quite unusual, with an almost saison-like character battling with orange spiced hops for your attention. The overall impression is of a hoppy American pale ale fermented with a Beligan yeast, like a less extreme version of something like Flying Dog's raging bitch. It's bottle conditioned and I'd be interested to know what yeast is used, and whether something a bit wilder has snuck in.

Anybody else tried this beer? It's available from beer hawk so why not give it a go and let me know.

Maybe it's just me.


Ribman's Rib Meat Rolls

Tuesday, September 03, 2013
I visited Street Feast's new home in Dalston last Friday and was mightily impressed. There's a lot more room and more atmosphere, thanks to loads of different seating areas, than Merchant's Yard and the event is all the better for it.

The celebration of London street food that is Street Feast deserves a post of it's own, which is to come soon, but in the meantime I want to give a quick shout out to the bets thing I ate there - The Ribman's Rib Meat Rolls.

High quality pork ribs, stripped from the bone after a very long, slow cooking (The Ribman arrives at the venue the night before and cooks overnight) the meat is clean and succulent with a great pork flavour not masked by too much sauce. Just think of the best pulled pork sandwich you've ever had, and you're some way there.

Stuffed into a crudely sliced, yet perfectly proportioned bun, and topped with your choice of either homemade Holy Fuck hot sauce or BBQ sauce, it's a pretty much perfect thing. A thing of beauty.

Visit to see where he'll be next.