Should we count tasty flukes as successes or failures?

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.



  1. All the Tickety Brew beers are in fact fermented with a Belgian yeast.

  2. Ahh, thanks for the info John. So not a 'mistake' as such, but rather an unusual choice. Why isn't the Belgian yeast mentioned on the label? It completely changes the beer and makes the tasting notes way off the mark.


  3. I don't know why they are silent about this on the bottles. It's no secret as they are upfront about it on the website:

    The Dubbel, by the way, has the style completely nailed down.

  4. Good job done with the post! Very well written!