Another part of our (hopefully) year-long video project, A Year of Beer. looking at the idea of beer and seasonality - how different styles of beer are more appropriate to different seasons, weathers, festivals and so on. There will also be a bit of beer and food matching thrown in because, hell, we love to eat as much as we love to drink.
This week: Odell's St Lupulin Extra Pale Ale
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Odell's St Lupulin Ale
Hot town, summer in the city, the back of my neck feeling dirty and gritty. In London for a couple of days of beer-related activity, I kicked off with a tasting organised by the American body the Brewers Association. Present were brewers from Lagunitas, Victory, Odells and Stone. I hope to write up the tasting in a bit more details soon, and when I do, it will be posted in the "Other Writing" section.
However, for this blog, we focus on just one beer tasted there, Odell's St Lupulin Extra Pale Ale (6.5%abv). This is their seasonal special, brewed for summer refreshment, and it certainly hits the spot. Unusually for a beer with such an assertive hop character (lots of lemon sherbet and some light floral notes), the bitterness here is relatively low. Brewery supremo Doug Odell pegs it at about 20-25 IBUs (international bitterness units, should that help), and the overall effect is of a soft, pale beer, somewhere between a classic pilsner and English pale golden ale, with enough assertive lemony hop character to provide interest, but not overwhelm the palate.
As you can see from my behaviour in the video, it's a very drinkable beer, aided no doubt by it being the middle of a warm spell here in Leeds, and a long day selling cold beer to hot people. I'm not condoning this sort of behaviour, but as I say in the video, it's a superbly drinkable and perfect summer beer.
One other thing I like about it is its restraint - it isn't over the top, it just sets out with a very humble set of objectives (to refresh and quench a thirst) and achieves them admirably. Of course, at 6.5%abv, it's a bit strong for enthusiastic quaffing, but then we're all moderate, sensible drinkers who can deal with that sort of thing, aren't we?