BEER REVIEW: Hop into happy medium from James Squire
Hugh the Neighbour and I rather fortuitously enjoyed the last of the warm weather wrapping ourselves around a few bottles of the James Squire Mid River pale ale.
The regular reader would know that HTN and I would usually be attracted to a full-strength beer, so it was a little out of the ordinary for us to be tucking into something with 3.5per cent ABV.
This bias towards stronger beers has grown not out of any need to get a quicker buzz, but rather a belief that big beers taste better and have more depth.
Why were they selected? Simply because they were on special at the local Chapel of St Dan - so I suppose you can book that one down purely to the power of marketing.
The beer itself was actually a bit of a surprise package. While our expectations were somewhat subdued, the Mid River is a really tasty beer, full of maltiness complimented by lovely hoppy citrus notes.
It pours a cloudy golden colour in the glass, and has a thin to medium creamy white head that is maintained to the bottom of the glass.
It would be safe to say this is a genuine middle beer - medium hoppy nose; medium malty backbone; medium alcohol by volume; and probably perfect for drinking mid-season - when things are neither too hot nor too cold.
This is a beer that combines good taste with real session-ability, and both Hugh and I would recommend it for those occasions when you are going to have more than a couple, but appreciate something a few steps up from a bland mid-strength lager.
It represents real value for money compared to some of the fancier and more expensive concoctions on the shelves.