The Redchurch Brewery was founded in East London back in 2011 and I hope it doesn’t give too much away to say that they’ve become one of my favourite breweries. Not only do they make some wonderfully tasty beer – more on that in a moment – but their overall design is a thing of beauty too.
I’m a sucker for a good label.
Despite their relative youth, Redchurch have managed to develop quite a broad range, with seven different beers at the time of tasting – although they have since added an eight beer, in the form of their Brick Lane Lager.
We start from the weaker end of their range, although it’s all relative. I apologise now for the crappy quality of the pictures!
Shoreditch Blonde is a pale blonde beer, the weakest in the range at 4.5% ABV. It pours with a fine bubbled, lingering foam and just a hint of yeast haze. This is something of a theme with Redchurch, with quite high sediment levels in their bottles – although not to the same extreme as the likes of Kernel.
The nose is full of fruity hop aromas, and some sugar sweetness. There’s a slightly spiced, wheat beer like hint too, although that might be from the yeast.
On drinking, it’s well restrained – delicious and creamy mouthfeel, light and sweet with fresh citrus fruit and a nicely subtle bitterness. Nicely quaffable.
I was expecting Hackney Gold to be a golden ale, but as the picture above shows I was wrong. It’s Redchurch’s take on a classic Best Bitter, at 5.5% ABV; a deep, rich red ale in the glass, with another nicely fine textured head.
The aroma is well hopped, fruity with toffee notes and an chocolate orange hint.
The flavour is malt and caramel, with orange blossom coming from the hops and leading into a deep bitter finish. Perhaps not the most traditional Best Bitter I’ve ever tasted, but very nice regardless.
Bethnal Pale Ale next, another 5.5% ABV beer. Golden, and nicely clear until I managed to pick up a load of sediment while pouring, which resulted in the murky looking glass above!
The overwhelming aroma is of fresh grapefruit, and just a hint of honey. It’s fruity too, on tasting but that is quickly overtaken by a big – almost too big – bitter finish which is rescued by a sticky sweetness coming in just at the end.
Big and brash, this is not a subtle beer.
Hoxton Stout completes the first batch, a 6% ABV stout that sits black in the glass with a luxuriously pillowy tan head. The aroma is classic stout with a rich, tempting toasted maltiness.
In the mouth, it’s simply magnificent – burnt sugar and a rich, slightly sweet start that leads into a deep roasted bitterness with some subtle coffee notes, and a wonderful dry finish.
The second set (with much better photos!) are from the strong end of the range, all coming in around the 7.5% ABV mark.
Great Eastern India Pale Ale kicks off the strong section, the weakest as a mere 7.4% ABV.
It pours with a huge head (that’s not entirely down to my incompetence!), and a nice rich golden colour which I managed to ruin by picking up yet more sediment.
There’s a gloriously huge hop aroma, sweet peaches and dried mango – the sensation of sticking your nose in the glass is much like sticking your head inside a sack of hops straight from the farm.
It’s initially warm in the mouth, with sweet caramel and sticky summer fruit. There’s a building resinous hop flavour, still very floral but bringing in more and more bitterness to the tail. The alcohol warmth as it slips oh so easily down your throat suggests a much higher percentage and my tasting notes sum it up as “properly, properly huge, magnificent, incredible!”
This has definitely gone onto my Desert Island Beer List.
Old Ford Export Stout is the second stout from Redchurch, stronger than the Hoxton Stout at 7.5%. It’s similarly black in the glass, although the head is thinner and a touch more fleeting.
The aroma is enticing; dark roasted coffee, with a distinct undercurrent of dark fruit hops and just a whisper of dark chocolate. I don’t think I can say “dark” often enough here.
Creamy in the mouth, there’s plenty of molasses and a delicious, dried cherry fruit sweetness that’s countered by a big bitter background and another warming alcohol burn. It’s a cracking stout.
Finally, Baltic Street Porter finishes off the collection although I’m slightly sad to say that it seems to have disappeared from Redchurch’s website. Another black beer, with another ridiculously huge head.
The aroma is rich with orange blossom and a chocolate edge; sweet, rich and enticing.
In the mouth, it’s thick and smooth, sticky sweet like black treacle and chocolate. There’s a delicious fruitiness to it too, with dates and ripe melons, all tied together with a gentle bitterness that leaves the beer sweet without being cloying – just what you want from a porter.
Redchurch don’t do subtle beer, and I’d hate to see their hop bill, but overall this is a stunning range without a single duff pint in sight.