A friend of mine has recently moved to Putney, just a 10 minute walk away from my house and a further 8 minutes away from The Spencer; a great pub on Lower Putney Common. The Spencer really comes into it’s own in the Summer months when it erects an array of benches and tables on the Common which is something of a sun trap. In the winter though, it’s still a great place to go. Warm, with a nice atmosphere and a good selection on tap it seemed like a good shout on a Saturday night. After some standard pre-drinks and a tour round my friend’s new flat, we headed out to the pub to see what was on offer.
Pint No. 3
What? – Hikari Ichi
When? – Saturday 6th January 2018
Obviously if you see a Japanese beer on tap and you’re trying to taste 365 pints in 365 days, you order the Japanese beer. It was only after ordering that I spotted it was brewed in Barnes, roughly 2 miles away from where I was stood. Due to the aforementioned pre-drinks I wasn’t at my most observant; nether the less, I persisted. Jeffersons Brewery produce the beer and describe it as a “very pale ale”. They also claim that the name, Hikari Ichi means “Light one” in Japanese. Not being able to speak anything but English and the most rudimentary of French, I’m going to have to take their word for it. I realise that I could have fallen into a trap similar to those people who go to Greece and get “Knobhead” tattoo thinking it says “Good times”; but I highly doubt someone has faked the Japanese on an ale to make someone order a pint of “Cow Piss”.
I digress. Hikari Ichi, as described was incredibly light and refreshing. At 3.8% it’s very clearly session and I could imagine myself sat on the common during the summer knocking a few of these back. You get a lot of citrus flavours in this one, specifically lemon and a light orange that tastes a bit like clementine. They use Sorachi Ace hops in the brewing process which gives it the flavour. I enjoyed this beer but it wasn’t really the right time or place to be having such a light drop.
Overall Score – 3/5
Pint No. 4
What? – Beyond The Pale
When? – Saturday 6th January 2018
Where? – The Spencer, Lower Putney Common
After the light notes of the Hikari Ichi, I decided to shift things up a gear and go with something a bit more punchy. Beyond The Pale, a 4.2% pale ale by The London Beer Factory was recommended to me by the bartender. Initially amused by the pun, I took her advice and was delighted to have done so. Beyond The Pale is an ale of character and intrigue. It was fruity but bitter and had a great smell. The suggested food pairings for this beer are of a Mexican theme which I can absolutely understand. It could stand up to big flavours and bring it’s own taste to the party and it would have been great with the Raclette talked about on pint 2.
I was surprised to learn that The London Beer Factory is only around 4 years old, founded by the Cotton brothers in 2014. I’m keen to give their other beers a taste during this challenge to see how they stack up against Beyond the Pale.
I was impressed by this one and stayed with it until kicking out time in the pub. Although I’m trying to do this pint challenge, when I do find something I like a lot I still want to have multiple pints of it. There’s no point trying to discover lots of new things if I can’t enjoy them once I’ve found them. Perhaps as time goes on this won’t be a luxury I can afford as well as I can at the start of the challenge however.
Overall Score – 4/5