James Street: Festivus (England: Wheat Ale: 5.2% ABV)

Visual: Lemon juice to cloudy apricot body, yellow touched large creamy head that leaves sud rings as it descends.

Nose: Crisp lemon and coriander. Lemon curd. Carrot. Wheat and dried apricot.

Body: Lemon. Thick texture. Cinnamon. Cream and vanilla. Toffee. Fresh orange. Sweet pineapple touch. Wheat and crisp hops.

Finish: Apricot crumble and cinnamon. Lemon sherbet. Wheat. Crisp bitterness and hops. Orange juice. Light lime.

Conclusion: This is pretty much a real ale Hefeweizen to my eyes, all those lovely citrus fruit fresh weizen flavours delivered with a thick still real ale texture. Lots of creamy and sweet notes at the back, touch of light spices and crisp bitterness. This works brilliantly as a mash up of the two worlds.

The flavour is amazingly refreshing and lasting, all fruit juice citrus freshness up front and tail end. The sweetness you get is sandwiched between those two ends meaning that your opening and last memories are those fresh flavours and so the sweetness never gets sickly.

While the main range James Street ales so far have ranged from average to good this is their first stand out beer that knocks it out of the park. I have, quite shockingly for me, nothing bad to say about this beer. The texture is great, the flavour is wide ranged and balanced, the bitterness is muted but crisp. If you held my hands to the fire and insisted I criticised it I would say that its flavour would be perfectly suited for a slightly lower abv as then it would session brilliantly, but it is entirely possible trying to do so would ruin the perfect balance it has. As such it would be churlish to hold that against such a flavoursome easy drinking pint.

I hope this becomes a regular beer as it could quickly become my “Pint of the usual” at the Bath Brew House. If you see it on, then grab this as an absolutely great beer.

Background: Another beer from the new Brewpub “James Street Brewery” at the Bath Brew House, this one a special release temporarily added to their line for their official grand opening. So temporary it seems that it did not even get a new tap handle to itself. Bath Brew House is going from strength to strength at the moment with great atmosphere, fun staff, and a nice mix of craft and real ale. The only down side is finding background information on their beer is hard, from the taste and look it seemed very weisse beer style but in a cask real ale style. At a guess I’m calling it a wheat ale since I can’t find any info to help me narrow it down, if anyone can help out with more info please let me know. This was drunk just before meeting a fellow craft beer fan at the pub and having a nice discussion of the joys of good beer. As always I love the look of the dimple glass mugs, even though they are probably slightly less efficient as a tasting glass for some beers.