Buxton: Origo: Patersbier (England: Belgian Ale: 4.0% ABV)
Visual: Clear yellow gold with hazy string throughout. Small white head.
Nose: Brown bread. Mashed boiled eggs. Light sugar dusting. Mild caramel.
Body: Sweet and hoppy. Popcorn style hop character and cane sugar. Brown bread. Low level bitterness. Quite dry. Vanilla. Apricot and fruit sugars. Light custard and lime.
Finish: Brown bread and some bitterness. Light white sugar. Sour greenery. Light chalky character. Bitterness grows over time.
Conclusion: A gentle Belgian is what I am thinking here. This is pretty much session strength and flavoured to match – pretty much solid in the middle of style expectations. While initially underwhelming it builds up carefully. The aroma gives you little to work off, but does show that brown bread character that will later become the mainstay of the beer.
A dry, initially light but soon robust bitterness breadiness is what you get as you sip along. It is refreshing but at the low abv it does not catch the complexities that even slightly stronger Belgian ales can bring. Instead it relies on a light, sugar dusting like, sweetness to back the main character.
It is one of those beers that feels like the perfect base waiting for the (Literal or, most likely and more preferable, metaphorical) spice to be added to it. It definitely doesn’t offend and the rising bitterness is both drinkable and well done, but, when you get past that, there isn’t much else.
A good solid session start, but it feels like it needs more work to perfect.
Background: Grabbed from Independent Spirit, this is one of a range of Belgium inspired beers coming out from the Buxton brewery. Patersbier (literally “Father’s Beer” in translation) is the weaker abv beer that monks brew for their own drinking. You don’t see many of these around, either from the original Trappist breweries, or from people copying the style. Drunk while listening to David Bowie’s Black Star again. That is still one haunting album.