Raj Against The Machine: Burton Bridge Empire Pale Ale
I had a solid 14 hour day in the office today so it was good to come home to the arms of a strong comforting beer.
Burton Bridge Empire Pale Ale claims, “Wherever Victorian men served in the Empire, the pale ales of Burton were alongside them. Light in colour, strong and heavily hopped to survive long journeys over sea and land, the beers helped to preserve social life after sunset. This brew is a recreation of those famous ales that should equally soothe and sustain you after a hard day in the Urban Jungle.”
Sounds about perfect. This bottle-conditioned beer poured quite flat, with little or no head, so judging by the huge persistent heads boasted of by reviewers on Beer Advocate, I think I might have (not for the first time) been a bit unlucky with the bottle fermentation.
However, regardless of that, there was a nice punchy alcoholic sour fruit smell as suits the 7.5% ABV. This carried through to the taste of an amped-up version of a classic IPA with a good traditional English hop bitterness in the aftertaste. I think there’s a bit of the sulphurous Burton water taste in there, but there’s a good amount of heady, sweet strength enveloping it.
The beer was a much-needed warming and relaxing end to a long day, but I have to say that the thing I like most about it is the label, which references the iconic, if anachronistically insensitive, Camp Coffee labels. Regardless of the truth of the IPA myth on the label, which is disputed by people interested in such modern fripperies as facts, evidence and historical accuracy, I’m very glad this beer exists along with its playful label.