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A lighter shade of ale: check out our handy beer colour chart

Posted at 5:30 pm, January 16, 2015 in Food & Drink


Fed up with the same old beers? But unsure of where to go next on the fabulous spectrum of flavours? Let our colour chart be your guide. Euan Ferguson suggests what to try and where to buy it

Sly Fox Helles
While you’re getting stuck into your porters, saisons and triple-hopped IPAs, remember that good old lager can still be exciting too. This dry and flavoursome golden helles from Pennsylvania will help you forget Skol ever existed.
Where to try it: Sebright Arms, 31 Coate St, E2 9AG.

Lagunitas IPA
Back in 1995, when you were still drinking alcopops behind the bike sheds, these Californian brewers started making an IPA so full-on it would have knocked your teenage socks off. No one drinks alcopops now, thank god, but this IPA is as good as ever.
Where to try it: Euston Tap, 190 Euston Rd, NW1 2EF.

Brew By Numbers Gin Saison
There’s seemingly no limit on the kind of ingredients enterprising beermakers can add to saison pale ale. This Bermondsey bromance sees local Jensen gin blended with BBN’s beer – especially for you.
Where to try it: Brew By Numbers, 79 Enid St, SE16 3RA.

Pressure Drop Wu Gang Chops the Tree
Is this the most hipster beer in London? It’s made in Hackney, for a start, under a railway arch, of course, and with herbs foraged from the wild. But ignore the unbearded cynics – it’s delicious!
Where to try it: The Plough, 23 Homerton High St, E9 6JP.

London Fields Brewery, Love Not War
It may be the colour of spilled blood, but this ruby ale is all about peace – it was first brewed during the 2011 London riots. It gets its redness from malts and its flavour from aromatic hops – best of both worlds.
Where to try it: London Fields Brewery, 365 Warburton St, E8 3RR

Kernel Imperial Brown Stout London 1856
On a chill autumn day, try a glass of this extra strong (around ten percent) but extra tasty number, which is the same warm, comforting colour as a well-stuffed Chesterfield.
Where to try it: Kernel Brewery (Saturdays 9am-2pm), Arch 11, Dockley Rd, SE16 3SF.

Brewdog Libertine Black Ale

To look at this twilight-hued brew you’d think it was sombre and moody, but take a sip and it explodes in your mouth like a flavourful firework. In a blind taste test, this would convert the most ardent light-beer lover.
Where to try it: Brewdog, 11 Battersea Rise, SW11 1HG.

Weird Beard Black Perle
Coffee and beer aren’t obvious bedfellows but small batch brewers Weird Beard have successfully brought them together in this sweet, milky stout. Crack open a bottle with a fry up for a breakfast of champions.
Where to try it: Craft Beer Co, 168 High Holborn, WC1V 7AA.

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