Beer #194 - Galbraith's / Bitter & Twisted

Beer #194 - W/C 12 November 2018


BREWERY // Keith Galbraith grew up on the banks of the Waikato just downwind from the old Waikato Brewery. When he was old enough to drink, he quickly grew tired of mass-market crap beer and took inspiration from the historic styles of Europe. He worked for a while in Larkin's brewery located among the hop gardens of Kent where he learned the craft from brewer Bob Hudson. In 1995 the eponymous Galbraith's Alehouse opened its doors in Auckland brewing and serving only the finest 'real ales' and lagers hand crafted with care and the best ingredients. The building was previously a library and is an Auckland icon for beer fans and architecture enthusiasts alike being built by the fascinating Edward Bartley in 1912. Considerable work goes into developing yeasts and sourcing hops and grain from Europe and USA to ensure the beers are true to style. Galbraith's has the only government license for importing whole cone hops (rather than pellets) from overseas which they believe are key to the aroma and flavours of their beers. In 1997 legendary British beer writer Michael Jackson praised Galbraith's beers so highly it made front page news of our national newspapers.

BEER // Bitter & Twisted is Galbraith's take on the classic London Extra Special Bitter which was designed by Keith & Bob Hudson during Bob's first trip to New Zealand in 1998. They were on holiday in Northland contemplating ESBs and the recipe struck them. This style is all about balance with big malt flavour and sweetness meeting the hop bitterness head on. Galbraith's gloriously copper-coloured take on the iconic English style has earthy, nutty, biscuit malts, a bitter finish and a creamy full mouthfeel. In common with the Ordinary Bitter, it has low carbonation, is well rounded and is best drunk at cellar temperature but B&T has a much bigger flavour profile and higher alcohol making it more suited to sipping than quaffing. Bitters may by rather unfashionable in today's beer climate (especially outside England) and they certainly aren't the bitterest style out there but overlook them at your peril- there are few things more enjoyable than a pint of the stuff accompanied by a pie and the Sunday papers.

BREWERY // Galbraith's
BEER // Bitter & Twisted
STYLE // Extra Special Bitter
ORIGIN // Uptown, Auckland

ABV // 5.3%
TEMPERATURE // Cellar Temperature. 10 - 13C
FOOD MATCH // Lentil Shepherd's Pie. Bangers & Mash. Fish & Chips
GLASS // Dimpled Mug. Pewter Tankard