Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Raspberry Blonde - abv 4.0 per cent; £2.10/50cl
Poor Titus Salt! As a philanthropic employer and a devout Christian, the Victorian cloth magnate built a model village for his workforce on the banks of the river Aire near Shipley in West Yorkshire.
It had everything they needed for a wholesome lifestyle… church, library, school, park etc, but no pubs. The mill, rescued and renovated by the visionary Jonathan Silver, now houses trendy shops, a bistro and an art gallery with a huge collection of works by local boy, David Hockney. Saltaire village has been declared a World Heritage Site and the nearby Victorian generating hall has become… a brewery!
Initially, Saltaire Brewery focussed on producing conventional ales, highlighting different hop varieties. More recently they have broadened their scope to include more unusual ingredients. This week’s feature is their Raspberry Blonde Ale.
Shiny gold in colour, it pours with a moderate, but fairly short-lived head. There is a definite, though light aroma of raspberries and blossom with a gentle, biscuity malt background. The raspberry element becomes much more prominent in the mouth, with an immediate hit of fruit alongside bitter hops.
There is surprisingly little sweetness considering the emphatic fruit flavour, with the aftertaste quite unexpectedly dry. The beer is fairly light-bodied, almost lagerish, with the faintest hint of honey and raspberry-pip bitterness at the finish.
As the beer warms, these somewhat disparate elements become much more integrated, producing an unusual, distinctive and very pleasant springtime beer.