Dark Side of the Wight (500ml, 5.0% ABV)

Yates’ Brewery, not to be confused with Yates Brewery, is a drinks distributor and brewer based in Newchurch on the Isle of Wight. They’ve been making beer since 2000 and are run by father and son partnership Dave Senior and Dave Junior.

Dark Side of the Wight is their strongest brew – a dark ruby beer at 5% alcohol by volume. The bottle is minimal but classy in its British Racing Green and cream regalia.

TDark Side he hops are Northdown and … is it Columbus or Cascade? The bottle lists the hops twice, but the two statements don’t agree. Either way, it’s a UK / US mashup. It seems brewers are increasingly willing to mix hops from two or more different countries to achieve their flavours, rather than sticking to one region in the name of ‘authenticity’. I can only approve – it’s all about the taste!

In the glass, Dark Side of the Wight is a reddish brown, with an aroma of sweet roasted malt and a coppery tang from the hops.

As intimated by the label, it tastes of malted milk biscuits and chocolate. The aftertaste comes with a spicy hop zing. I’d describe it as somewhere between a stout and a strong ale. There’s plenty of roasted grain, like a stout, but also a sweetness and a fruitiness more characteristic of a bitter.

So, not just a mashup of hops, but a mashup of styles too.

Written by Richard Salsbury

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