Emsworth Brewhouse Starboard (500ml bottle, 4.0% ABV, vegan)

Sometimes beer doesn’t have to be spectacular. Cheese on toast doesn’t sound like a particularly amazing meal, but if it’s made with fresh bread and a really good tangy cheddar, it can be a mighty satisfying thing. Starboard by the Emsworth Brewhouse (not to be confused with the Emsworth Brewery) is similarly modest, and evokes a similar sense of satisfaction. It’s a pale ale in the American style, with a plain green label and a moderate level of alcohol.

A spritzy fizz soon clears on a pale gold beer. It smells fresh and tropical, with kiwi and passion fruit to the fore. The taste delivers on the promise of the aroma, and is backed up by a bready malt character. The mouthfeel is as light as you’d expect from the colour and ABV, making this an eminently quaffable brew. The hops hang around on the tongue for a crisp finish.

Starboard: it’s the cheese on toast of beer. But in a really good way.

Written by Richard Salsbury

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