|Hole Hearted – Fallen Acorn (500ml, 4.7% ABV)
They’re back! After the sad demise of the Oakleaf Brewery, one of my favourite local purveyors of beer, they arise Phoenix-like from the ashes as Fallen Acorn (geddit?).
Similar resurrections have taken place across the south. The Havant Brewery may no longer have brewing premises, but their beers are being continued under the aegis of the Emsworth Delicatessen (also a great place for coffee). Gales might have been bought by Fullers, but their head brewer started an offshoot in the Irving Brewery.
Hole Hearted is a straw yellow pale ale with a multi-award winning pedigree. The hops are the famous Cascade, which are credited as the variety that launched the US craft beer movement, and is the sole hop used in the famous Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I’ve not always been a fan of Cascade in isolation – it can be all grapefruit and nothing else – but Hole Hearted somehow manages to tame it into a much more satisfying form, with orange and nectarine flavours, and a mellow bitterness.
Could this be the British version of Cascade, reputed to be milder and less in-yer-face than the US version? And why is the British version different? It be due to terroir, that word much beloved of wine critics – the idea that the soil and the environment has an effect on the character of the crop. It’s not so fanciful when you consider that even water’s tastes varies in different parts of the UK.
Whatever’s going on here, it’s great to welcome back a local classic.
Written by Richard Salsbury