Leighton Buzzard – Narrow Gauge (500ml bottle, 3.9% ABV)
Apparently there’s a light railway in Leighton Buzzard. The things you learn from beer bottles, eh? It makes you wonder if, after the apocalypse, some future society might be able to piece together our history purely from beer bottle labels. Although, if they happen to find Skull Splitter, Bishop’s Finger and Sheepshaggers goodness knows what they’ll think of us. Not that they’re bad beers, of course – far from it. Just that the names are a little … unnerving.
But I digress.
Narrow Gauge is a pale gold, in the classic ‘summer drinking’ vein. Wafting up from the generous head of white foam are the aromas of bread and biscuits, honey and oranges.
It has a flavour of sweet grain, marmalade, and spicy hops – balanced, fruity and lip-smacking. But once you swallow, the flavour morphs into a tart and very satisfying bitterness … which in turn leads you to the next sip. It see-saws between fruity and bitter as you drink, to and fro, taste and aftertaste, yin and yang. And before you know it, it’s gone.
It’s 3.9% of delicious joy. The future people would be confused by the name, of course. But if by some miracle the contents had remained fresh, perhaps they’d understand us that bit better.
Written by Richard Salsbury