Renegade Brewery West Coast Pale (330ml, 5.1% ABV)

Renegade are an offshoot of the West Berkshire Brewery, a chance to do things a bit differently while their parent company carries on with the more traditional side of things. They’re the Radiohead to the West Berkshire Brewery’s Rolling Stones, the David Lynch to their Steven Spielberg, the George Saunders to their J K Rowling, the … you get the picture.

Renegade With a name like West Coast Pale it can only be one style: the American Pale Ale, or APA. This one features a quartet of potent US hops: Cascade, Summit, Columbus and Chinook. It’s bright in the glass: yellow with a hint of orange, suggesting lots of pale malt, probably with the classic pale ale addition of some crystal malt (in which the sugars have been caramelised).

The taste is a mixture of spicy orange, black pepper and bready malt. What it doesn’t have is the big grapefruit hit of the stereotypical US pale ale. The grapefruit is there, but it’s only one component of a more complex and – to my tongue – more satisfying blend of hops. The finish is very long, dry and bitter, just as it should be.

A home counties APA? Don’t mind if I do.

Written by Richard Salsbury

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