>Burton Bridge’s Stairway To Heaven
…Or a beer of the week, if you will. Seeing Burton Bridge’s beers on tap in Leeds is great, and I try not to miss out wherever possible. Stairway To Heaven, sampled at Foley’s on Friday was a brilliant case in point.
Light copper in colour, with a floral, almost juicy-fruit aroma hitting the nose, the first thing that strikes me after tasting it is just how well-balanced the whole thing is. At 5% abv it’s not entirely sessionable, but the firm, biscuity, almondy body more than compensates for the mouthwatering, tongue-tingling bitter hop-hit at the end. For sheer flavour in a glass, it takes some beating, but it is a big, big beer.
In many ways it’s an ideal representation of what I think of when I think of Burton Bridge in general; a brewer that courts tradition, with old-school pump-clips and history, yet often produces quite off-kilter beers. Off kilter in a good way. Take this example, for instance. My drinking buddy remarked it was like ‘A regular amber bitter but amped up’, and I have to agree. In a stroke in serendipity, I had a bottle of Empire Ale in the cellar, and enjoyed it in the baking sun yesterday afternoon. Crisp, dry as hell, strong and relentlessly citrussy, it’s a classy IPA for all intents and purposes and a bloody good one at that. Extreme…but not, if you know what I mean. Wonderful.