Salopian’s Darwinian Delights

DSCF4160Deep in the Shropshire countryside, on a transplanted kit originally used by Snowdonia Brewery, Salopian are quietly going about daily business; brewing beers of quiet glory.

It’s always a pleasure to drink beers from a brewery who are comfortable in their own skin; brewing beers that appeal to everyone, without bells or whistles. Flavour, you feel, is king in Shropshire.  Salopian have been around for some time now (they appeared in 1995) and produce a range of beers that have never let me down; they are often the first name I look for when attending beer festivals. These two bottles are no example to that rule.

Shropshire Gold is one I’m familiar with; a zippy golden ale with masses of lime and lemon rind on the finish and a body of smooth sweetness. The beer is clean, refreshing and everything you want in a light (3.8% abv) session ale. It holds its own against other personal favourites in this style such as Hopback’s Summer Lightning, Ossett’s Yorkshire Blonde and Hawkshead’s Lakeland Gold.

DSCF4162Darwin’s Origin is – frankly – brilliant. Very much a ‘cult’ beer – in so much as that not a lot of people talk about it, yet everyone seems to rate it – it has endless capacity to surprise. Weighing in at only 4.3% abv, it manages to pull off that trick that Oakham do so well – brewing lighter beers that are jam-packed with flavour.

Darwin does it all with grace; copper-coloured and full of sweet fruit on the nose – Seville orange marmalade , mango, strawberry. After marveling at the aroma for a while, you finally taste it and are immediately rewarded with light, shortcake sweetness which transforms mid-gulp into high, dry grapefruit and pine needle at the end.

I should have got more of these, I rue. An entirely modern beer wrapped in a plaintive, traditional jacket, you wonder if  Darwin’s Origin is being overlooked by those seeking more modernity from their branding and ethos. More fool them. If you’ve not tried this beer, then rectify that immediately.

Both beers are available at Best of British Beer – whose details are on my ‘retailers’ page.

About leighgoodstuff

Blog: I'm Leigh Linley; born and bred in Leeds, and writing about it since 2005. TGS exists solely to highlight the great beers that are out there; brewed with passion by Craft Brewers around the World. I also edit the 'Tavern Tales' section of Culture Vulture, which looks at Pubs and Pub Life rather than the beer in the glass.

Posted on 01/03/2013, in Beer Review and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Leigh,

    Not overly familiar with Salopian (though have tried some), but the point about Shropshire hit home. Am particularly fond of Hobsons beers, in particular the Mild and Twisted Spire. Both low gravity/abv beers full of flavour.

  2. Two cracking beers there. Darwin’s Origin reminded me a lot of Adnam’s Innovation, though pulling off an equally big flavour at a much lower strength.

  3. The first time I have tried Salopian was at the Horsforth beer festival at the weekend. I have to say I was really impressed with Hop twister, for me it was beer of the festival. A lovely balanced beer with a citrus tang. I will be definitely looking out for more from this brewery in future.

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