I recently brewed a Golden Ale that I would like to briefly introduce. Even though I brewed only about a month ago, the beer is already drinkable and in my opinion absolutely fantastic. And it’s such a simple recipe, a “SMaSH”, but I didn’t specifically design it to be one, it just happened to be one.
Here are the basic numbers:
- OG 11.25 °P (1.045)
- 4.6 % ABV
- 30 IBU (calculated; Tinseth)
- ~6 EBC
The grist is just 100 % Extra Pale Maris Otter, which I mashed at 68 °C until fully converted. The hopping goes like this:
- 1 g/l Brewer’s Gold (6.8 % alpha acid) @ 75 min
- 1 g/l Brewer’s Gold (6.8 % alpha acid) @ 10 min
- 1.5 g/l Brewer’s Gold (6.8 % alpha acid) @ 0 min
As yeast, I chose Nottingham Ale dry yeast, and just let it ferment at room temperatures, so it rose to probably something like 22 to 23 °C.
Now what’s so special about this beer? Well, for one, for such a young beer, it’s incredibly drinkable. Besides that, it’s a great showcase for German Brewer’s Gold hops. In typical descriptions of this hop variety, it is characterised as quite pungent, and more recommended for bittering than anything else, but I have to reject this notion: it is equally usable as aroma hop, as it adds typically “British” herbal-floral-spicy notes, complemented by a citrus note that is relatively subtle and not in-your-face like American varieties but still more pronounced than other traditional English hop varieties. And these characteristics even show in Hallertau terroir.
Brewer’s Gold was originally developed at Wye College about a hundred years ago, and to my knowledge, isn’t grown much in the UK anymore. For whatever reason, it still seems to get grown to a certain extent in Germany. I got my hops through a hop order directly pretty much directly shipped from a hop grower in the Hallertau, organised through a German homebrewing forum.
In my case, I bottled the beer with a relatively low carbonation, so as a bright, hoppy beer, it is the closest to fresh cask ale you can get under these circumstances. When this batch is finished, and it probably won’t take too long, I’ll definitely consider rebrewing this beer, which is something I don’t normally do.
One thought on “A Refreshing Golden Ale”
Like a lot of older English varieties, Brewer’s Gold is a bugger to grow as it is susceptible to every disease going. The Bavarians are about the only people who’ve stuck with it, because its soft bitterness particularly suits helles.
A lot of the varieties developed in the great alpha race of the 20th century are now being reevaluated for their aroma qualities – Nugget and Cluster are others. One of the unexpected delights of last year was a Challenger green hop beer, which really showed off its tangy orangey side.