Saltaire Brewery from Yorkshire have been creating critically acclaimed cask beer since 2006. They’ve recently rebranded and expanded their vision; with the release of four new products, their aim is to bring their offering up-to-date, with a contemporary edge backed by their reputation of producing great beer.
The old cask vs keg, craft vs CAMRA debate will rage on – but it’s nice to see a traditional brewery expand their range and turn their expertise towards creating beers that are in demand in the current beer market.
We were lucky enough to sample all four beers thanks to Saltaire Brewery – check out our thoughts below.
Saltaire Brewery – Velocity
First up is Velocity, a 4.1% ABV Session IPA. It’s a super easy drinking beer – one you could easily drink several pints of without much fuss. There’s some citrus, some malts in the background, it’s incredibly well-rounded, balanced and for a session IPA, it ticks all the boxes. It has a pillowy softness to it which we’d guess comes from their background as cask brewers – they know how to make a smooth beer. Is it a world-beater? No, but we’d happily drink pints of this all day long.
Saltaire Brewery – Zipwire
Zipwire is up next, a 4.5% ABV citrus pale ale. Right away this has a distinct feel to it. It’s super light, refreshing and has a strong lemon and lime vibe. Citrus fruits dominate, with a really crisp, clean finish. Another easy-drinking, sessionable beer – we could see this one converting a few Corona drinkers – there’s no need to stick a lime in this to add flavour, it’s all in the beer here.
Saltaire Brewery – Full Tilt
A 5.2% ABV Australian / New Zealand Pale, this is the hoppiest pale of the four new beers. Those hops from down under always produce grassy, piney, floral flavours and this beer does exactly that. Although it packs a hoppy punch, it’s still incredibly well-rounded. Probably the beer most likely to appeal to craft beer drinkers as it’s the closest to what we’ve become accustomed to with dank, floral hops in beers in recent years – and this is a great example.
Saltaire Brewery – Polarity
Last but not least… Polarity, a 6.2% ABV Black IPA. This one really took us by surprise. It’s VERY hoppy but it’s also super smooth. It almost feels like a roasty porter but with big, big hop flavours and a subtle coffee undertone. It’s a complex beer but again, feels like one that’s benefitted from their experience making cask beer, as the body and flavours mesh perfectly to create one of the best Black IPAs we’ve had in quite some time.
So there you have it. We touched on it a couple of times but you can really feel that you’re drinking beers from experienced cask brewers, with the focus on full-on flavour balanced by some incredible smoothness. It’s safe to say their transition into more modern craft beer is one to keep an eye on.
Polarity was our pick of the bunch, Full Tilt was a close second (and probably the one we’d recommend starting with) but these four beers are all worth giving a go if you get the chance.