I’ve just posted a couple of old blogs about beery things at the more extreme end of the spectrum and to be honest, it’s quite easy to bang out a few hundred words about your full-on, top shelf, adjunct-packed, esoteric beers: there’s just so much to talk about.
But sometimes, I feel the need to discipline myself and actually talk about the stuff I drink on a day to day basis: The unshowy, unhyped, underpiced stuff which you have a half decent chance of finding in your local.
One of the newest of these under the radar, “sensible” breweries is Crossborders brewing, a couple of young (not actually young, but younger than me) blokes operating out of a not very sexy industrial unit just outside glamorous Dalkeith.
They have been in operation for just over a year now, but the quality of their (competitively priced) beer has gained them plenty of listings among Edinburgh’s better boozers and offies.
I’ve gotten into the habit of always having a couple of tins of their Braw in my fridge for emergencies and their IPA is lush: but I thought I better tell you about their porter, for the very good reason that I have a glassful of it in front of me.
It’s a pretty beer, opaque without being quinky-dark (certainly if I squint I can discern an almost purple tinge to it). It has a decent effervescence and a moderate, but persistent head. The aromatics are sweet and roasty: mild coffee, rye bread and bourbon biscuits. The palate is medium bodied and supremely quaffable with the grippy, glutinous mouthfeel of a stronger beer. The palate has a definite hit of those spiced German biscuits (that the internet tells me are called pfeffernusse) and a decent finish. It only packs 4.2% abv, so it won’t damage your liver too badly and a 33cl tin should set you back a moderate £2.50 or so.
It’s a fairly simple, traditional take on a porter, but it’s also delicious.
As is the whole line up from the Crossborders guys. These are proper, solid pints of session beer in styles that your grandfather would recognise. The only concession to modern brewing trends is the snazzy utilitarian branding, which I think we can forgive them.