They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor

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Redemption Trinity and Redemption/Kernel Number One Strong Dark Mild

London Beer Tastings 2011

ABV: 3% and 6.1%
Origin: Tottenham, London N17, England
Website: www.redemptionbrewing.co.uk

Trinity

Redemption, launched early in 2010, now seems like something of a veteran among the new wave of London brewers. Impressive from the start, it’s rapidly settled down into a consistently performing and reliable source of decent beer, pitched somewhere in between the avowedly artisanal and specialised approach of the and the more traditionalist cask ale model pursued by Sambrook’s. Redemption’s easily recognisable triangular pump clips are equally welcome in old school real ale pubs and lining up beside the BrewDog, Dark Star and Thornbridge in trendy new craft beer bars.

The brewery’s friendly and outgoing founder, Glaswegian former banker Andy Moffat, found his inspiration when reading Brewing up a Business, a how-to book by Sam Calagione, influential US craft brewer and founder of Delaware’s Dogfish Head. Andy’s beers, almost entirely produced in cask, don’t mimic transatlantic styles and are rarely “extreme”, but they’re notably distinctive and individual.

Trinity is one his most impressive achievements, a low gravity beer that’s packed full of flavour. The pitch — three malts, three hops (including a US variety) and 3% ABV — sounds a little gimmicky but a taste of the beer dispels all fears. The cask version is tasty and refreshing but the beer has occasionally bottled unpasteurised in small quantities with the help of Kernel.

My sample, supplied by the brewery, was hazy gold, with a fine slightly yellowy-white head and a nicely grassy, slightly sweet and citrussy aroma with a rose petal tinge. A firm chaffy blond palate had tropical fruit alongside more flowery notes and developing piny bitterness — only a slightly thin quality betrayed the modest alcohol content. Light but chewy resins and a touch of smoke emerged in a long developing bitterish finsh.

When asked to host a tutored tasting of London beers at the Great British Beer Festival 2011, I was keen to feature a Redemption beer but faced the challenge of finding a bottle conditioned example rather than the more usual cask. Luckily we managed to track down rare stocks of Number One Strong Dark Mild, the fruit of a one-off collaboration between Andy and Evin O’Riordan of the Kernel brewed earlier in 2011. I’d actually sampled this old fashioned mild, based on a historic recipe but with a contemporary twist, direct from the fermenter when I visited Redemption in January as research for my London beer guide, so it was a special pleasure to enjoy the finished product several months later when it was nicely mature.

The beer I had back in January was dark ruby brown with a reddish note, and unsurprisingly cloudy with only a bit of head, and a waft of exotic Amarillo hops and earthy farmyard notes on a dark chocolate aroma. The palate was dense but showed firm chocolate cake malt, and a bit of citrus, with a dry and chewy lightly bittering finish that developed some roast. Obviously it was all still raw and green but you could taste great potential there.

By August the beer had developed a fine, dense beige head, still with lots of chocolate cake in the malty aroma but with the hops rounded off to a subtly fruity note. The palate was rich and creamy and a bit sticky but lightened by tart dark fruit, wine and coffee notes and overall very dry, with darting herbal and pine flavours adding to the complexity. Stern drying malt dominated a long finish softened by cream and chocolate sauce, with a late ashy roast burr.

Let’s hope Andy and Evin find time to brew this very serious and delicious beer again.

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