Twenty breweries: Pictish

The Kelham Island Tavern is famed for its choice of rotating guest ales, their names chalked up on a blackboard to the left of the bar. I never look at it. I never need to. Because the KIT has a regular beer which, if the other Sheffield pubs served it, I would drink in every man jack of them. Brewer's Gold. By Pictish.

Words seem woefully inadequate when trying to explain just how much I love this beer. Which, for a beer writer, is rather a cop-out. But its strength and depth and breadth is more than just a sum of its liquid bread and flighty hop mouthfeel. It's my contented exhalation, a sense of normalcy restored, the bittersweet memory held for the rest of the topering day. For me the beer is inextricably linked to the KIT - I've never drank it anywhere else - and it's become my flavour-track to both beery gatherings of sweaty topers and solitary musings over half-completed crosswords.

But there's more to Pictish than Brewer's Gold. Indeed, they brew a whole heap of single-hopped lovelies which just seem to be more.... complete than other brewer's fayre. The last I drank, Motueka at Sheffield's Sheaf View, was... satisfying. As in, three pints worth of satisfaction. And what's not to love about the brewer saying the single-hopped beers get brewed as and when he feels like it? And that he can't be bothered to write almost identical tasting notes, so he just uses the phrase "A pale, very hoppy beer brewed using [insert name] hops"?

Few beers make an award-winning pub's beer selection an afterthought. That's the power of Pictish at the KIT.

Why try? Seemingly effortless balance, allowing the hops to shine rather than dazzle clumsily

What to look for? Brewer's Gold. Any of the single-hop series.

Where to buy? Apart from Brewers's Gold at the Kelham Island Tavern in Sheffield - and get your hands off, it's mine - Pictish distribute widely throughout Lancashire, Manchester and West Yorkshire.

1 comment:

  1. On Keeping An Open Mind

    "What's that you're drinking?" said my wife. "Pictish Citra," I said. "Not sure about it... yellow... hoppy... very hoppy... not my favourite style... complex... taste the hops... acidic... over the top..." "Give us a taste," she said, shutting me up. "Oh... I like that. I'm getting that next time. What did you say it was called?" I tried tasting it again, and I liked it too.