The penultimate listing in our best new British beers of 2013 was a completely chance discovery; a saison from a brand new North Yorkshire brewery. To brew something this good, right from the off, means this particular producer is one to definitely keep an eye on…
Bad Seed Saison (6.0%)
Bad Seed Brewery, Malton, North Yorkshire
Over the course of a year, you tend to lose track of exactly how many new beers you try. Even just keeping up with the overall breweries is fairly hard, these days. But the fact that so many facilities are opening means there are always new things appearing on bottle-shop shelves, unfamiliar pump clips adorning the bars – it’s what makes drinking beer so great, that feeling of discovery, the rewards of trying new things. Wrinkling the brow, I don’t think there was an overall brewery that appeared, without warning, and impressed me more this past year than Malton’s Bad Seed.
I interviewed one half of this five month-old, 4bbl ex-homebrewing team back in October, and was impressed (as always) by the sheer enthusiasm that new breweries have about them. Of course, that’s only half the story, as the product needs to keep pace with the attitude. Well, Bad Seed have really hit the ground running in that regard, with a range of seriously good beer right from the off, all presented with some great, and meaningful, branding (the swingtags are a holdover from their homebrew days, where each participant would have a different colour).
After trying the ubiquitous IPA, and the hefeweizen, I didn’t think the of-the-moment saison would be as good – but it was better. Just a fantastic beer, brewed with honey, ginger and grains of paradise, shimmering from the glass. The way it switched from a touch of bitter, prickly pepper to zingy honey and ginger sweetness was nigh on perfect. From a brand new brewery, to this, in five months? There’s no way a complex beer like this, delivered in that manner, wasn’t going to be in the the beers of the year list. Just inspired.
There’s still one more to come in our best new British beers of 2013 – a London beer that (as with Monday’s Aji Limon IPA) changed the way I look at an entire beer style. Check back tomorrow to find out what that is. As for Bad Seed, beer websites closer to their home also picked up on their debut; check out Leigh’s thoughts on their beers at the Good Stuff.