With Will Ziebell off exploring Thai brewpubs by boat before venturing north to check out the delights of Chiang Mai, I've temporarily inherited sampling duties for some of the breweries that send beers his way. In the case of Urban Alley, it's a twin release with little in common between the beers aside from the fact they're both wet and come in cans.
Aurora is a kettle sour to which the brewers have added peach, chamomile and lemon verbena, a trio of ingredients commonly found in teas. And, if Will is minded to forgive me for besmirching what should be his write-up with a terrible pun, said additions appear to have been handled with real subtle-tea. The peach-plus-lacto pairing renders the fruit's aromas more tart than sweet and fleshy, while its companions contribute a soft, floral note. The finish is clean and faintly herbal, leaving you with a drink that would make a suitable partner for the lighter dishes Urban Alley will be serving at their brewpubs as we head into summer.
As for Entangled, it's a hazy ipa with NEIPA-esque levels of haze. It's also a beer that features pretty familiar hops – Motueka, Citra and Cashmere – that are well known for their vibrant citrusy qualities. However, whether it’s down to the fact Freestyle Hops picked these crops early or some biotransformation-related shenanigans, it comes armed with curveballs. Sure, there's citrusy elements, but it's also herbaceous, grassier than one might expect, and has pine, watermelon rind and a pretty grippy, resinous bitterness in its midst too.
Entangled IPA by name, extravagantly-hopped IPA by nature.
Aurora officially launches at their Docklands brewpub on November 3, 2023, with a guided tasting, games and more.
Published October 31, 2023 2023-10-31 00:00:00