Here I am, urging myself to like a beer by Otley Brewing Co., under the most post-craft reasons anybody has ever conceived.
Otley Brewing Co were conceived in a pub and have been trading for ten years. For those unfamiliar with the area - or moreso for those familiar with Yorkshire - this is not a Leeds based brewery despite the name, but one from Wales. They are pratically grandparents in this age of new breweries and their simple but cool branding has become distinctive.
Yet they are not a brewery revered or spoken about often by the kids. They are not regularly seen in my North-West England home. Their beers are almost unfamiliar though their branding is not. Is it possible that their beer style and ABV simply doesn't attract me? If so, I am a terrible person.
In Window Nine of this Advent Calendar lies O-Ho-Ho - a 5% blueberry flavourd golden ale.
The Otley Brewing Company - O-Ho-Ho A blueberry laced seasonal ale 5%
This orange sunburst colour flat beer has plenty of crystal malt on the nose, a little lemon rind and a touch of clove chunked tangerine. The flavour is... it's almost non-descript. I pick my glass up, taste, swill, smack-my lips, put it down, think of something-to-say, pick it up, taste, swill, smack my lips, put it down, think of something to say, repeat...
It takes no fewer than ten sips of the beer - and a big chunk of mince pie - to start to get some flavour. The food brings out a little orange bitterness, a reasonable allspice malty flavour and something akin to hedgerow berries. The body is medium and the finish is a little woody. However, as a stand alone beer I've so little to say or comment about this beer. It's not even a bad beer. It's not so tasteless that I hate it; I'd quite happily have 4 or 5. But once this calendar is done I won't quite remember it. Food does help to bring out something though.
Mince Pie Pairing Rating: 5/10 - no doubt that the food brings flavour to the beer. Not sure it works reciprocally.
Best Paired With: A packet of crisps and a large Christmas work's do, where the taste of the beer isn't important