For the table or the deckchair: two summery beers for the weekend
New table beer from Kinnegar and a lemon smoothie pale ale from Whiplash
Skinny Legs from Kinnegar.
“Table beers” have been cropping up on shelves and in bars over the past few months, joining the small but growing ranks of other lighter and lower-alcohol craft offerings. Like table wine, this style of beer is an everyday kind of drink – as opposed to the big or special-event ones – that works well with light meals. It could also fall into the session-beer category if you’re looking for something easygoing on a night out.
Known in Belgium as Tafelbier, the new craft table beers don’t necessarily have a Belgian influence and can be anything from a pale ale to Saison. Irish microbrewery Kinnegar in Donegal has just released a 3.5 per cent table beer – one of the first beers to come from its new K2 brewery – that is part of its special Brewers at Play series. This has a big and lovely citrus and tropical fruit aroma which doesn’t fully follow through to the taste, which is more restrained with a touch of biscuit malt, a low bitterness, and a very light body. It’s the perfect thirst-quencher for warm weather and it’s aptly named Skinny Legs – because “not all of us have hollow drinking legs but we still like a good old session”.
Another new Irish release for the summery weather comes from Whiplash brewery. Its Lemon Smoothie pale ale is called Sunshine Under Ground and it smells – and tastes – a like lemon meringue pie. It has a big burst of citrus zest in the aroma and flavour with a smooth body, a touch of sweetness (from the lactose and wheat), all of which gives it the smoothie effect. It pours with a bright hazy yellow and a good frothy head. It’s well-made and balanced but it’s a big on flavour – so it’s a good one for sharing.