A large proportion of my close family are Cornish, so over the years I’ve spent a fair amount of time exploring the county’s fine beaches, fishing from boats and rocks, and drinking their beer. For most of my early years it could be tricky to get hold of a decent pint of Cornish beer. We assumed the water wasn’t great for brewing as only the Blue Anchor in Helston seemed capable of making anything truly memorable with their range of ‘spingo’ beers.
Thankfully, this is no longer the case. The county is now home to its fair share of breweries creating plenty of prized pints, and Cornwall itself has become something of a ‘foodie brand’, meaning many of its ales are now exported north of the river Tamar. (The flipside is that its biggest export, the previously acceptable Doom Bar, underwent a big business brand makeover and has become a tad bland).
For some time now, one of Cornwall’s very best beers has been produced by one of its more established breweries – St Austell’s Proper Job. It’s a go-to pint when in the region and is also available in a well-travelled bottled version, bringing home numerous awards to St Austell (including CAMRA’s Champion Bottled Beer in 2013).
The beer is a thirst quenching, light golden ale with a powerful, fresh, citrus hop flavour that has consistently been made this way since before golden, citrussy hopped beers became all the rage. I think it already deserves to be referred to as a ‘classic’ and hope it continues to be available for a long time yet – it certainly provides me with a another good reason to visit the family in Cornwall.
Brewery: St Austell Brewery, Cornwall
Beer name: Proper Job
Hops used: Willamette, Cascade, Chinook