Every so often we like to take a trip out East to London, stumbling around the big city in a wide-eyed villager’s trance until it all gets to overwhelming and we head for the nearest pub. For my last London visit I found myself in Brixton for most of the day, an area I’d previously only visited at night for an occasional gig at one of its famous venues. For many decades, the real highlight of Brixton has been the market, an ever-crowded collection of street stalls and covered arcades, rammed with all manner of goods and some of the best, and most varied, international street food going.
And now it’s possible to finish off your plate African, Asian or Latin American nosh with some quality local beer. Brixton Brewery has only been in operation since 2013 but already feels well established in the London craft brewing scene. Today I’m nurturing a bottle of their Atlantic APA, a beer inspired by ales from across the other side of the Atlantic ocean (APA stands for American Pale Ale), but named after Atlantic Road, the street that’s home to much of the market as it rumbles down towards the brewery.
Brixton’s beers are all unfiltered and unpasteurised, making them appear slightly cloudy while allowing the flavours and aromas to run free, and meaning they’re acceptable to people on a vegan diet.
This pale orange brew could hardly smell better, which is largely down to the brewer’s craft at harnessing the olfactory magic from a trio of American hops used in the brew – citra, galaxy and simcoe. Fruity and vibrant, you can feel a refreshing Atlantic wave wash over you before even making contact with the liquid. And the taste follows in a similar vein – a confident burst of fruity, citrus hops surfing on a gentle wave of bitterness, it’s simultaneously a strongly flavoured brew and thirst quenchingly light. It’s doing a great job of refreshing me after an evening meal, which was sadly a long way off the quality of anything from the market, but it’s hard to imagine an occasion when this beer wouldn’t go down a treat.
The next time we’re staggering around London, desperate for a swig of booze, we’ll be hoping the nearest bar has received a recent delivery from Brixton. If not we may have to wander down Atlantic Road to stock up for the train journey home.
Brewery: Brixton Brewery, London
Beer name: Atlantic APA
Hops used: citra, simcoe, galaxy
Beer supplied by The Other Brew