Imagine you’re on Desert Island Discs. You’ve talked through your record selection (including a left field track that makes you appear more interesting and intellectual than you actually are); you’ve picked a book to stack alongside the obligatory ‘complete works of Shakespeare’ and that other book whose title I’ve forgotten; and you’ve chosen an additional item to help you through the drudgery of island living.
Then Kirsty says she has something special for you: a year’s supply of a beer of your choice. For a moment you wish the whole thing was about to become a reality and start to regret asking for a harmonica instead of something more practical like a boat, before remembering you’re in a radio 4 studio and that case of beer is imaginary.
But what would you go for? The best beer you’ve ever tasted? Something that reminds you of home? Or a refreshing drink that perfectly accompanies barbecued fish?
For my desert island beer I’m choosing RCH’s Pitchfork. It’s a beer I first started drinking years ago and, at the time, was unusually bitter in comparison to most of the other beers on my patch. It’s not served at many of my regular haunts, but it’s one I still return to whenever I see it on draft. There may be a much wider choice of bitter flavours available in this golden age of beer, but I’ve properly acquired the taste for Pitchfork and I’m not about to abandon it any time soon.
It’s a golden beer, quite dry, and has a very distinctive British hoppiness. Properly bitter, with a moreish maltiness and refreshing, slightly grassy, powerful hop flavour.
It’s also the kind of bitterness that takes over your taste buds, making other subsequent beers taste strange. On many occasions I’ve moved on to a non-Pitchfork pub and have required a palette cleansing beer before I can properly enjoy the next pint; and similarly, I’ve introduced out-of-town friends to a Pitchfork after they’ve had a few drinks of something else and they’ve wondered why such an odd flavour is so high up on my beer list. But seeing as there will be no other beers in sight on my desert island, I’ll be happy to tuck into Pitchfork for the length of my stay.
Brewery: RCH Brewery, West Hewish, Somerset
Beer name: Pitchfork
By all means tell us your desert island beer in the comments below…