Goblin’s is brewed to be a fruity, refreshing bitter with a malty body, a good smack of spicy hop flavour and an intense mouth-watering depth of hop bitterness. The spicy, sometimes citrusy hop character derives from the liberal dose of Galena and Styrian Goldings late hopped in the kettle. No marketing man in his right mind would have ever created a beer category called Bitter, but to the educated beer-drinker the word is mouth watering! Truly: Life’s only bitter pleasure!
Goblin’s Bitter is not only unique in the sense that the yeast strain that is used was the original yeast of the Whitbread Brewery in the UK, first observed under the craftscope by Louis Pasteur in 1895. This ale was also top-fermented at warm temperatures true to the original style. If at any stage during the long years of building up Drayman’s Brewery I had serious doubts whether I would ever succeed, I would pour and savour a pint of Goblin’s to put my fears at rest!
Drinking in style!
Every British pub-goer can recognize bitter, and regards it as a drink in its own right, probably unaware that it is a type of ale. Although the word “ale” is familiar enough, few Britons could define it. Nor could many offhand, name other styles of ale in Britain – though the words Mild, Pale Ale or Brown might bring a glimmer of recognition.
The term Bitter did not come into vogue until the 20th century and the development of “running ales”. After World War One the term Bitter dominated. Bitter only overtook Mild in sales after World War Two. Brewers today mark the difference between bitter and pale ale in their bottled versions of draught beer. Light Ale is the bottled version of ordinary bitter of up to 4% alcohol, while Pale Ale is the bottled version of a Best Bitter of more than 4% alcohol. The terms IPA, Pale Ale and Bitter are used interchangeably by certain beer writers and breweries – they certainly are not; each is a style of ale in its own right. Micheal Jackson comments: “to me it seems that Pale Ale was a refined term for the table or the cocktail bar, while Bitter sounded like a down-to-earth draught for the boys in the boozer.”
Goblin’s Bitter is, at the time of writing, the only beer brewed locally that closely resembles the hearty, traditional bitter ales from the countryside of Britain – especially the region of Ruddles County – which provided me with the inspiration to brew Goblin’s.
Fortunately for the lover of real Bitter there are still the small stubborn craft brewers worldwide and a few traditional English brewers who insist in brewing “bursting with flavour” Bitter. These craft brewers ignore the mega trend of brewing watered down, flavourless, caramel coloured and “less bitter” products, monotonously turned out by the mega brewers, supposedly for the sake of the new generation soda pop weaned youth. No wonder most have scrapped the word Bitter from their insipid ales. In the beer world, bland ale with a “wonder where it is” hop character should not be called a Bitter – neither for that matter should Australian mega brewers with no clue about the origin’s of Bitter call their over hopped cold fermented lagers a Bitter. The title Bitter truly belongs to ale of great character and complexity with a depth of hop bitterness which not only taste and look like the original English Bitter, but is brewed like one.