I used to work in a pub known as The Blue Red Lion, ‘Red Lion’ as in one of Britains best known pub names and ‘Blue’ because the building had been painted bright blue by a previous landlord with adventurous taste in masonry paint. The pub hasn’t been blue for many years now, but when Tiny Rebels ‘Flux’ confusingly labelled as a ‘Black Pale Ale’ arrived in our cellar I reminisced back to my first pub job in the kitchen of the paradoxically named Blue Red Lion in Great Bowden. I was just sixteen and mainly responsible for the salad garnishes that were served with most meals. Whether you ordered the steak, the mixed grill or the fish & chips a salad which boasted, at the height of summer, up to fifty ingredients was hastily put together by yours truly. A veritable feast in itself comprising of significantly more than your five a day. Ingredients included: several types of lettuce; red onion; white onion; pickled onion; sweetcorn; tomato; pepper; coleslaw; cucumber; melon; grapefruit; strawberry; orange; a whole host of things I can’t remember and finally a dollop of cold baked beans. Whilst the ethos serving food fresh and cooked to order has stayed with me through my career you’ll be pleased to know that we don’t serve cold baked beans at The Thatchers Arms.
Still, I digress. I was supposed to be writing about ‘Flux’ produced in Wales by the slightly offbeat chaps at Tiny Rebel Brew co. The idea behind the oxymoronic beer style is that it has all the malt of a black ale, dark rich roasted malts like a stout or porter, but all the hops of a pale ale, bold fragrant fruity hops and a big dry bitter finish. Black IPA’s, Black Pale Ales, Cascadian Dark Ales, whatever you want to call them (and I’m not sure I like any of the names) are damn tasty. We have Flux on sale right now [Sat Oct 19th 2013] and a few more beers from Tiny Rebel coming up so if you see a pumpclip with a bear resembling Pudsey bear after a heavy night out on Halloween then don’t be scared, give them a try!