Wiper & True’s Citra and Rye Amber Ale is a murky brown, delicious beer. It bridges the gap between traditional real ale and modern craft beer, though its cloudiness might put off some less adventurous drinkers. As it’s unfined, this Amber Ale is suitable for vegans.
One delightful thing about travelling to the West of England is the concentration of excellent breweries. Pottering around, we’ve popped in to visit Bath Ales and Electric Bear over in Bath and Deya up in Cheltenham. The near constant rain you endure on this side of the country is a small price to pay.
One of these western breweries we didn’t have time to visit was Wiper & True, over in Bristol. For a long time I’ve admired their cans: the contrast of the gold art against a milky white backdrop. Picking one up in an Honest Brew mystery pack was a surprise and a delight.
The first thing I think when pouring this beer is: holy shit, is there something wrong?
This particular beer is unfined. That means all the dead yeast, all the sediment, all the “good stuff” that turns sugary water into delicious beer is still in the can. So, instead of the sanitised, filtered clarity of a mass-produced lager you get this…brown murk.
Fortunately, it smells better than it looks. Juicy orange mixes with sweet, tropical pineapple and mango. Balancing that, we have the rye’s peppery, earthy spiciness.
It’s a similar story on the palate. Orange juice leads, backed up by rich, syrupy tropical fruits. Warm, spiced rye sits underneath, while a gentle hoppy bitterness swings around to balance the whole drink out. And that’s the real standout attribute of this beer: the beautiful, delicate, perfect balance of flavours.
This probably wouldn’t make a good first beer. Drinking cloudy brown liquid is a skill you build up over many months of sustained and dedicated practice. But for those real ale fans who love a bit of murk, this is a wonderful bridge between traditional ales and modern craft beers. It’s the sort of thing I could see my dad drinking with his mates, for instance.
If I see this beer on tap anywhere, I’m not just buying one for myself: I’ll be buying a round for my friends too. On that basis, it’s got to be a 4/5.