Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m easily impressed by unique beer bottles, in the same way that a six year old is easily impressed by bright colours. So imagine the child like squeal of excitement that escaped from my mouth when I found that they’d started stocking genie-bottle beers from Italian brewery Birra del Borgo at my local Dan Murphy’s! There were three beers available when I was there, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that this means more will appear over the coming months. But that’s the future – the really important part for the present is that one of the beers they had available was number 151 off the epic list – ReAle.
What’s on the bottle?
As I mentioned above, the bottle looks like a genie lamp – a curvaceous, sultry, seductive Italian genie lamp. What else needs to be said?!
Alright I’ll give you a little more, just to let you know what differentiates ReAle from the other Birra del Borgo brews. The ReAle label is a Royal blue shield outlined in maroon, with a white hop bine growing into the words ‘ReAle’. And it’s on the front of a sexy bottle…not sure if I mentioned that already.
What’s in the bottle?
There’s some fairy floss in the initial aroma, followed by some bigger caramel malts, and a surprising lack of anything that you’d consider hoppy. The flavour starts out English with malt being the key player, and again there’s not much from the hops. Until the finish at least, where they finally pipe in with a strong, rather dry grapefruit-pith bitterness. Which lasts. And lasts. And lasts…
As it warms, the hops start to flex some aromatic muscle: big citrus notes pop out, with a little apricot backing it up. The bitterness is also joined by a peppery spice as well, which rounds things out nicely and makes you want just a little more.
This is a solid pale ale, there’s no doubt about that. It’s malty, hoppy, spicy…pretty much everything you’d want it to be. But it’s also a little…boring? That’s not the word I want to use, because it sounds really negative. But it simply didn’t blow me away. Maybe that’s because of the English influence (which has never been my thing), or maybe it’s because I’m an experienced beer geek…
This is why I’m going to suggest the ReAle as being a solid choice for anyone looking for a ‘gateway’ beer. Think about it; these bottles will definitely stand out from the crowd, especially on the Dan Murphy’s shelves, which will surely attract the attention of curious beer novices. And the beer itself is easily approachable, with no real out there or aggressive flavours to put them off.
I may need to investigate this further…
Fact from the book
The name ReAle is supposedly a tip of the hat towards the brewers love of traditional English ales, also known as Real Ales. Clever…and here I was thinking it had something to do with Eminem Presents: The Re-Up