Oakham Ales – Citra

citraThe Champion Ale at the CAMRA 2014 Great British Beer Festival says it all. This is one good beer. One that is so tasty that you may wish to keep it under lock and key in a safe from your family and friends. But to do this would be wrong. This is a brew for sharing on a road of singular hop discovery, in this case Citra.  So named when it was developed in 2007 for its distinct citrus character,  most notably grapefruit. It is wonderfully balanced as the citrus acts as a harmony to the bitter finish. Think of it in the same way as you would adding lemon juice to a salad – it lifts the flavour and provides a very refreshing flavour.

Oakham Ales were the first brewery to brew this, a single hop varietal in 2009 blazing a trail for others like Brewdog to follow. It is a vision such as this that has propelled beer over the last few years into popular culture and away from the “man in a cap drinking a dark and mild’ notariety that it once had.  I come from a wine background so am getting huge enjoyment from the plethora of beers now available which their nuanced flavours. The variety on offer knows no bounds and with mail order and  garden centres now having decent selections it can only get better still.