This was the beer that caused a slight rift in the fabric of that great evening three weeks ago with Ron, Jordan and Peter. We were at the end of the middle act of the night at 3030 when we all had this same one last beer, brewed within walking distance of the bar. "Mmm... sweet malty goodness," says I. "Yik, crystal malt," said another. And we were off. The brewery says of this beer: "Our signature brew is Conductor's Craft Ale, a 'hopbacked' hybrid ale utilizing British, German and American brewing techniques." I can see your furrowed brow. Me, too.
The beer pours a pleasant clear filbert paper brown under a rocky egg white head. Plenty of nut aromas. In the mouth, this is quite interesting. More nut than dried fig along with a crusty brown breadiness and a touch of dry cocoa. The whole thing is framed by a really clever hop choices: black tea and twiggy, then a bit of steel and then spicy pine resin at the end. There is a lot going on. When I described some of these flavours, Ron suggested disapprovingly it sounded like Wells Bombardier, a beer I wrote positively of a a decade ago. This one has more acidity and complexity than likely you would find in Bombardier now.
The main thing I thought the beer illustrated were the off pale malts, maybe the lightest of the crystals. In certain circles, these are unfashionable flavours in beer right now. Beery flavours. Boethius would understand. Perfect match for a plain Snappy Griller with its white pepper jag on a billowy bun. I look down at the average BAer's view.