Pressure Drop Brewing, Pale Fire
I was living in Stoke Newington, east London, in 2012, in the midst of London's brewing revolution. It seemed like a new brewery was opening every other day, and it was only a matter of time before Stoke Newington got one of its own. Sure enough, I heard of a new microbrewery called Pressure Drop that was operating out of a small warehouse behind the High Road, and I immediately got in touch asking when its beers would be hitting the bars and bottle shops.
Ben, Graham and Sam, Pressure Drop’s co-founders, are friendly types, and even though they were still developing what would become their core range, they invited me to the brewery to get my craft on. Me being me (disorganised and unreliable), I never made it and such was the popularity of their finely crafted beers, they soon moved to bigger and better premises at Bohemia Place in Hackney, the brewery's current home.
I didn't have to wait long to get my hands on one of its beers, however, picking up my first bottle of Pale Fire from the Stoke Newington branch of Borough Wines. Arguably Pressure Drop's flagship beer, I fell head over heels in love with this gorgeously zesty, bitter pale ale. In the early days in particular the hop profile was subject to change, partly due to availability, but also because of experimentation and a desire to ensure the beer was as good as it possibly could be. Now with a more consistent recipe, Pale Fire pours a hazy golden to pale orange with a thin white head, and being dry hopped with amarillo and mosaic it is positively bursting with citrus and tropical fruit aromas; think orange, grapefruit and mango, with floral and pine notes and a subtle honey sweetness. The taste is particularly floral and citrusy, while the finish is dry, bitter and refreshing, all of which makes it a genuine, certifiable, undeniable "Juicy Banger".
Despite the brewery's meteoric rise, Ben, Graham and Sam remain the only full-time members of staff at Pressure Drop, and they have an egalitarian approach to their work, sharing all jobs equally be it brewing, bottling or cleaning out the mash tun. Hackney has many fine breweries and Pressure Drop is at the vanguard, with an eclectic range that includes an IPA, a porter and even a hefeweizen infused with foraged herbs. I've had numerous bottles and pints of Pale Fire over the last two years, and have found the quality to be remarkably consistent; it’s my go-to beer, and when I see it on the bar I simply have to have it. Pressure Drop is to be commended for its sterling work in the field of brewing, and for creating a pale ale like no other. I hope for your sake you have more beers in the fridge tonight, because I can guarantee your Pale Fire won’t last long in the glass.
This week's write up was provided by Peter McKerry, a Glaswegian beer geek living in London whose blog, Brew Geekery features beer, bar and event reviews, as well as commentary on the beery issues of the day. You can follow him on Twitter at @PJMcKerry and Instagram @peterjosephmckerry