Sharp’s Brewery have seen huge growth and success in the UK over recent years. The brand is so successful in fact that back in 2012 national giants Molson Coors began to take notice and inevitably put forward a bid to buy them out.
Alas, the brewery is no longer independent, and despite initial intentions to maintain brewing operations down at the original brewery in Rock, Cornwall – the early signs of change are already taking place.
Advocates of their flagship beer, Doombar, had long suspected the beer was no longer brewed in Rock, and this year their suspicions turned out to be somewhat true when it was revealed that while the cask version of Doombar is still produced in Rock, the bottled version moved to Burton Upon Trent back in 2013.
Personally, I’ve never rated Doombar; I’ve always found it to be far too ‘safe’ and bland. There is, however, no denying it’s popularity, and it’s great to see so many people discovering cask beer.
My opinions on Doombar and the recent takeover aside, we’re here to talk about a different beer from Sharp’s portfolio, and you know what, no matter whether it’s brewed at Rock or Burton-upon-Trent (not sure on this one) – this one is rather good.
Sharp’s Atlantic Pale Ale reviewed
The beer pours a pale amber color with a fluffy white head – rather appealing to the eye on a hot summers day (if only the British Summer wasn’t so crap!).
The aroma is pleasant – if very subtle – with a gentle floral and citrus bouquet. Overall the first impression is mild but enticing; I’m sensing and anticipating something refreshing on the taste….
On first sip, I’m greeted by citrus lemon upfront and a light mouthfeel. The taste quickly develops to accentuate a sweet caramel malt flavor, with a crisp, clean finish and light carbonation. It’s certainly refreshing, if a little bland.
The hop profile is at least more present than their flagship, Doombar, and I can contest to rather liking this beer when the mood takes me. The clean, inoffensive finish seems to be a common theme across the majority of Sharp’s portfolio, and I’d even go as far to say they owe their success to it.
You see, not everyone is ready for the strong, characterful flavors of more robust craft beer styles. If anything, brewers like Sharp’s have successfully begun to bridge the gap between mass-market fizz and artisan micro brewed recipes. They provide a stepping stone to more exciting experiences – helping people make the leap, without having to jump in the deep end. It might not quite be ‘craft’, but you know what, that’s O.K.
A crisp and refreshing alternative to mass-market lagers with your summer BBQ.
Quite bland really. Nothing exciting and no longer an independent brewery.
Shell Fish, Indian Food, Grilled meat
Time of Year
Most definitely a summer brew
TA Brews rating: 3/5