“ Brand: Cains / Type: Ale / Food quality: Organic food „
Cains Brewery in Liverpool is well-known for the range of very fine beers that it produces. I worked in Liverpool for around 15 years and sought them out whenever could. When compared alongside the other brands they stood head and shoulders above them.
I haven't lived anywhere near Liverpool now for nearly 15 years and one of the main things I have missed about the place, apart from the vibrant, exciting city itself, is those same Cains beers. Luckily our regular visits to the in-laws in Southport give me an opportunity to stock up.
There is now a very good speciality beer shop at the northern end of Southport's Lord Street, run by the people who have established Southport's own new, local brewery, and it was here that I found, amongst the various treasures from all over the World, a bottle of Cains Organic Wheat Beer, so I bought a 500ml bottle to try, for the princely sum of £2.10.
Cains Organic Wheat Beer weighs in at 4%abv and is not a BCA (Bottle Conditioned Ale or, Real Ale in a bottle) and so there is no yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle to worry about. You can pour it into the glass without any fear of ending up with a cloudy drink.
This is a little odd though since wheat beers are renowned for having a slightly hazy aspect. Not so here; this beer is as clear as a bell, demonstrating some fairly aggressive filtering at the brewery. The colour is that of a typical Golden Ale, midway between a traditional bitter and a typical lager.
A decent head accumulates so care with the pouring is advised, in order to avoid an overflow. The head is firm and lasts well into the consumption indeed, the glass I have before me I have been eking out over a period of an hour now and the head has yet to disappear, even though I am now nearly to the bottom of the glass. This is typical of a wheat beer, which tends to hold its head better than traditional beers.
The aroma is very distinctive, very fruity and with a floral touch to it but with a slight citric, even peppery tang. This is undoubtedly due to the inclusion of the traditional lager hop - Saaz, but here mixed with the new UK developed dwarf hop variety - First Gold. The proportion of wheat to barley is not indicated but is likely to be less than 50%, because of its clarity, although such beers can contain anything between 30% and 70%. Even wheat beers still need to contain barley as well.
The aroma comes over in the taste even more strongly on the tongue. What is even more noticeable is the sharpness. If you have ever drunk one the unique Belgian Lambic beers, the ones brewed in the Brussels area, using the natural wild yeast that form a part of the micro-climate there, then the similarity will be evident, but not anywhere near as sharply acidic as lambic beers though.
Cains Organic Wheat Beer is very refreshing and, produced as it is only in July, a very good summer beer. Drink it chilled or just as it comes, you will soon be wanting another. However, like me, you may well find it still on the shelves of your local off licence so you won't have to wait another year for your next one.
I feel a trip to Southport coming on!
One of Cains' seasonally available speciality beers. A combination of wheat and barley malts are infused to produce a rich complex beer. Spicy notes are rounded off with exotic fruit essences whilst First Gold and Saaz Hops bestow a floral edge th this beer A wonderful experience!