Sunday, 7 February 2010
Lager of the week — St Mungo
What on earth is going on? This is a seriously good British (or should I say Scottish?) craft lagered beer. West is inspired by the enviable beer culture of Franconia, but their best seller St Mungo reminds me of a Bohemian Pils — whatever side of the border it falls on it’s a pretty stupendous lager, emanating from the home of Tennant’s, the grandfather and grandmother of cooking lagers. The nose is resiny, I’m thinking good Pilsner Urquell, a bodacious and sensual body with a dry bitter finish, a very dry finish that suggests you might need another (and I bloody will have another). I would contend it’s closer to a Bohemian Pilsner than a Helles, but I would also say this is a very modern lager, and perhaps indicative of the attitude that Franconia has to beer as opposed to the Reinheitsgebot-happy drones of a lot of the German brewing industry (though West do adhere to the Law). It’s fantastic and it’s probably one of the best British craft lagers I have had for ages (I also worship at the feet of Meantime’s Vienna, Pils and Festbier, while Taddington, Cotswold and Freedom, as well as a growing clutch of others, have my vote — and just in case you are interested, this is all part of ongoing research for a feature). West: where have you been all my life?