As my fellow beer writer Rowan rightly put it, the Mancunian beer scene is booming. Following on from this appreciation of beer from across the Pennines, and as part of our ongoing triptych series, I picked up Runaway Brewery's core range from Tall Boys beer market, and here's what I thought.There are hundreds of UK breweries making pale ales, some are truly great, and consistently so, others not so much. Due to this unfortunate fact I’m always a little apprehensive when trying a new brewerys pale for the first time. Thankfully I didn't need to worry about this pale, or indeed any of Runaways beers!
Pale AleIt pours bright gold with a sturdy white head and a sweet tropical aroma. The body is light and juicy, with big hits of crisp citrus fruits, solid grassy bitterness, and a welcome touch of pine. I’m happy to say I really loved this beer, I could get through a few of these very easily.
Rye IPAThis IPA steps steps things up a notch, with big resinous grassy hops flying out of the bottle as soon as it opened, always a good sign! It's got a big full body with barely any carbonation, which struck me as a little odd at first but it works really well. It's crammed full of passion fruit, oranges, and a firm dank bitterness, all balanced against sweet dark caramel and a spicy kick from the rye. I’m not normally a fan of rye in an IPA, but the balance with the hops here is great, so again I’m happy.
American Brown AleTheir brown ale is a great example of the style, hops and dark malts married together perfectly. It pours a dark nutty brown with an off white head, and a hefty dose of sweet chocolate on the nose. This was the most lively of the three, and again I think they have this dead on. There's a solid hop twang upfront, set against more sweet chocolate, caramel, and brown bread. This beer is exceptionally smooth, it certainly went down a little quicker than my third beer of the night should have done!
I'm really impressed with Runaways core range, they demonstrate a real skill for making quality, tasty beer. Things are definitely heating up in Manchester.