A March Through the Arch
A Review of Farmhouse IPA by Marble Beers Ltd
Posted on 11/16/2013 by Chops
                   
Great
Beer is a worldly product. Yes, an obvious thing to say, but consider the following statement. This review focuses on a hybrid between a Belgian Farmhouse Ale and an India Pale Ale that is crafted in Manchester, UK. This is one of the many things I love about craft beer. If you find yourself in a new place, be sure to seek out some of the local nectar because you never know what you're going to unearth. On a recent trip to Manchester, I found myself at the Marble Arch Inn, home to the Marble Beers craft brewery. They offer a wide variety of beers from traditional English bitters to wacky hybrids like this one. I know I'm supposed to start any new experience with a flagship brew, but after a quick scan of the beer menu, I couldn't help but order a Farmhouse IPA.

In the glass, this beer has a brassy golden coloration. It comes with a creamy light tan head that has really nice retention. On the nose, I was greeted with a interesting mix of bready sweetness and tangy citrus. Both beer styles are represented appropriately and the aroma is nicely balanced. Additional details tend to get cancelled out by the main style traits, but I did manage to find some nondescript herbal notes. No worries though because the intro was solid and welcoming.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this beer is its balance. Farmhouse Ales (aka Saisons) are known for their light and spicy flavors, while IPAs are known for their prickly aggression. Any hybrid between these two would be a difficult one to manage, and Marble does it very well. The hops are muted and offer a moderately aggressive sting of herbs and citrus. The saison side is thicker than usual and provides a solid bready base. Rounding out the mix are notes of grass, lemon, and a dusting of spices. The beer has a nice mid-level body and drinks very smooth. The finish is surprising loud with a bold herbal bitter aftertaste that lingers for quite a while.

Overall, the Marble Farmhouse IPA is a crisp, flavorful, and satisfying hybrid brew. No aspect was offensive or seemed out of place, and the stylistic traits played very well together. As a beer geek, I did roll the dice a bit by jumping in with both feet without testing the waters. Thankfully, my cavalier approach was justly rewarded with a damn tasty brew. I can easily recommend the Marble Farmhouse IPA to any and all beer fans. It's fun and engaging for seasoned drinkers and easily accessible for novices. So if you're a beer fan and you find yourself in the heart of Manchester, make it a point to seek out the Marble Arch Inn. This was my intro to Manchester's craft beer scene and I couldn't be happier with the experience.

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Farmhouse IPA by Marble Beers Ltd
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