I make no secret of being a Black Flag Brewery fan, so I was particularly disappointed when I couldn’t make it to a meet the brewer night last week with Nick and Ben Sales, the surfing-mad brothers behind the venture.
The good news: I found myself at the event venue last night – the Sonder café bar, in Truro – where the beers were still on.
Many will be familiar with their flagship Fang, an American-hopped pale ale, but my favourite beer of theirs has always been White Cross IPA, hazy golden, deliciously refreshing, with zesty and bitter American and New Zealand hops.
Call me fickle, but that opinion may have changed yesterday evening when a glass of their India Porter (5.1% ABV) was presented before me. I tried it side by side with their Black IPA, and while the latter was fine, with American hop notes but perhaps a bit too much malt about it and slightly lacking in condition, the India Porter was top drawer. The hops come through well, but against a background of fruity, light-touch malt that I can accept more in something called India Porter than Black IPA. Here, I see the exercise as ramping up the hop content of a porter, rather than trying to deceive the eyes with a black yet over hoppy brew.
If you haven’t visited Sonder yet, drop in and enjoy, as I tend to, thirds of a varied line-up. At the moment, there are beers from Camerons, in the North East, Little Creatures, from Australia, and Francisan Well, from Ireland, among the offerings. There’s a street food style menu, too, and apparently some of the best coffee in town!