Salopian Brewery - Entire Butt
- ABV: 4.6%
- Serving Temperature: 53-58° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass, Mug, Goblet
There’s nothing like a good butt beer. “What did I just read!?” you say in your head. OK, here’s the story on this beer’s name: butt is a common term for barrel, as in a barrel of beer. It is believed that years ago porter was originally known as “three threads,” and was created at the pub as a blend of beer from three different butts, each containing a different beer. Eventually, an enterprising brewer finally managed to recreate the flavors of the entire three threads in one beer, which, fittingly, became known as “entire” or “entire-butt.” Popular with London’s blue collar porter workers (as in transporters or heavy lifters/shipping folk), the beer is believed by many to have taken on its current name in reference to them.
A Silver Medal winner at the 1999 Great British Beer Festival’s Beer Champion Awards, Entire Butt is brewed with an astounding 14 different malts. So it’s fitting that the term “entire butt” bears a secondary meaning similar to “everything but the kitchen sink.” Expect a dark, cola-like brown beer with garnet highlights capped by a billowy thick tan head. The nose presents a very engaging and complex array of malty characteristics. Look for notes of chocolate pudding, rum cake, coffee grounds, chicory root, and cola. There are faint spicy hop characteristics, but overall, the powerful malt presence rules the day. The flavor profile is even more complex than the nose. Creamy and full in the mouth, expect a cavalcade of malty notes. We found it opened on the sweeter side of things with milk chocolate, rocky road ice cream and cocoa, and then evolved into more bitter malt elements showcasing notes of dark chocolate and coffee. There are some notes of plum, but these are minor. The beer finishes with a mild bitterness with notes of Kahlua, coffee, pudding, figs and hot cocoa. First enjoy on its own, then consider a shellfish pairing. Cheers!
The Salopian Brewery was established at The Old Dairy on the outskirts of the medieval town of Shrewsbury in 1995. With a tiny 2-barrel system, it was at the time believed to be the second smallest brewery in the country for a commercial brewing outfit not attached to a pub, making it a quintessential British microbrewery. “Salopian” is a term used to refer to the people hailing from Shropshire, and more specifically, from Shrewsbury. Why it took so long for the Salops to have ‘their own’ brewery, we don’t know, but better late than never as this excellent brewery has been creating exciting, uncommon beers as well as world-class traditional ales since the moment it burst on the brewing scene.
As demand grew over the years, the brewery upgraded and expanded, culminating in their recent move (completed in October 2014) to a much larger facility a few miles to the north in the small town of Hadnall. The expansion is yet another sign that the craft beer movement is alive and well not only here in the U.S., but across the pond in the U.K., as well, where brewers like Salopian are going the extra mile to produce top quality ales. Their porter (this month’s feature) is a prime example; a traditional British brew, porter is, but they upped the ante by using 14 different malts and three hop varieties. The result is a blend of creativity and tradition—one which is well suited to their mission. Clearly, producing a beer with 17 ingredients like their porter isn’t cheap. But it remains Salopian Brewery’s policy to source the best ingredients available. In their words, “Saving a few pennies on malt and hops at the expense of flavour is not a saving.” Clearly, they’ve been giving the people what they want; over the years the testimony received from their loyal customers has proven this, not to mention their strong showing at all the major brewing competitions, including 14 awards over the last three years at Britain’s SIBA National Beer Competition.
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