I absolutely love the funky brown paper bag packaging of Silver Darling from local Tyneside brewery Three Kings; it's so fresh and unusual but, as with most things, it's what's inside that counts.
As I couldn't see inside the bottle, I poured this bottle conditioned pale ale slowly just in case there was any sediment and it came out surprisingly crystal clear. It's a lovely deep golden yellow colour with a bright white frothy head that doesn't budge due to the lava lamp style bubbles constantly rushing to the surface. The head is very robust and doesn't so much lace as clump because it's so thick; it lasts right to the very last drop and beyond, as evidenced by the clump of foam that was left in the bottom of my glass when I finished.
It's a pale ale so there's an unsurprising aroma of citrus but I could also smell sweet biscuit and some delicious malt. I braced myself for a citrus explosion as I took my first sip but I was pleasantly surprised to find that there's just the right amount of hops to take the edge off the citrus flavour. It has a strong bitter aftertaste of grapefruit mixed with sweet fruit and the abundance of harshly carbonated bubbles felt like they were doing the tango on my tongue.
Refreshing and strong, I really enjoyed Silver Darling; drinking it reminded me of sitting on the banks of the Tyne in the sunshine and I have no doubt that Ale Be Seeing You again.
Brewed by Three Kings Brewery, North Shields
Find out more at Three Kings Brewery