Harbour Brewing Co. :Craft Spotlight
Flashback three years: it’s 9PM, I’m in my squalid uni kitchen surrounded by fellow freshers, and I’ve just been instructed to down my warm can of Fosters. I was a different man then; I didn’t care what my alcohol was or where it came from. But I’ve grown. Evolved. Transformed into a better member of society. Meaning that I now drink craft beer. I felt it was time to do away with the bland yeasty water of yore and accept fancy ales, crisp lagers, and exotic IPAs into my life. So, here’s a little taster of what I’ve been enjoying this week.
This week amongst my Beer Hawk craft lager box was a can of ‘Classic Lager’ from Harbour Brewing Co., a light, sweet beer all the way from Cornwall. Lager is widely known for its refreshing quality, but Harbour’s lager stood out from the rest of the beers I had this week thanks to its tight balance of subtle flavours. Nothing felt out of place, and that’s thanks to Harbour’s meticulous selection of natural Cornish ingredients.
All of Harbour’s raw ingredients come from the land in which they brew, with locally grown hops, Cornish spring water (tapped from the source), and even foraged herbs going into the various beers that they brew. They call their collection of beers ‘Modern Classics’, half out of confidence for the quality of the drinks that they produce, and half out of an appreciation of “inspiration from what has come before”. Harbour are well aware that they stand on the shoulders of giants when it comes to craft brewing, but they are sure that their “unique Harbour spin” “pushes boundaries” when it comes to “delivering on flavour”. I can confirm: it’s a damn nice beer.
The term ‘Modern Classic’ is typically employed in the art world to refer to something so impressive and out of the ordinary that it must be acknowledged as special. Whilst there aren’t a great deal of similarities between Harbour’s ‘Classic Lager’ and, say, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, I can clearly see the great deal of care and creativity that has gone into the creation of this delicious beer. Like a great work of art, Harbour seems to take pride not just in the act of brewing, but in the entire life cycle of each can that comes out of their brewery. Would I choose to call Harbour’s ‘Classic Lager’ a ‘Modern Classic’? That remains to be seen. I guess I’ll just have to have another…
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