Crafty Corner – Lisbon
There we are walking down Rua Bernardio Costa in Lisbon, returning from dinner at the “Time Out” Market when, across the road, we spot a craft beer bar with the biggest tasting paddles I’ve ever seen. A 12-beer paddle! Well, never one to turn down a challenge, we had to go in and I had to give it a try.
The bar was a really cool place. The front windows rolled back so that, despite being inside, it felt more like a pavement cafe. Inside, there was the bar to the left-hand side, with beer-keg tables and wooden stools to the right and a marvellous metal spiral staircase running through the centre of the room.
Unfortunately, we came to the conclusion that the beers were just not of the same standard as the surroundings. We also decided 12-beer paddles really don’t work. By the time you’ve got to beer 11, the beer is too warm for you to enjoy the full depth of flavour that you might get if the beer were to still be cool.
I won’t run through all the beers that I tasted. The lowlights were probably an Equinox DIPA @ 7.5% ABV which, whilst it had good colour and decent head retention, tasted like drinking soapy water. The hopping just wasn’t right. Black Cat Stout @ 4.8% ABV smelt lovely with a strong, roast malt flavour but tasted like watery cold-brew coffee. There were some beers that were OK. But the highlights were a Frank APA @ 5% ABV which had a nice mango smell, good head retention and a decent body. It tasted fresh and fruity to begin with and then finished on your tongue with a nice bitter aftertaste. Creature IPA @ 7.5% ABV was also very drinkable. It has a nice malty smell, with good colour. It tasted fruity with moderate bitterness and was a good “sessionable” beer.