So I'm going to take you back in time for this review. Imagine an England where I still lived and the United Kingdom was still part of the European Union. A happier time where in your local Wetherspoons you could get a burger and a pint for £5. Now imagine that pint was Banks' Devil's Backbone:
Style: APA (American Pale Ale)
Brewery: Banks (Marston) (Website)
Country: Wolverhampton, England.
Price: £5 with a Veggie Burger
Initially brewed at Banks’s by Devil’s Backbone’s head brewer, Jason Oliver, in September 2014, then contract brewed by Banks’s for Devil’s Backbone. Exclusive to Wetherspoon’s pub chain.
Ingredients: A mix of English (East Kent Goldings and Admiral) and American hops added late in the process. Single-infusion mash of Pale Ale malt, fermented in open vats.
American IPA is the first Devil’s Backbone beer to be sold outside of the United States. The beer is an original Devil’s Backbone recipe showcasing American hops and brewed especially for the English palate. Bank’s traditional brewery is significantly different from Devils Backbone’s in the US. The experience left Oliver nostalgic for the early days of his brewing career: "I started out at an English inspired brewery in Baltimore, and brewing at Banks’s really took me back, especially seeing the open fermentations. You can smell them, almost hear them slowly churning, and all but touch them. They’re tangible, alive and something I haven’t experienced in a long time."
Devils Backbone was impressed with Wetherspoons commitment to selection and freshness. "We visited quite a few Wetherspoon pubs and I was struck by the number of options offered to consumers, even in the country pubs, and by the knowledgeable managers we met who really cared about the quality of the beverages they were serving", explained Chief Operating Officer Hayes Humphreys. "We’re confident that our beer will be well tended to."
Sight: A clear golden pint, with a good white head that hangs around.
Aroma: Surprisingly fruity with aromas of peach and grapefruit.
Taste: Smooth, moderately sweet due to caramel malts but a good citrus bitterness that catches the tongue.
Would I buy it again? Yes. I'm interested to try the USA brewery who gave their name to this beer. But as far as pint in a wetherspoon goes, this is hard to beat (unless Punk IPA is on).