Beer Review: Oakham Ales Citra

This beer was chosen for my first review as it hales from Peterborough, where I grew up, and still visit today to see the family and of course to drink some beer. Indeed, Oakham Ale’s brewery tap in the heart of the city in a previous lifetime was the Peterborough Labour Exchange where my dad once worked.

Citra named after the single hop employed, is a go to hop these days but only emerged in 2007 from the hop breeding company in Yahima Washington.

While other UK breweries snoozed John Bryan Oakham’s Production Director on an annual research trip to the US immediately saw the potential of the hop and had a batch shipped to Peterborough which led to Oakham Ales becoming the first UK brewery to commercially brew with Citra in 2009.

In 2014 CAMRA came to the party judging Citra the runner up in the Great British Beer Festival Champion Beer Award and in 2016 and the beer became Oakham Ales no 1 seller shifting over a million pints a year.

So, there’s your potted history lets taste some beer:

The beer pours a beautiful golden colour (it’s a golden ale of course) with light carbonation and a thin pure white head.

On the nose grapefruit and citrus come through strongly, for a beer at this ABV, its full of flavour with the single hop of Citra doing its working hard with mango and gooseberries leading the way. It’s the balance of this beer that makes it, culminating in a long dry finish.

Single hopped beers (when done as well as this) showcase the brewer’s skill and can teach the drinker the profile of a hop and how much flavour can be drawn from a single source.

This golden ale packs a punch and represents tremendous value when compared against some modern fashionable craft IPAs which pale in comparison at a premium price.

So, if you get a chance visit the brewery tap in Peterborough and order a Citra, you won’t be disappointed.

Dave Brumley