Monday, 15 June 2015

One For Sorrow Two For Joy - Pica Porter - Magpie Brewery

I found Pica Porter in my local micro pub, it was causing quite a stir at the bar simply because it's labelled a porter but is brown, thinner than most porters and has a more distinctive hop character.

Formerly badged as midnight porter before the brewery's rebranding, pica initially has a strong ozone aroma, the nose is hit by a salty seaweed freshness that's unusual in any ale let alone a dark. Once the aroma had settled the flavours really began to come through, a pleasant fruity hop hit with plum and raisin and a good amount of liquorice finishing with that deeply comforting chocolate malt experience which is expected from a modern porter.

If you can get past the fact that the idea of a chestnut porter jars the senses a little this is a great ale full of surprises as you go down the glass. It has a an ABV of 5.0% which is expected of dark ales and a white tight head.

Bob Douglas, Ken Morrison and Nick Sewter set up their six barrel brewery off Iremonger Road in Nottingham within a few yards of the Notts County (nicknamed The Magpies) football ground in 2006.  After Nick sadly passed away in 2010 but was succeeded by his son Gavin. They brew a wide range of different styles of ale from hoppy blonds through to traditional copper ales to rich dark porters and stouts, they pride themselves in using all British malt and hops.

Pica Pica is the latin name for the eurasian magpie a member of the crow family.

The brewers often get asked about the magpie rhyme, this is the oldest I can find,

One for sorrow, Two for mirth
Three for a wedding, Four for death (or birth) 
Five for silver, Six for gold, 
Seven for a secret, Not to be told
Eight for heaven, Nine for hell 
And ten for the devil's own sell!

However this is the brewers favourite version,

One for sorrow, Two for joy;
Three for a girl, Four for a boy;
Five for silver, Six for gold;
Seven for a secret, Never to be told;
Eight for a wish, Nine for a kiss;
Ten for a bird that's best to miss.

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