Here and there among the aisles of Britain’s wine warehouses and supermarkets there lurks an upstart newcomer.
He is from the Caribbean, and fashioned in the soft, French tradition of brewing beer. His name is Banks. He is not Banksy. Nor is he that West Midlands Brewery output, Banks’s. He is merely – as it says on the bottle – ‘the legendary beer celebrated across the [Caribbean] region’.
I picked up a bottle at an introductory price of a quid. It was amazing. I tried three more just to be sure. And then I cleared their stock out completely.
Attention: I am not being paid to say this. Banks is the best, reasonable level (4.7%) ABV lager I have tasted in years. It offers great medium taste and full body without any paving stones heading towards one’s face as a result. It’s not a session lager: it’s an aperitif – a 355 ml intro to an evening of food, fine wines and friends still able to drive home safely.
More normally, you’ll find it at around £1.47 a bottle. Expensive but wonderful, it makes Michelob taste like something brewed by the hillbillies from Deliverance.