Ever had a beer that you just need to have again? This happened to me just over a year ago. My partner and I were at a board game night in a local bar and whilst we were there, I saw the name “Just The Ticket” written in bold, large letters on the blackboard behind the bar. It was a brew by Fallen Brewing, whom I had not previously encountered at the time. I ordered a pint and it looked a lovely, light amber colour with a proportionate white frothy foam head (which can only truly be achieved via draught). I took the beer back to the table, not knowing that this would be the drink that would revolutionise the way I look at beer.
I loved it, and as the weeks went on, I spent a lot of time trying to find this specific beer to drink at home. I searched a variety of local craft beer stores and various other locations for ‘Just The Ticket’, but to no avail. Nonetheless, at each unsuccessful shop, I came away with a few new and interesting beers – trying to find one specific beer quickly opened my eyes to the huge world of brews that I was missing out on. At this point I realised; it was time to broaden my horizons and start my beer voyage. Soon, thoughts of ‘Just The Ticket’ vanished, as did my disappointment at being unable to find it again, as I was opened up to what the beer world really had to offer.
Fast forward 14 months and here we are today; Dr Beer, a wonderful beer fridge and a cupboard full of growlers. Recently, I went to the local supermarket to pick up a couple of necessities for that night’s dinner. The alcohol section is the last section of the store prior to reaching the checkout and I always take a look at what’s available. There is usually a constant stock of your standard beers, with a lower shelf that has a high refresh rate – new beers only last a matter of weeks, keeping the selection interesting. As I was walking past, the basket nearly slipped from my hand as my head was turned by a subtle and almost unnoticeable can.
I know you are not meant to judge a book by its cover (or in my case – a beer based on its outer design), yet sometimes that is what initially catches your attention. The can itself was modest and simple in appearance. With soft colours and no over-elaborate designs or crazy fonts, this can would have sat quietly on the shelf had it not been the characteristic green logo of Fallen Brewing.
There were three different cans that lay there. All with the same design, each differing only slightly by the name, type of beer and the ABV%. I topped up my basket with the cans – which also included the hallowed “Just The Ticket” which I had previously resigned as a ‘loved but never to be found again’ beverage.
I made my way to the checkout, loaded the conveyor belt and greeted the cashier. In the UK there is often a “Challenge 25” policy for buying alcohol. I’ll often get my ID checked as I do look a bit younger and was asked to provide my driver’s licence. I rummaged through my pockets and couldn’t find it! Damn it! I gave a cheeky smile propped my head slightly to the left and then smiled “really??”. I received a cold, firm reply of…… “ID is required”. I pleaded that I was 25, but knew that I was fighting a losing battle! The cans evaded the scanner and got put to the side of the till – out of reach and away from me. Supermarket 1 – Dr Beer 0.
I knew I couldn’t let this opportunity slip through my fingers – I took my non-ID-requiring groceries back home via a short 5 min car journey. I dropped off the shopping bag and found my ID. In a rush, I got back to the store and headed straight to the Fallen beer cans. Being completely fixed in my priorities, I had forgotten to get changed out of my slippers that I had put on when I got home… Feeling slightly silly in shorts and slippers I quickly took my cans to the checkout – a different one just to see if I would get ID’d again (yes, I was) … Driver’s licence out and then it was home.
Fallen Brewing operate their brewery in an old railway station which ceased functioning over 80 years ago, less than 30 miles from where I live. Fallen are comprehensively aware of the environment, with many major Scottish landmark landscapes visible from their site. They strive to produce great vegan-friendly beer, using good quality ingredients. Not only this, but they use 100% renewable energy sources and all waste products go back into the environment – malts for cattle and hops to make future compost.
Just The Ticket
The time had finally come to try this beer again. An extra pale ale, with a session ABV of 4.0% – it pours a light amber in colour and citrus notes come from the head of the beer, which forms a bright, bubbling foam top. The beer was lovely, though I feel that it was lacking in comparison to my previous tasting… This might be because I had built it up in my mind, or just the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to try such a wide variety of fantastic beers since.
The citrus was enhanced on taste, making the beer light, crisp and fresh. With only a touch of bitterness, I feel that it almost crosses the boundaries between lager and pale ale. A lovely beer with a special meaning to me, as it will always be the brew that has changed the way I look at beer.
Rating: 3.5/5. With a personal nostalgic touch for me, ‘Just The Ticket’ is a lovely, easy drinking, all round beer. Looking for somewhere to start your beer journey? Here’s a good place to begin.
Identical in design, if the front aspect of the can were turned away, it would be a surprise which one of Fallen’s beers you would be drinking! This IPA comes in at an easy-drinking 3.9% ABV and is a much deeper colour than I was expecting – like a bitter caramel. A thinner foam head was produced upon pouring this beer and scents of mango hit you initially. Upon tasting, stone fruit notes come through in abundance and a lovely contrasting bitterness appears at the end. I have found some brilliant stone fruit beers recently (e.g. Hazy Jane) and this beer continues to give me further reasons to seek out more stone fruit brews.
Rating: 3.75/5. ‘Local Motive’ beats my beloved ‘Just The Ticket’! I would never have predicted that when I purchased the beers, but that’s why I’m always trying new ones! I would definitely have this again.
New World Odyssey
The last of the new Fallen beers, I purchased two of these… At 4.1% ABV, a similar percentage to the other varieties, it makes it another very easy-drinking beer. Light amber colour, a slight hazy finish, and a small white foam top make this an aesthetically pleasing beer. Citrus notes dominated, which was unsurprising given the heft of flavour that has been consistent throughout the sampled range. A good blonde beer, which I am pleased is sold in cans for easy transportation and keeping chilled for longer!
A couple of nights after drinking my first ‘New World Odyssey’, I tried a completely new thing with my second and final can. Ever heard of a “Boilermaker”? If not, it is when you do a shot of whiskey, followed by using the beer as the chaser! I was having a drinking movie night with my partner and thought, “why not?!” – I am meant to be on the lookout for new beer discoveries afterall. Now, truth be told I’m not a huge fan of whiskey – but I poured my shot, quickly popped it back (wincing slightly at the taste) and then used ‘New World Odyssey’ as my carry-on drink. It was quite a strange sensation, as I’d never seen or used beer as a chaser before. I quite enjoyed it though, since the cool beer washed the deep, smoky notes of whiskey away. The alternative way to perform a ‘boilermaker’ is to drop a shot of whiskey into your beer and drink the combination; however, for someone like me who would never choose whiskey, why ruin a perfectly good beer?
Rating: 3.25/5. ‘New World Odyssey’ was an above-average blonde with a good blend of citrus notes.
Thank you so much Fallen for entering the canned market. Making your beer more accessible is great for me as a lover of your brewery! I really want to get my hands on The Big 1 (double IPA) and Track 29 (American wheat); the search continues…
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All the best