Beer ReviewsPale Ales

No Frills Pale Ale – No Frill Joe’s

2 Mins read

It’s been a while, dear reprobates. Much has occurred, much else has not. I have a new job, which is very exciting in and of itself but why do you need to know this? Because where I work now stocks cheeky beers. And what happens when cheeky beers are stocked? Some poor soul has to test them to make sure they’re worthy of such a fine stockist.

Today, I am Chief Executive Beer Taster. The best promotion I could have ever envisaged.

No Frills Pale Ale

Stepping up to the palate (see what I did there) is No Frill Joe Brewing Company‘s No Frills Pale Ale. Labelled as “always unpasteurised, unfiltered and unfined”. This tells me one of two things – these Joes are bold in their brewing OR these Joes are just plain lazy. It also tells us quite a lot of other stuff but none of that is even mildly amusing.


Frill-less? Yes. Rough and ready? No. No Frills Pale Ale pours a really attractive misty straw colour. Think Paula Radcliffe squatting at the side of the road three quarters of the way through a marathon but someone switched her water with Raki. Now I think about it, it’s not really that attractive, but it will definitely catch your interest. It looks like it’s sitting somewhere between a standard pale ale and a Best Bitter and smells pretty similar. It’s earthy and peachy – not the typical light, citrus pine tease.

The first sip is a bit of a hit. First thing I really noticed wasn’t so much flavour, but the dryness. Like a Best Bitter the dryness is emphasised and I wasn’t really expecting it. It subsides a bit after a few sips and becomes an easily swiggable beer.

Still won it though

Flavour wise – the earthiness in the aroma really comes through. It’s got that musty Old Bob flavour (not a bad thing), it’s… Old school. Like Disco Stu Old School. Wooden benches and compass-scratched graffiti old school. If you’ve read any of these before you’ll know I’m a bit of an old man when it comes to flavour and I love a bit of bitter so this is very very much my thing.

I would say this isn’t a new age, funky-bearded, avocado on toast beer. I think it might be a bit of an affront to the snowflake tastebuds with its moisture sapping dryness its flavour of ancient turf – but for me, No Frills Pale Ale is a bit of alright. Unusually, it’s pretty true to its label. It’s a good, solid, drinkable beer with a bit of no-nonsense character.

Nice one, Joes.

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