Monday, 26 February 2018

518: Saltaire – South Island Pale

20180225_195639The Brewery: “International award-winning Saltaire Brewery is in Shipley, West Yorkshire. Formed in 2005, it has enjoyed brewing hand crafted ales since 2006. Our beers have won more than 100 trade awards, including two national championship brews and two international gold medals for our Triple Chocoholic Stout. “

The Beer: “One of our most popular cask ales – bottled for the first time! A clean beer with cool, crisp, fruitiness from New Zealand hops grown at Tasman Bay. It’s a flavoursome beer that belies its lower ABV.”

Yeah, a bit fruity for me but they’ve really packed some flavour into a nice light beer. Just 3.5% A.B.V but tastes stronger. I’ve said it many times before about this style of beer – but served a bit colder on a warm summers night it would go down really well indeed.

February 2018

517: Hepworth – Sussex

DWWHPTHWkAAVquS.jpg largeThe Brewery: “Hepworths, based in Stane Street Pulborough, West Sussex, are award winning brewers of Craft Beer and contemporary  beers made with the honed skills of craftsmen. Acclaimed as Supreme Champion in 2012, our success is attributable to the high quality of our ingredients, the traditional methods we employ and the long experience that results in the perfect pint.

And, in fact, a lot of pints. Currently over 2 million, mostly currently consumed in the South East, but some exported for appreciation in Russia, Norway and Italy

The beer: “Sussex is a well hopped traditional Pale Ale. Thirst quenching and traditionally brewed with the finest Sussex grown ingredients: malted barley, Golding and Admiral Hops. It carries the ‘Warranty of Origin’ to guarantee our commitment to creating excellent beers from the highest quality local ingredients.”

Another local ale from  over the border in West Sussex, it didn’t offend but neither did it excite – but then it’s not my favourite style of beer. Easy drinking though at just 3.5% A.B.V so great for a ‘school’ night.

February 2018

516: Harveys – Copperwheat

20180222_203006What they say: “Copperwheat is named after the fictitious Lewes brewers in Mrs. Dudeny’s novel ‘Seed Pods’ (1927). Originally inspired by SIBA’s Wheat Beer challenge in 2001. It is best served chilled.

Tasting Notes: Brewed with malted wheat and barley, this ‘Kristal Weissbier’ contains only English hops. Harveys own brewing liquor and yeast strain are employed but the result is a very continental flavour. It has been described as “wheat and sweet” but it still retains the typical dry palate and is extremely moreish.”

Really liked this and loved the of dryness and didn’t find it too sweet. Should have chilled it a little more though. 4.8% A.B.V.

February 2018

515: Vale Brewery – Red Kite

20180205_205620What they say: “Deep red in colour, reminiscent of it’s avian namesake, with big malt flavours and a strong hop finish.” 

Another tasty beer from the gang at Vale, the malt flavours did a good job of reigning in those hops for my fussy palate. 4.3% A.B.V.

February 2018

Monday, 5 February 2018

514: McMullen - Hertford Castle

20180204_200119UntitledWhat they say: “A fine brew from McMullen at The Whole Hop Brewery, combining natural whole leaf arome hops, best Suffolk malted barley and McMullen’s own pure spring water. Late hopping adds a subtlety to the traditional recipe, creating a truly distinctive taste for the ale connoisseur.”

I first tried McMullen beers just over a year ago at one of their pubs near Enfield and enjoyed them all so was delighted to find another, this time in bottled form. Strong, but didn’t taste especially so to my palate. Enjoyed. 5.0% A.B.V. February 2018.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

513: Tring – Ridgeway

20180203_210723What they say: “An ever popular stalwart of our range, Ridgeway is defined by the finest UK malts balanced with the fruity characteristics of Styrian Goldings hops. This is a classic English ale at it’s most refined and drinkable……..We particularly like this one with rich hearty meals. A boeuf bourguignon or mushroom stroganoff on a cold winters evening.”

Well, I didn’t get to pair this with anything as exotic but it did make a very nice accompaniment to a packet of cheddars.  This was the first beer I’ve tried from this Hertfordshire brewery, procured during our stay at the Wyatts Covert CAMC site in Denham, Bucks in October 2017. It’s been sitting in the cupboard for far too long. An enjoyable pint,  well 500ml then! 4.0% A.B.V.

February 2018

Monday, 29 January 2018

512: Vale Brewery – Black Beauty

20180128_200231What they say: “An award winning wholesome, full bodied porter. Intense roasted flavours give way to a wonderful hop flavoured finish.”

Procured during our stay at Wyatts Covert caravan site in Denham, Buckinghamshire so quite local – at the time anyway. A nice drop and the hop finish was pleasant without being over-powering. 4.4% A.B.V

January 2018

Thursday, 25 January 2018

511: Thornbridge – Jaipur

WP_20171213_20_26_25_ProWhat they say: “A citrus dominated India Pale Ale, its immediate impression is soft and smooth yet builds to a crescendo of massive hoppiness accentuated by honey. An enduring, bitter finish.”

Not my first Thornbridge beer but one I’ve seen around a fair bit. Not really my thing as you might have guessed from their description but potent stuff at 5.9% A.B.V.

Attimore Hall, Welwyn-Garden-City. December 2017

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

510: Shepherd Neame – Rudolph’s Reward

What they say: “Originally developed in our pilot brewery, the seasonal ale is among the collection of innovative limited edition No.18 Yard Brewhouse beers, named after the historic cask store. It is a light brown malty ale featuring pale and crystal malts and Target and East Kent Goldings hops, with mulling spices added at the end of the brew.”
Not usual dark fruity and malty Christmas ale it was quite light with just a hint of spicyness that livelier foods would probably drown out. Pleasant enough but didn’t over excite. 3.7% A.B.V.
Attimore Hall, Welwyn-Garden-City. Hertfordshire. December 2017

509: Youngs – London Gold (cask)

What they say: “a lovely refreshing summery beer which is a light, golden and full flavoured bottle conditioned beer with a refreshing bite.”
The last time I tried this was in it’s bottled form – when it was sadly cloudy due to being out of date.  This was better – not my favourite style of beer as regulars will know, but it was all that was on offer and I did have a second. As I’ve said before – served a bit colder it would be lovely on a hot summers’ night. 4.0% A.B.V.
Coopers Grill House, Welwyn-Garden-City. December 2017

Sunday, 21 January 2018

508: Nene Valley – Nene Valley Bitter

20171227_192937What they say: “A smooth, full-bodied, pale chestnut traditional bitter for everyday drinking”

No argument with that. A good all around bitter from this East Anglian brewery that can now boast that most of their beers are gluten free.

Found on a return visit to a pub I first tried to get into over 20 years ago. The owner was rather ‘eccentric’ to put it nicely and I was told by the barman – who was camper than a row of tents – that they “don’t serve men with earrings”!

Not cheap but great food – the steaks were divine.

The Tickell Arms, Whittlesford, Cambridge. December 2017

507: Mordue – Howay in a Manger

20171229_202809What they say: “Mid Brown fruity Christmas beer packs plenty of flavour.”

Pretty much the bog standard ‘Christmas’ ale I thought but eminently drinkable. Would always take their Workie Ticket but would love to come across more from their range.

The Robin Hood. Cherry Hinton, Cambridge. December 2017.

Monday, 8 January 2018

506: Turpin’s – Red Nose

20171227_192931What they say: “This winter ale is copper colour, has malty, fruity and slightly sweet flavours, hoppy and a bit spicy finish.”

Another local brew that I got to sample during our extended stay in Cambridge over Christmas and this was brewed just over 3 miles away. The usual winter warmer but not loaded with alcohol like some. Would happily drink again and would love to try some of their regular ales, particularly the Cambridge Black. 3.9% A.B.V. Great steaks here too.

The Tickell Arms, Whittlesford, Cambridge. December 2017

505: Slaters – Premium Best Bitter

20171222_170946What they say:Rich amber coloured beer with hints of caramel, malt and a complex fruity hop aroma developing a bitter finish and balancing the well-rounded 'malty mouthfeel'.”

Oh yum. This was nice. The name is spot on – a great example of a Best Bitter which I enjoyed rather too much when meeting up with some old friends in this great village boozer that keeps a wide selection of real ales. 4.4% A.B.V.

The Red Lion, Histon, Cambridgeshire. December 2017

504: Crafty Beers – Carpenter’s Cask

20171221_174029What they say: “An easy-drinking traditional bitter with plenty of malt flavours and moderate bitterness”

Well, they may not say a lot but this was a truly lovely pint, brewed just 15 miles away by this young (2012) brewery. Very easy drinking and I hope to come across more of their range in the future. A great pub too that are really enthusiastic about their beer. 3.8% A.B.V.

The Three Horseshoes, Stapleford, Cambridgeshire. December 2017

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

503: Great Heck – Black Santa

20171219_201315What they say: “Warm yourself against the icy blast with this delicious, rich festive stout. Flavoured with a hint of real vanilla pods and English hops. Black Santa is fermented with a Belgian yeast strain which imparts a surprisingly easy drinking nature to the beer as well as some fruity top notes to complement the vanilla.”

It was certainly easy drinking despite weighing in at 5.4% A.B.V. Slightly fruitier than I would have preferred but still very enjoyable.

The Queen Edith, Cambridge. December 2017

502: Navigation – Smokin’ Joe

20171219_201312What they say: “Dark smoked porter packing a power punch for the end of the year. Dark and smokey, a tangy transatlantic affair with a peculiar hint of liquorish.”

Ooh yum. Light on the hops and fruit and heavy on the malt. A great seasonal ale from this Nottinghamshire brewery in that most rare of beasts – a pub that was knocked down then rebuilt.

The Queen Edith, Cambridge. December 2017