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800: Bathams | Best Bitter

The brewery: “Bathams have become a family born to brew, with the  sixth generation now involved in creating and serving a legendary beer of the Black Country…..The company has continued to expand from that day in 1882 when Daniel Batham senior became the landlord of the White Horse in Cradley Heath. We think he would be proud to know that 137 years later in 2019 that Batham’s would be operating 11 pubs and supplying many more throughout the Black Country and beyond!” The beer: “A straw-coloured bitter which initially seems sweet, but a complex dry, hoppy taste soon predominates.” A little paler than I had in mind for a best bitter but it was nonetheless a nice drop and accompanied a great Sunday roast too. The King & Castle , Kidderminster. August 2022 “
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799: Staffordshire | Peakstones Rock | Black Hole

The brewery: “Conceived during a Sunday afternoon pint, David Edwards brewed his first batch of Nemesis in May 2005. The brewery now produces 9 different real ales regularly in our 4.5 barrel plant based in the Staffordshire Moorlands. The beers take their names from the surrounding area as the brewery looks out across Dimmingsdale Wood, home of the Chained Oak towards the village of Alton.“ The beer: “A dark award winning beer brewed with chocolate malt that always impresses.” My first of the day at the CVR and impress it certainly did. A fabulous day all around with some heritage railway action, lovely scenery and some awesome ales too. The Churnet Valley Railway Rail Ale Trail July 2022.

798: Staffordshire | Peakstones Rock | Alton Abbey

The brewery: “Conceived during a Sunday afternoon pint, David Edwards brewed his first batch of Nemesis in May 2005. The brewery now produces 9 different real ales regularly in our 4.5 barrel plant based in the Staffordshire Moorlands. The beers take their names from the surrounding area as the brewery looks out across Dimmingsdale Wood, home of the Chained Oak towards the village of Alton.“ The beer: “A ruby coloured beer with a smooth fruity flavour.” A tad too fruity for me to be honest but otherwise a tasty pint. The Churnet Valley Railway Rail Ale Trail July 2022.

797: Liverpool | Flagship | Silhouette

The brewery: “Flagship Beer was launched in 2016, and has gone from supplying just The Ship & Mitre to national distribution…..We brew small batches, just 620 litres a time, to ensure the beer is freshest. Most of our beer is grain-to-glass in less than a month.” The beer: “Dry Irish stout, with plenty of roasted, toasted richness.” Not my favourite of the afternoon - there was some stiff competition - but very pleasant nonetheless. 4.5% A.B.V. The Churnet Valley Railway Rail Ale Trail July 2022.

796: Wrexham | Sandstone | Abyss

The brewery: “Sandstone Brewery has helped to restore a traditional craft to the town of Wrexham. Commissioned in late 2008, the 4-barrel plant is situated in a former explosives manufacturing unit on Wrexham Industrial Estate, it has also been infested with Dragons since time immemorial. Well, at  least since the beer arrived.” The beer: Nothing on their website about this one but found this online: “Made from a careful blend of seven malts to create a truly unique flavour. Hidden depths of rich flavours including caramel, chocolate and a slight coffee note.” Delicious, the flavours were all there even though I’d had quite a busy day ‘researching’. The Churnet Valley Railway Rail Ale Trail July 2022.

795: Nottinghamshire | Flipside | Flipping Best

The brewery: “In May 2014 we opened our brewery tap, the Old Volunteer in Carlton Square, Nottingham. The pub has nine real ales on hand pull, four of which are Flipside brewery beers with five regularly changing guest beers….After a lot of thought about a name for a brewery we came up with Flipside, a reference to the coin collecting hobby of our head brewer. This also provides the theme for the names of the beers which are loosely based around coins and currency, apart from when we can’t resist using the word "flipping"!” The beer: “A traditional dark brown best bitter. Strong malt flavours complemented with good bitterness and gentle hop flavours. At 4.6%, a popular beer for the bitter lover.” Couldn’t agree more, very tasty, even in plastic. The Churnet Valley Railway Rail Ale Trail July 2022.

794: Wiltshire | Twisted Brewing Co. | Gaucho

The brewery: “As an authentic micro brewery we know the value of producing small batches of traditional beers that showcase the best of traditional British beer, from best bitters to pale ales we have beers that everyone loves to drink.” The beer: “This dark ruby red ale celebrates the malt with a dark caramel and chocolate base, balanced on a blend of European hops. Aromas of soft fruit, chocolate and toffee play around the taste of berries.  A great beer to have with your Sunday dinner.” This was a busy day ‘research’ wise but I very much enjoyed this. A lovely combination of flavours. 4.6% A.B.V. Black Lion , Consall Forge, Staffordshire. July 2022.