Thursday, 16 January 2020

635: Black Sheep | Milk Stout

20191230_202451The Brewery: “In 1992, Paul Theakston took a daring leap into the unknown. As a fifth generation brewer of his family company, he chose to leave T&R Theakstons following its sale to a national brewery. Instead, he chose to champion independent brewing in Yorkshire and built his own brewery from reclaimed equipment in the very same town, Masham. Paul is the Black Sheep.”

The Beer: “A velvet, creamy stout packing notes of chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Brewed with lactose and a robust malt blend, this milk stout offers a satisfying sweetness that cuts against a light bitterness, brought together through an irresistible velvet texture.”

Oh this was nice. Very nice. A superb combination of flavours and a lovely texture on the tongue too, but then Black Sheep know how to brew top quality beers. Related entries.

634: Brakspear | Gravity

20191218_144151The Brewery: “Since 2002, much of the original brewing plant was moved to the Wychwood brewery in Witney, West Oxfordshire (owned by Marstons). Following a major refurbishment of the Wychwood brewery Brakspear Bitter is still handcrafted in the original copper and the famous Henley ‘Double-Drop’ fermentation system……..In May 2013, we re-established our brewing roots in Henley, opening the Bell Street Brewery.”

The Beer: “Brewed in Oxfordshire using the famous Henley ‘double-drop’ fermentation system  in Victorian copper fermentation vessels from the original Henley brewery. This amber ale has a crystal malt and a well hopped bitterness in taste, which transforms into a bittersweet and fruity finish with a good fruit, hop and malt nose. A superb session beer which is ideal with foods such as fine English cheeses, Ploughman’s and fish and chips”

Well, this was sampled in Bell Street so there’s a good chance that it was brewed just a few metres away. Didn’t really hit the spot for me to be honest, my fussy palate didn’t get too excited about the combination of flavours. Nice and bright though and at 3.4% a great session beer. Perhaps I should have had another. Related entries.

The Bull on Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames. December 2019.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

633: Rebellion | Roasted Nuts

20191218_124124The Brewery: “The story of the Rebellion Brewery starts with two friends, Tim Coombes and Mark Gloyens. Attending school together in Marlow at a time when the old Wethered Brewery was in full production, the sweet aromas of malt were a constant reminder that Marlow was an active brewing town……….the Rebellion Brewery was eventually established on the Rose Industrial Estate in Marlow Bottom in April 1993. In 1999 the brewery moved to its current location on Bencombe Farm, occupying the old grainstore and other redundant farm buildings.”

The Beer: “A deep ruby, complex and flavoursome beer, packed with intense and distinctive malt & hop character.”

Oh yum, what a pint. I’d started with the excellent Rebellion IPA, a beer I’d had before and enjoyed immensely. This too was superb - a wonderful colour only overshadowed by the abundance or rich flavours. Crystal clear but then I was drinking it just a few miles from the brewery. I could easily have had another, excellent stuff. 4.6% A.B.V. Related entries

The Ship, Marlow. December 2019.

632: Elgoods | A Christmoose Carol

20191215_194622The Brewery: “The North Brink Brewery was built in 1795 and the brewhouse is a classic English Ale brewery and Elgood’s proudly carry on the brewing of their own beers for local and wider distribution across the UK. The process is carried out using equipment dating from 1910 to the present day, as a program of refurbishment of the brewery has been sympathetically carried out over the last few years.”

The Beer: “Our seasonal for December is 'A Christmoose Carol'. A light brown, refreshing beer.”

Like the previous entry this too was in the line up at the Wetherspoons in Henley and it was neither bright or particularly clear either. Not the darker fruitier offering that often characterises winter seasonal beers but it didn’t hit the spot. Again, a fresher pint would have been preferable. 3.9% A.B.V

The Catherine Wheel, Henley-on-Thames. December 2019

631: Stardust | English Bitter

20191215_182906The Brewery: “We are an independent craft brewery based in White Waltham, founded on a love of malt and hops. After exploring the world’s tastiest blends, we have come up with a selection of beers to suit every taste and occasion, ranging from a Sunday night easy drinker to a full-on punchy pint.”

The Beer: “This beer is blended to bring out the very best of traditional British malt and hop flavours. The raised malt profile unlocks notes of roasted caramel, which mingle with classic hop aromas.”

Found this in the line up at the Wetherspoons in Henley on a recent caravanning trip. The appearance was slightly off-putting - not particularly bright or clear. It tasted ok but I sensed I didn’t get to sample it at it’s best, sadly. 4.0% A.B.V.

The Catherine Wheel, Henley-on-Thames. December 2019

Thursday, 7 November 2019

630: Bristol Beer Factory | Milk Stout

20191024_170033The Brewery: “Bristol Beer Factory started life in 2004 brewing just a few standard cask conditioned ales in a vibrant part of south Bristol.  The building we have all our fun in is actually an old fermenting block which was built in 1904 for the Ashton Gate Brewery.  The Ashton Gate Brewery (or Thomas Bayntons Brewery) started brewing here back around 1820's - though there was a break for about 70 years between 1933 & 2004.”

The Beer: “The original Bristol Milk Stout with smooth chocolatey sweetness and balancing coffee bitterness with hints of dark fruits. This award winning national champion stout is a beautifully creamy, full-bodied stout.”

Yep, agree with all of this. Went down well whilst people watching in Theatreland on my recent visit to London. One of my favourite pubs too.4.5%. A.B.V. Related entries

The Lyric, Soho, London. October 2019.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

629: Gun Brewery | Chummy Bluster Best Bitter

20191024_164040The Brewery: “We brew at Gun Hill, on a beautiful 140 acre organic mixed farm in the Sussex Weald. The farm has a history of hop growing and some survive to this day in the hedgerows……We spent a year refitting the barn, and installing all the equipment ourselves, before selling our first pint in January 2015. In making our beer we aim to tread lightly on our surroundings. We generate much of our own power from a 15kw solar array; heating from a wood powered boiler and our spent grains keep the local livestock happy…….All the water used for brewing comes from our own spring source deep below the organically farmed land. The water is microfiltered and UV treated to ensure its purity without the need for chemicals. It’s delicious and great for brewing.”

The Beer: “It's the style that defines English Beer. That to some is simply 'real ale'. It is of course Best Bitter. Given this history and the amazing examples that are available, creating one is not something we've undertaken lightly. Made with no fewer than 7 malts and 3 different English Hops, "Chummy Bluster" is a gentle, fruity, well rounded ale, with just the right amount of bitterness to keep you coming back for more. Unfined, unfiltered and suitable for vegans.”

The most expensive beer procured on my latest visit to London - but they may have been down to the location. It was certainly one of the tastiest, a thoroughly enjoyable pint that ticked all the boxes for me. From my adopted home county of Sussex too. 4.4%. A.B.V.

Blue Posts, Soho, London. October 2019.