Tuesday, 19 June 2018

539: Joseph Holt - Humdinger

20180618_204048The Brewery: “We are lucky that we have been brewing at the same Brewery since 1860, so everyday we are reminded of the values and beliefs that drove a man to set up a Brewery in central Manchester. This experience, passion and drive, influences everything we do. We like to think that if Joseph was about today, he would be pleased with the progress and proud that his stamp is still very much on the Brewery. We are incredibly proud of our rich history as an independent family brewer based in Manchester.”

The Beer: “Refreshing multi-award winning ale with subtle undertones of honey. Brewed with a blend of the finest English malt, Mexican aroma honey and citrus whole hops.”

One of a number procured during the latest Aldi beer festival and my favourite. Everything my taste buds like was here it seemed - I wish I’d bought more than one. It accompanied an England win in the football World Cup too which maybe helped!

4.1% A.B.V June 2018.

538: Cerne Abbas - Watercress Warrior

20180617_203153The Brewery: “In 2016 after over 130 years brewing returned to Cerne Abbas. The brewery is now nestled into the Cerne Valley, our barley is grown by Dorset’s longest standing organic farmer Will Best at his Manor Farm in Godmanstone.  Once spent, the barley returns to Manor Farm and Pound Farm in Nether Cerne to feed the dairy herds minimising waste and food miles. We use exceptional ingredients to recreate the beer Cerne Abbas was once so famous for and exported to New York and London.  The green sand geology of the area makes the water supremely ideal for beer making.”

The Beer: “This brew is that rare and special thing formed when the finest ingredients of UK watercress, mineral-rich spring water and Flyer hops combine to provide a “sharp slap around the chops” followed by a “floral cuddle” to make up.”

The first of a gift from a caravanning friend all from his home county of Dorset - thank you Andy. The first mouthful was a little sharp and not didn’t particularly endear itself to my fussy palate but it did improve with subsequent slurps. 4.5% A.B.V. June 2018

537: Hambleton Ales - Session Pale

20180616_213255The Brewery: “Armed with nothing more than a pair of wellies, some old steel tanks and a rusty Peugeot 205, Nick built his brewery with blood, sweat and tears. Why did he do this? Simply because he wanted to make great beer.Today demand has meant that we have moved out of the garden, and we also have  slightly shinier tanks, but Nick’s original ambition still stands. We love making great beer. That’s what we do best and everything we do revolves around that fact.So whether you are drinking one of our much loved cask, keg or bottled beers, or trying one of our monthly specials, you can be sure that you are drinking a beer of outstanding quality, brewed with real passion, by people who just want one simple thing – to make great beer.”

The Beer: “The best Yorkshire malt, water and Yakima Valley hops come together to produce an easy drinking, low ABV session beer.”

I’ll be honest - I didn’t have high hopes for this when I poured it. I know it was a pale but it looked pretty unappealing to me however. Proof though that looks aren’t everything was in the taste. Whilst it’s not a beer I’d choose over an amber bitter say it was very quaffable, particularly a bit colder and on a nice summers evening. Don’t use it to wash down a pack of Cheddars though - a very different flavour developed.

3.8% A.B.V. June 2018

536: Felinfoel - Dragon’s Heart

20180608_210324The Brewery: “As the name implies, Felinfoel brewery is situated in ‘Felinfoel’, a small village adjoining Llanelli in Wales. Historians tell us that in the old days the inn brewed its own beer, but only during the winter months. The keeping qualities and the strength of the beers, therefore, were of prime importance and the popularity of ‘Felinfoel Beer’ led to the local inn brewing for other inns in the locality. This, in turn, led to the present brewery being built in 1878 to accommodate demand.”

The Beer: “A new permanent addition to our canned craft ale range. At 4.5% this is a full drinking premium Welsh Ale which is malty and gently hopped. Dragons Heart has a rich colour and smooth balanced character with lots of red fruit flavour and buttery overtones.”

A welcome addition to the Felinfoel stable, procured I think when Aldi’s beer festival was on, so a bargain price too. A tasty drop.4.5% A.B.V. June 2018.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

535: Hammerpot – Madgwick Gold

20180520_145548The Brewery: “Hammerpot Brewery was founded in 2005 with the aim of handcrafting authentic premium real ales. Within a year, its founder Lee Mitchell had created an award winning beer, Woodcote Bitter. Growing production to a ten barrel plant, by 2012 Lee had created the Champion Porter of Great Britain, crowned at that year’s CAMRA Winter Ales festival……

……The ales are brewed near the tiny hamlet of Hammerpot, near Arundel, using water from the South Downs and carefully selected hops, malted barley and wheat. Production is sustainable too – from forgoing mechanisation for traditional hand bottling, through to ensuring the spent grains from production are not wasted but feed animals on the local farm.”

The Beer: “A medium bodied golden ale with a fresh citrus spice hop aroma. Smooth malt sweetness balanced with a refreshing, thirst quenching finish. BRONZE Strong Beers Macclesfield Beer Festival 2009. BEER OF THE FESTIVAL, CAMRA WHITE CLIFFS FESTIVAL, 2015.”

Guesting at our local it takes an exceptional beer to trump the usually excellent Harveys Sussex Best Bitter. This didn’t do that but it was very drinkable although it certainly didn’t have the body expected of a beer of this strength. Always nice to sample local brews though. 5.0% A.B.V.

The Rottingdean Club, East Sussex. May 2018

534: Caledonia – Outpost I.P.A.

20180430_145031The Brewery: “Caledonia Ales are a range of Scottish beers to suit every occasion. By combining the highland water from Loch Katrine with the finest Scottish malted barley, hops and yeast, we have created a family of beers that are unmistakably Scottish.”

The Beer:Caledonia Outpost IPA has some subtle fruity / estery notes. These are dominated by strong malty grainy flavours along with a punchy hoppy character. The beer is distinctly bitter with a lingering bitter aftertaste as you would expect from an IPA. The beer has a warming alcoholic effect on the throat. This beer is medium to full bodied.

Flavour Profile: Malt, Crystal malt, it is triple hopped using German Herkules hop for bittering, then US Cascade as a late hop and nally dry hopped using more Cascade post fermentation.”

Yep, I liked this, what you expect of an IPA. Nice stuff. 5.0% A.B.V. June 2018

Saturday, 16 June 2018

533: Caledonia – Hop Scotch

20180430_145018The Brewery: “Caledonia Ales are a range of Scottish beers to suit every occasion. By combining the highland water from Loch Katrine with the finest Scottish malted barley, hops and yeast, we have created a family of beers that are unmistakably Scottish.”

The Beer:Hop Scotch has a slightly fruit/ester nose, with a smokey/woody/ cloves flavor, vanilla flavor is also detected. It has a slight warming effect on the palate due to the presence of higher alcohols. Caledonia Oak Aged is slightly sweet with a clear bitterness and some after-bitterness and astringency.This beer is medium bodied.

Flavour Profile: Malt, coloured malts (brown & amber), barley, wheat: Blend of 4 hops: US and German Herkules, Super Styrian, Tettnang. It is Hybrid – part lager part ale.”

Another one procured during our trip to the North East at the end of March. Different but enjoyable with a nice balance of flavours end strength. 5.0% A.B.V. June 2018