Saturday, 2 March 2019

560: Big Smoke Brew Co. | Underworld

The brewery: “We are a young brewery producing modern beer styles in the leafy suburbs of Esher in Surrey. We brew hop forward pales, rich stouts and everything in between….Our beers are always available at our pubs and good bottle shops, pubs and bars throughout the UK.”

The beer: “Our multiple award winning milk stout is brewed with lactose, vanilla pods, espresso and chocolate for a complex, creamy finish.     Hops - Fuggles…..Awarded best cask stout and third best cask beer overall in the SIBA 2016 South East Competition……Awarded best bottled stout, third best bottled beer overall and third best cask stout in the SIBA 2017 South East Competition.”

Yum. Yummity Yum. I like a stout every so often and after the rather subtle but inoffensive Solaris this really hit the spot. Extremely flavoursome which is not surprising as it weighs in at 5.0% A.B.V.

The Lyric, Soho, London. February 2019.

559: Big Smoke Brew Co. | Solaris

The brewery: “We are a young brewery producing modern beer styles in the leafy suburbs of Esher in Surrey. We brew hop forward pales, rich stouts and everything in between….Our beers are always available at our pubs and good bottle shops, pubs and bars throughout the UK.”

The beer: “Our biggest selling beer is also one of the first that we brewed. A very easy drinking pale ale brewed exclusively for cask…..Hops - Cascade & Centennial”

Yeah, pleasant enough - not the most flavoursome I found but as it says, a good session pint at 3.8% A.B.V. Nice find too in the heart of London with nine handpumps.

The Lyric, Soho, London. February 2019.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

558: West Berkshire Brewery | Mister Chubb’s

The brewery: “Here at West Berkshire Brewery, we champion traditional brewing techniques and showcase the finest UK hops to produce high quality, distinctive and award-winning real ales and craft beers. We’re an independent brewery with over 23 years of brewing experience.”

The beer: “This beautifully balanced session ale has a refreshing light floral flavour provided by a single variety of English hops. Mr Chubbs was the nickname given to the founder’s father, a lock keeper on the River Thames.”

Certainly not too florally for me - in fact I enjoyed it very much and the flavour belied it’s strength - 3.7% A.B.V

Walkers of Whitehall, London. February 2018

557: Fyne Ales | Ryesing Water

The brewery: “When Fyne Ales was founded in 2001, the aim was to bring prosperity – jobs, industry and tourism – to the quiet, isolated corner of Scotland that our founders’ call home. We’re proud to be a modern, rural farm brewery – to use our stunning, rustic Argyll estate not only for sustainable farming, but as a base for producing the highest quality progressive beers that are enjoyed all over the world.”

The beer: “Cask special - December 2018…..Gentle stone-fruit flavours with a hint of citrus lightness underpinned by smooth, rounded malt backbone and a touch of rye spice in the finish….Brewed on a very wet November day when the River Fyne threatened to burst its banks, Ryesing Water is hoppy session ale with NZ, USA and UK hops, built on a backbone of complex malt including heaps of chewy, lightly spicy rye.”

Despite the description I didn’t find this too hoppy - maybe the rye and malts kept those pesky hops in check somewhat. I didn’t find it particularly memorable for the right or wrong reasons. I’d drink it again but would prefer to try something else.

Westow House, Crystal Palace, London. February 2019

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

556: Small World Brewery | Long Moor Pale

20181227_125137The Brewery: The last brewery in Shepley & Shelley, Seth Seniors ceased production in 1946 when it was taken over by Hammonds of Lockwood after 117 years of beer production in the valley.
More than 68 years on Small World Beers started production at Barncliffe Mills, a natural location for a brewery sitting in a valley famous for its spring water”………”Small World started production in 2014 after many years of planning and honing our skills, first coming together after a chance meeting between Dave Hill and Pete Forder who shared a passion for beer and brewing, and over a beer or three, Small World was born.”

The Beer: “Pale ale with grapefruit and citrusy notes with a light bitter finish, brewed with Centennial and Cascade hops.”

Regulars will deduce correctly from the description that this beer wasn’t really for me although it may have been more appealing on a hot summers night than a cold winters day. Crystal clear though and the journey south clearly didn’t do it any harm. Hopefully I’ll come across some more of their range on my travels. 3.9% A.B.V.

The Victoria Inn, Colchester, Essex. December 2018  | listing

Monday, 7 January 2019

555: Colchester Brewery | Ambassador

20181227_122443The Brewery: “In 2011 three friends, with considerable experience in the brewing industry, decided that they would set up a new brewery, financed by friends and family.”…..”A lot of hard work saw the creation of the Viaduct Brewhouse, at Wakes Colne Business Centre, just north of the Chappel viaduct. Tom was adamant that he wanted to create real ale using traditional methods, and in particular the double-drop brewing process, despite the extra cost involved. All the stakeholders wanted to create the best possible brewery with beers to be proud of. The first brew - aptly named No.1 - was ready for sale by February 2012.”

Happy New Year and welcome to the first entry of 2019. Looking back at the number of entries for previous years I was clearly slacking a bit in 2018. Must do better!

No mention of this on the brewery website but - and I’ve used this phrase before - it’s a good honest session bitter. Having brown in the description might lead some to believe this might be a bit sweet but it wasn’t. A nice balance - to my palate anyway - of hops and bitterness. Nice pub too. 3.9% A.B.V

The Victoria Inn, Colchester, Essex. December 2018. entry

Friday, 21 December 2018

554: Butcombe - ChrisMoose

20181213_153713The Brewery: “In 1978, Butcombe Brewing Co. began. It was a time of cultural, social and political change, soundtracked by bands full of spit and anger riding the crest of the punk wave. Margaret Thatcher took the Tory leadership, the IRA waged war, the Yorkshire Ripper cast a long shadow over the North and the meaning of life was revealed as the number 42. We shut out the world and made beer.”

The Beer: Nothing on their website on what is obviously a seasonal special. The usual dark fruity winter ale. Enjoyable but not memorable - for the right or wrong reasons. 4.1% A.B.V

The Barley Mow, Kemptown, Brighton. December 2018