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Showing posts from 2013

Theakston – Masham Glory

From the brewers of the delightfully different ‘Old Peculier’ a more traditional bitter with a lovely dry taste. I really enjoyed this. 4.7%

Greene King – IPA Reserve

A stronger version of GK’s IPA. Similar taste but with added oomph. 5.4% Part of Tesco’s 4 for 6 quid deal (at the time)

Bass – No. 1

Have come across this on tap on cruise ships and enjoyed it – although it may have been a case of any port in a storm when everything else was lager. The bottled version was equally as pleasant but as is often the case, stronger than it’s cask equivalent. 2 for 3 quid at a One-Stop in Cambridge and worth every penny.

Badger – Blandford Flyer

I’ve always enjoyed Badger beers and this one was no exception although a little different – a hint of ginger and very nice it was too though I would suggest it’s more geared to summer served colder than you would normally an ale. One of Tesco’s ‘4 for 6 quid’ deal running over Xmas.

Young's - London Gold

A golden ale somewhat spoiled by the fact that it was out of date and a little cloudy. Check your dates!

Skrimshander IPA

A tasty Kentish ale that's not too hoppy. Another local find whilst in Kent.

Courage - Directors

Brewed originally for the directors of the brewery (funny that), widely available and consistent, the draught is nice too. 4.8%.

Whitstable Pale Ale

Light and easy drinking pale ale. 3.9%.

Hardy & Hansons - Rocking Rudolph

From the Greene King stable, a great winter seasonal ale. A full bodied bitter at 4.2%.

Westerham - British Bulldog

A local ale - well local if you are in Kent, which we are - currently. Procured during a (very) rare visit to a Waitrose this is bottle conditioned, so look for the settlement at the bottom and pour carefully, neither of which I did and so ended up with a cloudy ale. Nevertheless, very tasty, with the expected hint of Kentish hops.

Shepherd Neame - Master Brew

Again, when in Rome etc. More of the Kentish hoppy twang. Light enough to have a few.

Shepherd Neame - Late Red

When in Rome, or in this case Kent, research of the local offerings is in order. I enjoyed this one from Kent's biggest - and Britain's oldest - brewer. Lacked some of the distinctive hoppiness that puts me off some of SN's brews.

Old Golden Hen

As the name suggests, not the sort of ale that I normally go for, but in the interests of research I tried it out. Good for those that like a lighter golden ale.

Ruddles - County

Guesting in place of the regular Abbot Ale at our local thanks to a delivery mix up and a worthy lighter replacement albeit temporarily. Really enjoyed this.

Laines - Best

A local brew that got 'researched' a little too much during the school bus drivers end of term unofficial party. A great tasting bitter and always nice to support local business – a bit pricey but that have have been down to the boozer. Very enjoyable though

Thwaites - Lancaster Bomber

Another excellent ale from Thwaites, a full bodied traditional bitter. Lovely.

Marstons - EPA

Had this on draught a couple of years ago on a rare warm summers afternoon. An excellent example of a ale served a little cooler and great for the summer. The bottled version was just as good and light enough to enjoy a few on a summers day.

Shepherd Neame –Tins’Ale

Shepherd Neames’ seasonal special returns to Lidl’s shelves for the festive season. Good on a ‘school night’ but I prefer something a little darker and fuller bodied usually.  Like Dragonfire , easy drinking at 3.8% and priced (at 99p/500ml) to make it a good party beer.

Greene King – Fireside

After the fun and shenanigans of another great Smugglers Night in Rottingdean some sustenance was called for, so we adjourned to our regular watering hole The Rottingdean Club. Normally three ales are on offer – two regulars – Harveys Best Bitter & Greene King Abbott and a guest ale. This week it was the turn of Fireside, again from Greene King . A tad darker than a traditional bitter, full bodied at 4.5% but not too heavy if you fancy a few. And indeed you might because it was delicious. I wasn’t initially won over so had to have a second and third just to make sure……. Malty and shares some similarities with the Rev. James but perhaps more subtle.

Adnams–Ghost Ship

Next up (and last thanks to an early start Saturday) on the research schedule was this from the Suffolk brewery Adnams . Pale golden in colour and with a bitter, citrus taste and aroma, very different to my previous choice . Not my favourite style of beer but very drinkable. Another well kept beer at the Queen Vic. 4.5%

Brains - Rev. James

Friday night and with the last school bus run of the week successfully executed it’s time again for some research. No Cinema tonight so after an adequate meal and pint in the White Horse we headed across the road to the Queen Vic, an establishment that’s rapidly becoming one of our favourite evening watering holes. They generally keep two regular ales and three more ever changing ones. First up this week was this offering from the Welsh brewer Brains. I’ve had this in the bottle – Lidl’s had it on offer – and enjoyed it very much and was not disappointed by the draught version. A dark bitter, slightly sweet with a rich dark almost smokey flavour. 4.5% so full bodied but not over the top. Very nice.

Harveys – Armada Ale

Another ale from local brewer Harveys – more golden and hoppy than I normally like but pleasant enough. Commissioned originally by the National Maritime Museum  for their quarter centenary celebrations of the defeat of the Spanish Armada, but kept on as a regular due to it’s popularity. 4.5%

Harveys – Bonfire Boy

A Bonfire Night special from another local brewery – Harveys of Lewes .  Dark amber and a warming malty, seemingly smokey taste which is apt given the occasion it’s brewed for. At 5.8% you wouldn’t want (or need) too many. Having tried all the ales on offer at our two nearby shops – Co-Op and Premier – I’ve found a new source on the way home that stocks plenty of locally brewed ales, so more to come from Harveys.

Long Man - Best Bitter

Had this on draught in the past and  always enjoyed it so was really looking forward to trying this. It didn't disappoint - a classic best bitter that joins London Pride and Black Sheep as one of my favourite bottled ales. Brewed just up the road too and it's always nice to buy local when possible. Might be 'researching' this again soon!   From the Long Man Brewery , Litlington

Ringwood - Old Thumper

I love Ringwood's Best  Bitter and had high hopes of this. It didn't disappoint either.  Full bodied and not unlike Abbot Ale. Weighs in at 5.1% so go easy!

Bath Ales - Forest Hare

At Wetherspoons at Brighton Marina. Nice and light at 3.9% but a bit too hoppy for me.

George Gale & Co –Seafarer

Owned by, and brewed at Fullers in Chiswick, but travelled well to the First and Last Inn when were were there in July 2013.

Belhaven - Best

Tap, rather than draught and so a bit gassy but still drinkable. Had this more than once whilst up in Scotland when draught was sometimes harder to come by. This was in Aberdeen in May. Probably!

Jennings–Cumberland Ale

A tasty ale from the Jennings brewery in Cockermouth. Their Bitter is very drinkable too and occasionally appears in Lidl for around a quid a time. This was in Bowness –on- Windermere in May 2012.

Donnington – Bitter

Moreton-in-Marsh, February 2013. A good easy drinking pint, even more so given that it was a quid cheaper than what we usually pay at home!

Greene King – Abbot Ale

Another favourite but at 5% quite potent and with me being  a lightweight I don’t indulge often. This beer from the Suffolk based brewery clearly travelled well as it tasted fine at a Wetherspoons in Edinburgh in May 2012

Oban Brewery–Kilt Lifter

Procured from the site shop at North Ledaig caravan site a few miles from Oban whilst on our British Isles Tour in 2012. There were several others but cannot find photo’s of ‘em. Well done to another site shop for stocking local ales rather than the usual nationally available ones.

Black Sheep – Best Bitter

Even more delicious on draught than in the bottle and found at The Black Boy in Weeley, Essex in October 2012 whilst we were on site at Homestead Lake nearby – within walking distance!

Black Sheep

A consistent favourite, readily available in a bottle but not so much in draught around here. Probably from the local Co-Op just over a year ago

Exmoor – Beast

Whilst we were in North Devon in the summer friends were staying at the Caravan Club/Camping & Caravan Club site almost next door. The site shop stock an great selection of local and regional ales and, if I recall correctly  done deal if you bought a few. This was one of ‘em – can’t remember much about it but I’m sure it was enjoyable!

Shepherd Neame - Dragonfire

Procured from our local Lidl for a bargain 99p. Typical SN hoppy taste which is not my favourite but perfectly acceptable. Weighs in at 3.8% which combined with the price makes it a great party beer. Just the one for me though as it's a school night!

Adnams – Fat Sprat

Another Facebook find. Location probably The First and Last Inn , Lands End, Cornwall in July 2013

Glastonbury Ales –Black as yer ‘At

A peruse through some photos surviving only on facebook brought this one up. From the site shop at the excellent The Old Oaks touring park in  March 2013.