Tuesday, 30 April 2019

571: The Maxim Brewery | Maximus

The Brewery: “Maxim Brewery began full production in Houghton le Spring in 2007. To brew the best beers possible requires the best brewery equipment available. Our 20 barrel brewery equipment was previously at the Canongate Brewery on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s historic Old Town. This was Scottish & Newcastle’s pilot brew house and as you would expect, was built to a very high specification. Indeed, it remains probably the best equipment of its size anywhere in the UK today….”

The Beer: “Double Maxim’s ‘Big Brother’ and a multi award winner…….A strong premium ale brewed with a hint of Demerara sugars…….Dark ruby in colour, Maximus has a sweet liquorice taste that is warming and easy to drink. Beware of its underlying strength”

Sound advice that last bit as this went down far too easily – a lovely drop although maybe that sweetness distracted me from the strength a bit. 6.0% A.B.V. March 2019. Another great find from the Monks Cross Asda near York.

570: The Maxim Brewery | Double Maxim

The Brewery: “Maxim Brewery began full production in Houghton le Spring in 2007. To brew the best beers possible requires the best brewery equipment available. Our 20 barrel brewery equipment was previously at the Canongate Brewery on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s historic Old Town. This was Scottish & Newcastle’s pilot brew house and as you would expect, was built to a very high specification. Indeed, it remains probably the best equipment of its size anywhere in the UK today….”

The Beer: “Now the only original Brown Ale still brewed in the North East of England.It delivers a mouth of full and rounded flavour that is well balanced and smooth and leaves a pleasant and lingering slightly sweet aftertaste. Roger Protz describes it as ‘An undoubted classic. It is a fine example of a North East brown ale. It is a good balance of ripe grain and spicy hops, with a long bittersweet finish’

Another from the Asda at Monks Cross near York – they really do have a great selection of regional ales – many at 4 for six quid. Yeah, I like this but did find it a tad on the sweet side. Not off-putting though. 4.7% A.B.V. March 2019.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

569: Black Sheep Brewery | Yorkshire Square Ale

The 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: “Yorkshire Square Ale was first brewed in 1999 to celebrate our unique ‘Yorkshire Square’ fermentation process.Yorkshire Square is a golden ale with rich, dry warming full flavour with hints of grapefruit and Demerara sugar. It ends on a long dry finish and is firm favourite with our Flock!”

Another great reginal offering from the Asda at Monks Cross near York that I mentioned in a previous post. I’m a fan of many of Black Sheep’s beers and enjoyed this one too. Thankfully the hints of grapefruit were just that – kept in check by the maltiness. A good strong ale without too many frills. 5.0% A.B.V. March 2019

568: Acorn Brewery | Barnsley Bitter

The Brewery: “Welcome to Acorn Brewery, Born and bred in Wombwell Barnsley, where we have been growing up since 2003…….Our first brew took place on the on the 4th July 2003 where we produced our flag ship, award winning Barnsley Bitter…….From here we have gone from strength to strength introducing 6 core beers to our range. Along the way there have been a few bumped heads and scratched knees but it is safe to say we have grown into a strapping teenager, now living on a 25-barrel plant which we moved to during 2008.”

The Beer: “Our award winning Barnsley Bitter is brewed using the finest quality Maris Otter malt and English hops. Chestnut in colour, having a well rounded, rich flavour, it retains a lasting bitter finish…..”

The Asda at Monks Cross near York proved an excellent source for some regional ales during my stay and this was the first to be sampled. It didn’t disappoint either – pretty much everything I like about a good honest bitter was here. No, heavy aroma, a lovely colour and a classic bitter taste. I hope I come across this in cask form at some point. 3.8% A.B.V. March 2019

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

567: Brewsmith | Brewsmith Bitter

The Brewery: “Established in 2014, Brewsmith is a family-run microbrewery based in Ramsbottom, Bury……We produce a range of cask, keg and bottle conditioned ales incorporating our favourite flavours and ingredients…….Our emphasis is on quality and attention to detail to produce a range of ales we are proud of.”

The Beer: Description: Moderate bitterness, pronounced floral and citrus aromas. Hops: Chinook, Savijnski Golding, Citra, Willamette.Malts: LC Maris Otter, Wheat Malt, Caramalt, Oats.”

I’m going to be generous and say that a strong coffee prior skewed my taste buds but as you may well guess from the description I didn’t enjoy this. Far too aromatic for me which I found quite off-putting sadly.

The York Tap, York Railway Station. March 2019

566: York Brewery | First Light

The Brewery: “Since we opened our doors in May 1996, we have been passionately producing fine handcrafted real ales to the highest possible standards. Our ales are enjoyed in pubs all over the UK, but are particularly pleased that so many local drinkers choose our products, and we’re proud to have won numerous local and national awards over the years”

The Beer: “This incredibly easy drinking, creamy, straw-coloured ale has a light and fruity hop character and a fairly dry finish. The pale colour and creamy texture can be attributed to a grain bill comprising of only Pale Malt. The perfect partnership of US grown Amarillo and Willamette hops leads to a slightly spicy, almost floral aroma with a distinct tinge of orange, alongside an earthy fruitiness.”

I suspected from the description on the pump clip that this wouldn’t be a favourite but with it only being brewed in March I wanted to give it a go. However I stupidly opted for the stronger and richer Centurion’s Ghost first.  So, it’s flavour was compromised but the quality was without question. I’ll give it another go when the opportunity arises.

York Brewery Tap, York. March 2019

565: York Brewery | Centurion’s Ghost

The Brewery: “Since we opened our doors in May 1996, we have been passionately producing fine handcrafted real ales to the highest possible standards. Our ales are enjoyed in pubs all over the UK, but are particularly pleased that so many local drinkers choose our products, and we’re proud to have won numerous local and national awards over the years”

The Beer: “Centurion's Ghost is a multiple gold medal award-winning dark ruby ale. It has a smooth roasted malt palate, and a combination of Challenger, Fuggle and Bramling Cross hops give it a subtle bitterness with autumn fruit flavours that linger on the aftertaste…………The dark, smoky, roasted bitterness of Ghost make it a great pairing for red meats and game. It also pairs well with chocolate desserts.”

The first of two beers I tried following a tour of the brewery – not as well known as the Guzzler and Yorkshire Terrier but having already tried those I wanted to sample something different. This didn’t disappoint. Not surprisingly, lovely and bright and fresh. A great red ale that wasn’t too sweet and fruity for my fussy old palate. Another cracker from York Brewery.

York Brewery Tap, York. March 2019

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

564: Lady Luck | Chocolate Porter

Couldn’t find out much about the brewery, other than it appears to be at the Little Angel pub in Whitby, in which case it didn’t have to travel very far as that’s where I sampled it!

A nice drop but of the two dark ales I tried on that day I preferred the Jet Black – just. 4.5% A.B.V

The Little Angel, Whitby, North Yorkshire. March 2019

563: Whitby Brewery | Smuggler's Gold

The Brewery: “Whitby Brewery has been producing delightfully delicious Yorkshire ales since 2013. The brewery itself was built by hand by local Whitby craftsmen and has proven to be perfect for brewing cracking Yorkshire ales. We use only the finest floor-malted barley and whole hops to make what we think are some of the best beers about………Whitby Brewery was founded with one aim - to brew the finest beers around. It's been an exciting 3 years since we produced our first beers and now we've moved to our larger premises we're ready to take Whitby Brewery to the next stage. Our commitment to quality, the dedication of our staff and our driving passion means we're always learning, developing and improving our recipes and our processes.”

The Beer: “Extremely easy drinking and moreish. The use of pale barley gives a deliciously smooth maltiness which is then lifted slightly with the spiciness of Goldings hops. A fine golden ale that can be drunk all night long.”

I didn’t expect to be trying another of their beers quite so soon but glad that I did. Not my favourite style of beer as regulars will know but very enjoyable and found in a great real ale pub too. 4.2% A.B.V

The Little Angel, Whitby, North Yorkshire. March 2019