Wednesday, 19 August 2020

659: Backyard Brewhouse | Gold

20200817_183645The brewery: “….Since 2008 we have experimented with different combinations of hops and ingredients to find both traditional and new tasting ales…..Finest English malt is the base for all Backyard Brewhouse beers but it does not stop there. Combinations with hops such as New Age American, Old English, Slovenian and New Zealand as well as one or two other secret ingredients have helped make all our beers popular and distinctive…..We are determined to build on our previous successes; Winning national SIBA awards for Gold and Hoard. Regional SIBA and CAMRA awards for several of our beers as part of an ever growing awards cabinet, has helped us to secure a place as serious operators in the brewing community.”

The beer: “Golden bitter. Mosaic and Citra hops give an intense citrus, tropical experience.”

Another birthday gift, folks certainly know what to buy me which is lovely. A bit too citrusy for me if I’m honest but it’s a very welcome taste on a warm day nonetheless again, perhaps served a tad colder than usual. 4.5% A.B.V.

August 2020.

658: Hobsons | Old Henry

20200816_201226The brewery: “Founded in 1993 by the Davis family, over the past 26 years Hobsons have grown to become a leading brewer in Shropshire and one of the most sustainable breweries in the UK. The success of our brewery and its many awards has been down to a strong culture of supporting our region, its people and its resources.”

The beer: “A rich auburn ale with complex malty flavours and a richness balanced by the clean hoppy finish.  A signature brew for Henry Hobson that embodies the Hobsons art of brewing beyond their weight…..Old Henry is a premium British ale brewed with the finest local Maris Otter barley and Worcestershire hops - Goldings and Challenger.”

A birthday gift and a lovely drop, the sort of ale my palate craves. I was delighted to come across another Hobsons beer after a 4 year gap. 5.2% A.B.V.

August 2020. Related entries

657: Goffs Brewery | Jouster

20200811_211237The brewery: Goffs Brewery was born in the shadows of Sudeley Castle by Marcus and Alison Goff, both of whom have a passion for creating great tasting beers.  Marcus’ father, Master Brewer Brian Goff, created the first batch of Jouster in 1994 – a good honest all English hopped session bitter – which has twice been a finalist in CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival, as well as winning many other regional awards.”

The beer: “A drinkable, tawny coloured ale, with a light hoppiness in the aroma. It has a good balance of malt and bitterness in the mouth, underscored by fruitiness, with a clean, hoppy aftertaste.”

My second beer from Goffs and like the Black Knight it didn’t disappoint either. Well balanced and very drinkable. 4.0% A.B.V.

August 2020. Related entries

656: Goffs Brewery | Black Knight

20200811_200851The brewery: “Goffs Brewery was born in the shadows of Sudeley Castle by Marcus and Alison Goff, both of whom have a passion for creating great tasting beers.  Marcus’ father, Master Brewer Brian Goff, created the first batch of Jouster in 1994 – a good honest all English hopped session bitter – which has twice been a finalist in CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival, as well as winning many other regional awards.”

The beer: “A deep ruby red beer with powerful chocolate malt aromas and a hint of vanilla.  Brewed with Bramling Cross hops for a soft lingering fruity finish.  A classic porter.”

When in Rome etc, or in this case the Cotswolds as I was for a few weeks in the summer. Not a brewery I’d heard of but the imagery appealed and so did the beer. Hardly an ale to be drinking on a hit summers’ night but it went down well anyway. Tasty. 5.3% A.B.V.

August 2020. Related entries

655: Tower Brewery | Imperial

20200809_155741The  brewery: ”In 2001 helped by his family, John Mills established the Tower Brewery, continuing in the long tradition of brewing in Burton on Trent……Over a period of nine months and with a lot of hard work, John and his father Geoffrey converted the handsome water tower, in which the brewery is now based….Steeped in brewing history and known as Walsitch Maltings, the tower was built in the 1870s by Thomas Salt & Co Ltd., and later in 1927 owned by Burton brewers Bass & Co……With the conversion finished and the building returned to its former heritage, production began on 10th April 2001.”

The beer: “A premium IPA, light golden in colour with a rich fruity citrus flavour and floral hoppy aroma. Distinctive and deceptively quaffable”

Another beer, the style of which does not normally please my fussy palate but which went down quite well. A warm sunny day helped no doubt. Looking forward to trying some others from the range when the opportunity arises.

August 2020.

654: Chadlington | Oxford Blue

20200806_193256The brewery: “Known as The Oxford Beer, Chadlington Brewery is passionate about the art of brewing beer. We take our inspiration from the glorious Oxfordshire countryside to create great tasting beers that everyone can enjoy. Brewed using only natural ingredients including Oxfordshire spring water and the finest English hops and malt, we take our time to ensure each and every brew is the best it can be.”

The beer: “Oxford Blue is golden in colour, superbly balanced with a refreshingly clean and citrus finish.”

On one of the hottest days of the year this worked really well, imbibed whilst trying to avoid the late afternoon scorching sun on a campsite in the Cotswolds. Should have served it colder but the cool box was struggling in the heat. Still enjoyed it though. 4.2% A.B.V.

August 2020.

653: Teme Valley Brewery | Wotever next

20200806_170100The brewery: “The Teme Valley Brewery is a craft producer of cask and bottle-conditioned beers. Opened in 1997 to brew for The Talbot in Knightwick, Worcestershire (www.the-talbot.co.uk), the brewery has expanded and now sells directly to pubs and specialist off-licences across the West Midlands.”

The beer: “A strong, dark and bitter beer. The distinctive dry finish derives from chocolate malt, Pilgrim and Cascade hops. A long fermentation leaves little sweetness behind. A good counter balance to a sticky dessert.”

Another procured from a Co-Op near the Malverns - it’s great to see shops make the effort to stock local and regional brews. I wish my local Co-Op did. Anyway, this was more back to my usual and very tasty it was too. Unfiltered and unpasteurised so needed to be poured carefully. A nice drop even without the sticky dessert!

August 2020

652: The Friday Beer Company | WR14

20200802_180600The brewery: “When the recession took hold, and three expert material scientists were made redundant, they took it on the chin and pooled their resources. From the back-rooms and sheds of their homes was born an idea: real ale brewed in the heart of the Malvern Hills using local and British ingredients to produce fine flavours. Three years later, in 2014, the company has grown and developed, recently moving into the second, larger brewery.”

The beer: “WR14 (the brewery postcode!) is a naturally sweet, hoppy ale with a full bodied texture. It has citrus and spice aromas derived from a blend of English and European hops.”

One of the many joys of caravanning is getting to taste local brews like this - ones which don’t make it on to the shelves nationally. Found this in a Co-Op just outside Malvern and it was consumed on a campsite with fine views of the Malvern Hills. A tad too sweet for me but nonetheless still quaffable.

August 2020.

651: Wychwood | Dry Neck

20200729_184705The brewery: “The Wychwood Brewery is tucked away behind the main street of the market town of Witney, in the heart of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. Witney is historically famous for its 3 Bs; bread, blankets and of course beer. Brewing in Witney dates back to 1811 and Wychwood Brewery is sited at the Old Eagle Maltings, built more than 150 years ago when barley was malted for the town's brewery.”

The beer: “The perfect beer to quench the driest of throats. Malts of the palest hue combined with the magic of Mosaic hops create refreshing fruity aromas and thirst-quenching flavours of sweet citrus and dark berry fruits.”

Oddly, given the description, I enjoyed this, But it was hot, I was thirsty and the beer was a little colder than usual. Not a cosy fireside ale for me but it worked well outdoors on a campsite on a warm summers’ afternoon. 4.0% A.B.V.

August 2020. Related entries

Monday, 17 August 2020

650: Butcombe | Gold

20200724_122301The brewery: “Bristol born and made to stand out, Butcombe Brewing Co. began life at a time of cultural, social and political change, crafting beer before ‘craft beer’ was even a thing…….You see, at that time, no one was risking it all starting a brewery, making simple, premium, easy-drinking ale. To do so was an act of defiance. Or madness. But, 42 years and a lot of hard graft later, by staying true to our beliefs and Bristolian roots, it looks like owning a resolutely maverick brewing company isn’t such a crazy idea after all. By going against the grain, to work intimately with it, we made our own statement with every pint. And what was true then is just as important today.”

The beer: “Go gold or go home. Made from dazzling Maris Otter malt, our exceptional golden ale won’t disappoint. Part bitter, part sweet, 100% refreshing. Fearlessly brewed, this is a well-balanced, full-bodied golden beer with a subtle floral and herby aroma. A true Bristol sunset in a bottle, worth its weight in gold……Gold is the perfect complement to a rich tomato ragu with al dente pasta, bringing out the earthiness of Italian herbs for a dynamic, satisfying flavour combination with a quirky twist. “

My second ale from the Butcombe stable on this trip. It was ok - and there was nothing wrong with it physically - but it just didn’t excite. A good session beer on a hot day though were it a little weaker. 4.4% A.B.V.

August 2020. Related entries

649: Butcombe | Goram IPA

20200723_194827The brewery: “Bristol born and made to stand out, Butcombe Brewing Co. began life at a time of cultural, social and political change, crafting beer before ‘craft beer’ was even a thing…….You see, at that time, no one was risking it all starting a brewery, making simple, premium, easy-drinking ale. To do so was an act of defiance. Or madness. But, 42 years and a lot of hard graft later, by staying true to our beliefs and Bristolian roots, it looks like owning a resolutely maverick brewing company isn’t such a crazy idea after all. By going against the grain, to work intimately with it, we made our own statement with every pint. And what was true then is just as important today.”

The beer: “Goram – Bristol’s legendary giant – was no stranger to a well-crafted ale. Fortunately neither are we. Ode to his renegade ways, our IPA uses a punchy blend of American and Worcestershire hops to balance stone fruit, citrus and bitter notes with spicy hop aromas. Strong, big flavoured and with the ABV of a classic ale. When it comes to IPAs, Goram towers above the rest…..Goram is huge on flavour, so it’s happiest when in the company of vintage Cheddar, spicy pickles, rich chutneys or a classic slow-roasted pork belly.”

Strangely, given their description, this worked for me, however it was a warm day and I think my taste buds like something a little fruitier, particularly if it is served a tad colder too.

August 2020. Related entries.

Sunday, 16 August 2020

648: Bath Ales | Wild Hare

20200723_173904The brewery: “Bath Ales brewed its first beer in 1995 at a tiny brewery in Wincanton, Somerset. Since then the brewery has moved twice, but the beer we make and the Hare that proudly adorns our beers remains the same – with a bit of a refresh along the way……..Founded by Roger Jones and Richard Dempster, the pair brought on Rab Clark, a local publican, because he was willing to sell their first beer. Demand for Bath Gem quickly spread though, and as business grew the brewery bought its own pub, the Hare on the Hill, and moved production to Bristol.”

The beer: “Crisp and fresh with a subtle hint of citrus bitterness, Wild Hare (5% abv) is a full-flavoured golden ale bursting with hedgerow fruit notes…..This classic British pale ale uses English-grown First Gold hops to add fleshy fruits, floral acacia and lots of citrus notes to the beer’s light, malty taste.  Gluten free and certified with Coeliac UK .”

I’m a big fan of the more popular Gem from Bath Ales but this, not surprisingly given the description didn’t do it for me, even allowing for a nice warm summer day on which it was drunk. I still found it a bit too fruity - nowt wrong with it, just not to my taste.

July 2018. Related entries