Sunday, 18 October 2020

673: Wood’s | Ebony

20201009_215032The brewery: “Almost forty years ago The Wood Brewery was founded by the Wood family in the former stables of the Plough Inn, in the South Shropshire village of Wistanstow…….Wood’s has been at the forefront of Shropshire brewing since then and continues to be after it was taken over by new owners in 2018. The new owners have worked with the existing team to make a range of impactful and progressive changes to the brewing process and quality control, to ensure that Wood’s beer is of the highest possible quality. “

The beer: “This stout is filled with deep hop aromas with roast coffee notes and sumptuous dark chocolate flavours.”

Like the previous entry this was procured by a friend and though it may be short on description it was full of flavour, though of the two I preferred the Porter - just. As it says on the bottle, rich and smooth but not too strong either. October 2020.

672: Hop & Stagger Brewery | Bridgnorth Porter

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The brewery: “Welcome to the Hop & Stagger Brewery. We are a small independent brewery located in the rural heart of central England. Brewing a range of hand crafted ales that reflect the wonderful traditions of brewing in the UK. Brewing since 2011 we are proud to brew beers that can be enjoyed at home or in the convivial and friendly atmosphere of a local near you.”

The beer: “A beautifully balanced dark beer with complex layers of taste that gives your taste buds hints of chocolate with some dark fruit notes coming through alongside the suggestion of caramel. All of that sweetness is then perfectly balanced by the hops that deliver citrus and spice. Don’t chill this one but try it with some rich chocolate cake or a fine stilton. If that doesn’t hit the spot then marinade some stewing beef overnight with it and pour it into a beef casserole, you won’t regret it.”

Huge thanks to a friend who picked this up for me whilst staying in the area - particularly because it was oh so yum. I served it at room temperature as recommended, although sadly no with any of the suggested accompaniments. It was superb; rich, dark and warming and at 5% A.B.V not too strong to have another. Or two. October 2020.

671: Old Dairy Brewery | Blue Top

20201003_222058The brewery: “Our story began early in 2010, when the brewery was set up in an old milking parlour deep in the Kent countryside. The Old Dairy Brewery was an immediate success, building a loyal fan base among ale enthusiasts who appreciated our finely crafted recipes, locally sourced ingredients and interesting variety of beer styles.  Our beers are brewed with hops grown locally by Hukins Hops – just 3 miles away! We soon outgrew the milking parlour and in mid 2014 built a new brewery inside two World War II Nissen buildings just off the High Street in Tenterden, Kent. Not for nothing is this pretty market town known as the ‘Jewel in the Weald’, and our brewery enjoys beautiful views over the rolling hills of the surrounding countryside.”

The beer: “Inspired by the famous India Pale Ales brewed in the 18th century, Blue Top delivers a satisfying bitterness smoothly balanced with caramel flavours from the Crystal and Maris Otter malts, finished with a refreshing hint of citrus from East Kent Golding, Challenger and Fuggle hops. Ideal with a curry or other spicy dishes.“

The Old Dairy brewery is located just behind the Kent & East Sussex Railway and my visit there in September on a beautiful autumn day provided the perfect opportunity to procure some research samples. See blog post.

I really must work on my food pairings - particularly when spicy dishes are recommended. This tasted just fine on it’s own though, not overly fruity but just enough. The last of the my sample of beers from the Old Dairy but I hope to get to try some more soon. 4.8% A.B.V. September 2020. Related entries

670: Old Dairy Brewery | Gold Top

20201003_204245The brewery: “Our story began early in 2010, when the brewery was set up in an old milking parlour deep in the Kent countryside. The Old Dairy Brewery was an immediate success, building a loyal fan base among ale enthusiasts who appreciated our finely crafted recipes, locally sourced ingredients and interesting variety of beer styles.  Our beers are brewed with hops grown locally by Hukins Hops – just 3 miles away! We soon outgrew the milking parlour and in mid 2014 built a new brewery inside two World War II Nissen buildings just off the High Street in Tenterden, Kent. Not for nothing is this pretty market town known as the ‘Jewel in the Weald’, and our brewery enjoys beautiful views over the rolling hills of the surrounding countryside.”

The beer: “superb golden pale ale which combines Maris Otter with Munich and Carapils malts, normally used in the finest continental lager. Add East Kent Goldings, Cascade and Fuggle hops and the result is a refreshing ‘anytime’ beer with good body, caramelised undertones and a distinctly gold colour. Perfect with fish and spicy food.”

The Old Dairy brewery is located just behind the Kent & East Sussex Railway and my visit there in September on a beautiful autumn day provided the perfect opportunity to procure some research samples. See blog post.

Not my favourite style of beer but it was very refreshing - a good summers’ ale - and would happily drink again - hopefully this time with something spicy as recommended! 4.3% A.B.V. September 2020. Related entries

Saturday, 17 October 2020

669: Old Dairy Brewery | Copper Top

20201003_190601The brewery: “Our story began early in 2010, when the brewery was set up in an old milking parlour deep in the Kent countryside. The Old Dairy Brewery was an immediate success, building a loyal fan base among ale enthusiasts who appreciated our finely crafted recipes, locally sourced ingredients and interesting variety of beer styles.  Our beers are brewed with hops grown locally by Hukins Hops – just 3 miles away! We soon outgrew the milking parlour and in mid 2014 built a new brewery inside two World War II Nissen buildings just off the High Street in Tenterden, Kent. Not for nothing is this pretty market town known as the ‘Jewel in the Weald’, and our brewery enjoys beautiful views over the rolling hills of the surrounding countryside.”

The beer: “Our rich dark premium bitter has a delicious toffee caramel body with chocolate undertones from the Maris Otter, Crystal and Chocolate malts. Balanced with a spicy and fruity bite from the Bramling Cross and locally grown Challenger hops, this is truly an ale to savour.Perfect with steak or your favourite roast.”

The Old Dairy brewery is located just behind the Kent & East Sussex Railway and my visit there in September on a beautiful autumn day provided the perfect opportunity to procure some research samples. See blog post.

Sadly it didn’t accompany either steak or a roast but was still very enjoyable indeed. My favourite style of beer and it delivered big time. Superb. 4.1% A.B.V. September 2020. Related entries


668: Old Dairy Brewery | Snow Top

20200926_162953The brewery: “Our story began early in 2010, when the brewery was set up in an old milking parlour deep in the Kent countryside. The Old Dairy Brewery was an immediate success, building a loyal fan base among ale enthusiasts who appreciated our finely crafted recipes, locally sourced ingredients and interesting variety of beer styles.  Our beers are brewed with hops grown locally by Hukins Hops – just 3 miles away! We soon outgrew the milking parlour and in mid 2014 built a new brewery inside two World War II Nissen buildings just off the High Street in Tenterden, Kent. Not for nothing is this pretty market town known as the ‘Jewel in the Weald’, and our brewery enjoys beautiful views over the rolling hills of the surrounding countryside.”

The beer: “The perfect ‘winter warmer’ for those long cold nights, Snow Top is brewed with rich dark English Maris Otter, Crystal and Black malts producing a deeply satisfying ale with delicious fruitcake and marmalade flavours, topped off with spicy notes from English Challenger, East Kent Golding and Bramling Cross hops.”

The Old Dairy brewery is located just behind the Kent & East Sussex Railway and my visit there in September on a beautiful autumn day provided the perfect opportunity to procure some research samples. See blog post.

I do like a strong dark ale and this didn’t disappoint. A perfect winter warmer, obviously strong but without being too syrupy. A nice drop. 6.0% A.B.V. September 2020. Related entries

Friday, 16 October 2020

667: Riverside Brewery | Dirty Arthur

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The brewery: “Nestled in the South Downs, alongside the winding River Adur, we brewed our first batch of the now-classic Beeding Best in 2015. Since then we have widened our range to include seasonal winners, a contemporary lager, a rather splendid mead and collaborations with local charities.”

The beer: “This beer was brewed to celebrate the 150 year anniversary of St. Marys School Washington, and is named after an old boy, Arthur Adsett. He was caned at school for being muddy hence his nickname. Arthur was killed at the battle of the Somme in World War 1 so the beer is brewed with three different hops, all grown in the Flanders area. It has been dry hopped with Saphir giving it a huge citrus/orange taste. “

Love the name but regulars will know that this was not to my taste. Bottle conditioned, 4.9% A.B.V. September 2020. Related entries

666: Riverside Brewery | Tubbers’ Tipple

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The brewery: “Nestled in the South Downs, alongside the winding River Adur, we brewed our first batch of the now-classic Beeding Best in 2015. Since then we have widened our range to include seasonal winners, a contemporary lager, a rather splendid mead and collaborations with local charities.”

The beer: “Named after those intrepid folk who braved the River Adur avoiding flour bombs and eggs in nothing more than glorified bath tubs, staying afloat long enough to paddle from Upper Beeding to Shoreham. Had our brewery been there at the time we are sure they would have stopped on the way and enjoyed this ‘oarsome’ beer worthy of their name. The beer has an earthy / spicy characteristic with just a hint of honey.”

Deceptively strong at 5.6%, to me it had a much mellower taste. Not my favourite of the Riverside offerings I’ve sampled but would happily drink another. Bottle conditioned. September 2020. Related entries

665: Riverside Brewery | Tangmere Tower

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The brewery: “Nestled in the South Downs, alongside the winding River Adur, we brewed our first batch of the now-classic Beeding Best in 2015. Since then we have widened our range to include seasonal winners, a contemporary lager, a rather splendid mead and collaborations with local charities.”

The beer: “The beer is brewed in a style which would have been familiar in the time of the Battle of Britain and the D-Day Landings. We have only used British hops giving the beer a clean crisp taste with a subtle hint of spice. Developed in conjunction with the “Save Tangmere Tower” group, a contribution to the funds will be made for each beer sold.”

And whilst many golden ales are not my thing, that clean crisp taste worked for me. A very refreshing pint - well, 500ml. Bottle conditioned, 4.4% A.B.V. September 2020. Related entries

664: Riverside Brewery | Beeding Best

20200919_210524The brewery: “Nestled in the South Downs, alongside the winding River Adur, we brewed our first batch of the now-classic Beeding Best in 2015. Since then we have widened our range to include seasonal winners, a contemporary lager, a rather splendid mead and collaborations with local charities.”

The beer: “The Brewery is based within the South Downs National Park on the banks of the River Adur. On the outskirts of Upper Beeding, so a bit of a no-brainer name for this one.The beer has a pine / floral characteristic with just a hint of liquorice.”

A Visit to Arundel Castle coincided with the monthly farmers market where I found this, the first of four ales on the blog from the Riverside Brewery, Upper Beeding in my adopted home county of Sussex.

An enjoyable quaff - I didn’t notice the pine or floral characteristics, neither did I notice the bit that said bottle conditioned so it was somewhat less than clear! No matter though, still tasted fine. 4.2%. September 2020. Related entries

Saturday, 3 October 2020

663: 71 Brewing Co. | Left Coast

20200828_140747The brewery: “71 Brewing Co Ltd.  is an independent brewery based in Dundee, Scotland. Since 2016 we have been crafting crisp lagers and seasonal beers inspired by progressive new world flavours and our favourite traditional classics. Our goal; to make beer that is bold but inclusive, refreshing to the last and always packed with flavour.”

The beer: “Classic American hops are married to a rich malt backbone. Deep golden in colour with flavours of citrus, pine, tropical fruit and a bold west coast bitterness to finish.”

Another APA but thankfully not as overwhelming as Talking Head. Not my favourite style of beer but it was a birthday gift that I was very grateful to receive. 5.4% A.B.V. August 2020.

662: First Chop | Syl

20200820_170906The brewery: “First Chop the award winning brewery sprung from humble beginnings. Created by chef, creative and restauranteur Rik, the beer was originally born from his acclaimed bar and restaurant of the same name in North Manchester……..First Chop initially settled under a Salford railway arch and combined the fledgling brewery with a rootsy live music, club and arts space at the heart of the Manchester scene. After many events, the site was sadly wiped out by a fire but Rik was on a roll with his beer and set up a new (permanent) home for the brand in nearby Eccles.”

The beer: “IPA plus hopping levels give big citrus, spice and herbal notes to this dark IPA which also has that rich spicy bitterness you only really achieve with first wort hopping.”

Black beers always appeal to my inner goth and thankfully I didn’t find this overtly hoppy. Not my favourite black beer but very drinkable. Gluten free, as is the whole range. 6.2% A.B.V. August 2020.

661: Williams Bros. | Talking Head

20200819_164018The brewery: “Williams Bros. Brewing Co. is located in Alloa, Clackmannanshire and is set in the old George Younger’s bottling hall in Kelliebank……..Our first commercial brews of 'Scotland's Original Craft Beer' were at a 5-barrel brewery in Taynult near Oban on the West Coast. Here we were able to brew just enough to supply cask conditioned Fraoch to 5 premises, including the Clachaig in Glencoe, which to this day remains our most loyal and enduring customer.”

The beer: “This Extra Pale Ale is an assertive blend of US hops. Through aromas of pine, a bitter tomahawk of soft ripe & tropical fruit explodes on the pallet. A crisp & fruity American Extra Pale Ale where the hops lead the way, backed up by just a touch of wheat.”

Wow, this beer was something else, though to my more tastes not in a good way. The ‘assertive’ hops combined with the fruit ‘explosion’ put this in a rather unique category in the Archive - I didn’t finish it. Nothing wrong with the quality but it was just too much for me, I didn’t enjoy it all all sadly. 4.4% A.B.V. August 2020. Related entries