Sunday, 22 May 2022

772: Papworth | Pass The Porter

20220512_090102The brewery: “Papworth Brewery is the inevitable outcome of a beer-loving scientist becoming disillusioned with his career. Chances are that you’re a beer lover too and can understand why someone would give up a successful 25 year career to brew beer. It’s got to be more interesting than most other jobs, right? Well, that’s the way our beer-loving scientist saw it. When “job satisfaction” is the taste of a good pint, who can argue?”

The beer: “This strong porter is deliciously smooth and rich, with complex flavours from four dark malts perfectly balanced with bitterness from Centennial and Simcoe hops, providing a long, hoppy finish.

The last of my three from Papworth but certainly as enjoyable as the others. Full bodied it certainly was. Once again, bottle conditioned.

Coton Orchard, May 2022. Related entries.

771: Papworth | Robin Goodfellow

20220512_090047The brewery: “Papworth Brewery is the inevitable outcome of a beer-loving scientist becoming disillusioned with his career. Chances are that you’re a beer lover too and can understand why someone would give up a successful 25 year career to brew beer. It’s got to be more interesting than most other jobs, right? Well, that’s the way our beer-loving scientist saw it. When “job satisfaction” is the taste of a good pint, who can argue?”

The beer: “Robin Goodfellow is a shrewd and knavish sprite, the merry wanderer of the night. This full bodied ale is rich with dark fruit flavours and a mischievously smooth yet hoppy finish that belies its strength….Heavy and complex malts softened with dark fruit flavours, leading to a distinct velvety hop finish“.

My second from the Papworth stable and equally as enjoyable. Quite potent at 5.4% A.B.V and bottle conditioned.

Coton Orchard, May 2022. Related entries



770: Papworth | Old Riverport Stout

20220512_090040The brewery: “Papworth Brewery is the inevitable outcome of a beer-loving scientist becoming disillusioned with his career. Chances are that you’re a beer lover too and can understand why someone would give up a successful 25 year career to brew beer. It’s got to be more interesting than most other jobs, right? Well, that’s the way our beer-loving scientist saw it. When “job satisfaction” is the taste of a good pint, who can argue?”

The beer: “Named after the Old Riverport of St Ives, once a busy inland port and just a few miles upstream of our brewery in Earith on the River Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire. This traditional stout is silky smooth and ouses flavour, with rich cocoa, coffee and caramel notes in abundance.”

Seemingly endless visits to garden centres with my late mother-in-law - where she was interested in anything except the plants - have instilled in me a sense of foreboding of such places. However, when showing some friends around Cambridgeshire recently we stopped at one for lunch - and found a range of ales from a brewery that had, so far, not crossed my radar. I picked three and the first to pass my lips was this - very much a traditional stout and very enjoyable. Bottled condition though so store upright and pour carefully.  Coton Orchard. May 2022. Related entries


769: Weetwood | Cheshire Cat

20220512_085938The Brewery: “Weetwood Ales began brewing in 1992 when finding a great pint of cask ale was a challenge. The brewery was founded by Adrian Slater, a skilled brewer, and Roger Langford, a farmer with space in a barn and a love for proper beer. Roger’s farm is in Weetwood Common, near Tarporley in Cheshire and the brewery took the name”

The beer: “The ultimate session beer? Certainly in some pubs where we still supply this in 36-gallon barrels. Smooth and well-balanced with refreshing citrusy flavours. Very blonde and very easy drinking.”

I welcomed the chance to try another from the Weetwood range and, although I wouldn’t necessarily have picked a Blonde a friend was kind enough to buy it so I was kind enough to drink it!

Not my favourite style but after a warm day it went down well and was certainly easy drinking. May 2022. Related entries.

768: Vocation | Bread & Butter

20220507_211533The brewery: “From small beginnings in a unit that started out as a turkey shed, to a global brand for craft beer. We've come a long way but we're still true to our roots.
53 of us on top of a hill in Cragg Vale work to bring our passion to life and fill your fridge with beer.”
Read more

The beer: “A satisfying reward that’s always worth the hard work. With layers of US hops combined with British malts, our fresh and easy-drinking dry-hopped pale is a solid staple that delivers every time. Proof that the simple things in life are often the best. Soak up refreshing flavours and aromas of pine, peach, lychee and citrus. Finished off with a smooth, rounded bitterness.”

Not one I’d normally choose but it was the only in in the line up I hadn’t tried, and to be fair it went down quite well. I look forward to the opportunity to try some of the darker ales in their range.

The Three Tuns, Fen Drayton, Cambridgeshire. May 2022.

767: Wantsum | Golgotha

20220501_172806The brewery: “In 2009, James Sandy started brewing “Fortitude” the first of what has become an extensive range of beers all named after people or pivotal events in Kent’s history…..Wantsum Brewery takes its name from the Wantsum Channel, the watercourse separating the Isle of Thanet and what was the mainland of the English county of Kent.”

The beer: “A rich, deep and broad malt base gives this stout a very long smooth finish with plenty of oats for added body and creaminess. Hops are prominent on the nose with blackcurrant, liquorice and cedar. “

And very tasty it was too, although several ales had already passed my lips by this point. A great find during an impromptu weekend in Margate.

The Lifeboat, Margate. May 2022.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

766: Hambleton | Nightmare

20220413_171851The brewery: “Hambleton Brewery was born in 1991, when Nick Stafford decided to start a brewery at the bottom of his in-laws’ garden. Armed with nothing more than a pair of wellies, some old steel tanks and a rusty Peugeot 205, Nick built his brewery with blood, sweat and tears……Today’s demand has meant we have moved out of the garden, and we also have some slightly shinier tanks, but Nick’s original ambition still stands. We love making great beer. That’s what we do best. And everything we do at Hambleton Brewery revolves around this fact.”

The beer: “The result of a ‘Nightmare’ brew day that turned out awesome and went on to win CAMRA Champion Winter Beer of Britain!…Massively flavoured four malt Porter”

Procured from the Local Co-Op on Mytholmroyd on the last leg of my Easter caravanning trip - and another quality porter that really hit the spot. Top stuff. April 2022. Related entries.

765: Saltaire | Triple Choc

The brewery: "At Saltaire we’re passionate about how we make our beer – it’s the only way we know how. We don’t compromise on quality. Truly independent, we’ve been making internationally award-winning beer this way since 2006."

The beer: "Internationally acclaimed, this moreish dark beer complements English Fuggle hops with rich chocolate decadence."

Very tasty this - an award winner and I'm not surprised. Really rich despite it's not particularly high A.B.V.

April 2022. Related entries.

764: Hadrian Border | Ouseburn Porter

The brewery: "Established in 1994 and based on the banks of the Tyne, Hadrian Border Brewery are experts in creating the finest locally brewed cask and bottled ales.......we took over the Border Brewery Company in Berwick upon Tweed.......A new home was identified in April 2009 in the former Ross’s pickle factory in Newburn, West of the city (of Newcastle)....The first brew was mashed in April 2011. Newburn No1. We also partially rebranded to coincide with the move."

The beer: "This traditional robust and satisfying porter uses the best quality ingredients including rolled oats to produce a smooth, rich and dark creamy drink."

Another fine Porter from the North-East. Not quite my favourite but not far off.

April 2022. Related entries

763: Alnwick | Alnwick Brown

The brewery: "The Alnwick Brewery Company Limited initially started to brew beer in Alnwick from around 1750’s from a site in the town’s Dispensary Street. Sadly, in the 1960’s the buildings were pulled down before they could be listed, and the brewery temporarily closed only to be relaunched again in 2005 by the son of the original brewery’s last managing director. In 2013 the business was acquired by the Harry Hotspur group who also merged into it the significant brewing skills and brewery of another local brewer (namely the former VIP Brewery at Hawkhill)."

The beer: "An old classic tweaked to be fuller bodied, with hugely satisfying results. It is brewed in the tradition of historic Tyne & Wear brown ales.  A beautiful deep reddish-brown, the flavour is complex with hints of dried fruit, and a lovely hoppy balance."

I liked the fact that this was fuller bodied. Not my favourite of the Alnwick ales but still very drinkable. April 2022. Related entries.

762: Wickwar | The Night Train

The brewery: "A pub company and a brand owner, Wickwar Wessex Pub Company is proud to stock its very own range of exclusive own brand ales....Using time-honoured traditions and the finest raw ingredients we work with carefully chosen brewing partners to produce a selection of well-balanced award-winning ales that are available within all of our pubs."

The beer: Nothing on the official website - I wish I'd kept the bottle now - however it was a largely typical Milk Stout and, as the previous Wickwar offering, quite potent at 6.1% A.B.V. It was ok but didn't enjoy it as much as the first. April 2022. Related entries.

761: Wickwar | Station Porter.

The brewery: "A pub company and a brand owner, Wickwar Wessex Pub Company is proud to stock its very own range of exclusive own brand ales....Using time-honoured traditions and the finest raw ingredients we work with carefully chosen brewing partners to produce a selection of well-balanced award-winning ales that are available within all of our pubs."

The beer: "Our multi-award winning Premium Ebony Ale. 6.1% ABV. A truly spectacular ale. The aromas of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and rich fruits are produced from a subtle blend of 3 malts and Fuggle hops. This impeccable Porter is to be savoured and delivers a smooth and warming roast finish."

It won't surprise regulars to learn that I liked this a lot. Definitely one to savour rather than slosh back in a session though.  April 2022. Related entries

760: Settle Brewery | Old Smithy Porter

The brewery: "Born in 2012, Settle Brewery has been using traditional brewing methods coupled with local and seasonal ingredients to produce an arsenal of SiBA award winning beers."

The beer: "...black and creamy, with a heady mix of rich caramel and coffee. This is light on the hops in order to allow the malt to take charge."

A day out on the Settle-Carlisle railway saw me in Settle on a rather wet day. After a quick wander around the town Plan B was executed - namely a pub. Sadly my car was waiting for me back in Carlisle or I would happily have stayed there all afternoon as this was a truly delicious pint.

The Talbot Arms, Settle. April 2022



Tuesday, 10 May 2022

759: Durham Brewery | Temptation

The brewery: "We are masters of our craft and this can be tasted in every mouthful. Continually creating award winning beers since 1994, we never get tired of experimenting."

The beer: "Imperial Russian Stout with massive body supports oily coffee, liquorice and chocolate flavours."

This is not the strongest stout in their line up - the limited edition Imperious is 11.5% A.B.V. - but this was certainly something special. Very powerful indeed but one to sip rather than glug back.
If anything I found it a little too overpowering - I preferred the weaker but still potent Insane Darkness from Allendale brewery if I'm honest.

758: The Alnwick Brewery | Alnwick Gold

The brewery: "The Alnwick Brewery Company Limited initially started to brew beer in Alnwick from around 1750’s from a site in the town’s Dispensary Street. Sadly, in the 1960’s the buildings were pulled down before they could be listed, and the brewery temporarily closed only to be relaunched again in 2005 by the son of the original brewery’s last managing director. In 2013 the business was acquired by the Harry Hotspur group who also merged into it the significant brewing skills and brewery of another local brewer (namely the former VIP Brewery at Hawkhill)."

The beer: "Our popular English golden ale has a medium hop bitterness with a clean refreshing citrus taste and a smooth mouthfeel. A combination of Target and Golding hops which offers clean, refreshing flavours and aromas. A medium bodied session ale which is satisfying drink in any season. Served at a temperature no higher than 12*c . Food pairing with lighter meals such as seafood, grilled chicken and pasta."

A nice drop, pleasant but didn't get my tastebuds over excited. I'd have probably enjoyed it more on a hot summer's night served a bit colder.

April 2022. Related entries.

757: The Alnwick Brewery | Alnwick IPA

The brewery: "The Alnwick Brewery Company Limited initially started to brew beer in Alnwick from around 1750’s from a site in the town’s Dispensary Street. Sadly, in the 1960’s the buildings were pulled down before they could be listed, and the brewery temporarily closed only to be relaunched again in 2005 by the son of the original brewery’s last managing director. In 2013 the business was acquired by the Harry Hotspur group who also merged into it the significant brewing skills and brewery of another local brewer (namely the former VIP Brewery at Hawkhill)."

The beer: "Our Flagship ale. This is a traditional style English India pale ale with a medium body, A

balanced and rounded hoppy profile and a distinguishable fruity character.  Perfectly drank at a temperature of 12*c and below.  It is best paired with meals such as seafood, grilled chicken and pasta."


Not my favourite style of beer but it was at least of good quality. Another that would work better for me served a little colder in warm weather.

April 2022. Related entries.


756: The Alnwick Brewery | Amber Ale

The brewery: "The Alnwick Brewery Company Limited initially started to brew beer in Alnwick from around 1750’s from a site in the town’s Dispensary Street. Sadly, in the 1960’s the buildings were pulled down before they could be listed, and the brewery temporarily closed only to be relaunched again in 2005 by the son of the original brewery’s last managing director. In 2013 the business was acquired by the Harry Hotspur group who also merged into it the significant brewing skills and brewery of another local brewer (namely the former VIP Brewery at Hawkhill)."

The beer: "A notable ale of light copper colour, pleasing bitterness with a refreshing citrus aftertaste. A medium bodied session-able ale, brewed with English crystal malt. Served best at a refreshing 12*c and below. Mainly drank alongside lighter meals such as seafood dishes and traditional meals such as grilled chicken and pasta."

I didn't find the citrus aftertaste too strong - just as well as, as regulars will know, I'm not a fan. This was good, not too strong either, a good session ale.

April 2022. Related entries

755: Cullercoats | Polly Donkin

The brewery: "Based on the North East coast, we are a family-run brewery, producing high-quality traditional English beer. A love of brewing and attention to detail are at the heart of everything we do. From the all English ingredients we select, to our hands-on approach to production, we combine the finest home grown hops and malt with our unique yeast strain, to create a range of award-winning cask and bottle conditioned ales.......And with every beer sold, Cullercoats Brewery makes a charitable donation to the RNLI.” 

The beer: "All English seven grained Polly Donkin stout has a rich roasted coffee aroma, is smooth and creamy with blackberry notes from Bramling Cross, Challenger, Jester and Epic hops."

Yet another lovely stout from my time in the North-East and another purchase from
A Taste of Northumbria in Alnwick - their collection of local and regional beers is VERY impressive.

April 2022.

Friday, 29 April 2022

754: First & Last | Stell

20220402_180053The brewery: "Established in 2016 in Elsdon, the heart of Northumberland. The First & Last is an award winning, family-run, microbrewery. We brew small batch cask-conditioned and bottled beer. Our beers are inspired by the wild, untamed landscape and starry skies of Northumberland."


The beer: "Dark as the Northumbrian night sky and just as captivating. Smooth, rich and moreish. Just how a classic stout should be."

Another North-Eastern stout that I thoroughly enjoyed. Not too heavy either, vegan friendly too. April 2022.

753: The Alnwick Brewery | Alnwick Stout

20220401_175837The brewery: "The Alnwick Brewery Company Limited initially started to brew beer in Alnwick from around 1750’s from a site in the town’s Dispensary Street. Sadly, in the 1960’s the buildings were pulled down before they could be listed, and the brewery temporarily closed only to be relaunched again in 2005 by the son of the original brewery’s last managing director. In 2013 the business was acquired by the Harry Hotspur group who also merged into it the significant brewing skills and brewery of another local brewer (namely the former VIP Brewery at Hawkhill)."

The beer: "A traditional stout brewed at 4.5% with black malt rather than roasted barley!"

The first of a few from the Alnwick brewery and it was delicious but then I do love a good stout. Really tasty.

April 2022. Related entries

752: Consett Ale Works | White Hot

20220401_165831The brewery: “Consett, sitting high and handsome on the North Pennines, was integral in firing the Industrial Revolution and built its reputation on the manufacture of steel.‘Steel Town’ once employed over 6,000 workers at its very height, making steel that constructed Blackpool Tower and launched the nations fleet of Nuclear Submarines."


The beer: "White Hot Is the perfect summer beer; highly hopped and sparkling with wheat-like cereal characteristics. Like other Consett Ale Works beers it has excellent head retention."

Agreed, not to my taste as regulars will have surmised but again, on a hot summers' night it would be most welcome.

April 2022. Related entries

751: Allendale Brew Co. | Insane Darkness

20220401_155346The brewery: “Nestled on the banks of the River Allen on the edge of the rugged North Pennines, often described as England's Last Wilderness. The brewery is based in a former lead smelting mill, once the industrial hub of the area. We began brewing in 2006 with a focus on producing quality cask ales.”

The beer: “An Imperial Stout rich, complex and fruity, featuring seven different malts and Target & Goldings hops.”

Oh my. What a beer. A very rich but pleasant assault on the taste buds. went down just a little too easily. Powerful stuff but most enjoyable. Will be looking out for more stouts like this. Loved it. April 2022.

750: Caledonian | Deuchars

20220331_155038The brewery: "George Lorimer Jr. was a member of the Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society. Members met at the Golf Tavern. This is where Lorimer met Robert Clark, a local head brewer. Pints were drunk and plans were hatched. Lorimer & Clark’s Caledonian Brewery opened in 1869 on Slateford Road where it brews to this day. Proof, if ever it was needed, that adventure begins with a pint."

The beer: "Rich in character and long on refreshment. Solid gold in colour, strongly aromatic, with hints of fresh citrus. The distinctive light malt and fresh floral flavours combine with the zesty citric hop to deliver a mouth-watering adventure."

Have drunk this many times in the past but oddly not since the archive was created in 2013. Jot my favourite style if beer but it's a good session ale and always seems to go down very well.

The Beer House, Edinburgh Waverley station, April 2022. Related entries.

749: Stewart Brewing | Jack Black

20220331_150949The brewery: "A visit to Boston, MA in 1996 sparked the idea in Steve and Jo Stewart, of owning their own craft brewery one day. Fast forward to 2004 after years perfecting home brews the first official Stewart Brewing beers were launched."

The beer: "Pours a pale straw pale colour. Strong citrus and tropical fruit aromas hit the senses with a touch of blueberry thrown in there too. The taste is light, crisp and refreshing with a smooth and hoppy finish."

Yep, not for me although better than nowt.

The Doric, Edinburgh. April 2022

748: Consett Ale Works | The Works

20220330_181309The brewery: "Consett, sitting high and handsome on the North Pennines, was integral in firing the Industrial Revolution and built its reputation on the manufacture of steel.‘Steel Town’ once employed over 6,000 workers at its very height, making steel that constructed Blackpool Tower and launched the nations fleet of Nuclear Submarine.Our beers pay homage to this proud history...."

The beer: "A dark robust ale."

That's as much a description as this beer gets on the website, however it's certainly worth a few more. Another enjoyable beer from Consett but, drinking immediately after a bottle of the excellent Red Dust, it didn't really excite. I should have tried it on it's own and I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more.

March 2022. Related entries.


747: Consett Ale Works | Red Dust

20220330_174209The brewery: "Consett, sitting high and handsome on the North Pennines, was integral in firing the Industrial Revolution and built its reputation on the manufacture of steel.‘Steel Town’ once employed over 6,000 workers at its very height, making steel that constructed Blackpool Tower and launched the nations fleet of Nuclear Submarine.Our beers pay homage to this proud history...."

The beer: “Is ruby red in colour and beautifully clear with a robust, full-flavoured malt and fruit nature. Red Dust, takes its name from the cloud of Iron Oxide, emitted when the Steelworks were in production. In times now long gone, there were red clouds of the dust that would hang over the town, settling on cars and washing hung out to dry!

Another one from my caravan trip to the North-East and another very enjoyable beer indeed.

March 2022. Related entries.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

746: Wold Top | Marmalade Porter

20220329_165736The brewery: “Wold Top was founded in 2003 by farmers Tom and Gill, who were looking at different ways to sustain the family farm with diversification and hit on brewing as their solution!…..Our family has farmed 600 acres high on the Yorkshire Wolds for generations and our aim is to continue to do so! Sustainability is key, we want to work in balance with nature so we grow trees and hedges to offset the carbon footprint, we plant areas for birds and wildlife, we consider the bees that are essential for the pollination of the crops and we use crop rotations to keep the soil in good heart. We also use renewable energy from our own wind turbines and have our own water supply from natural chalk aquifers under the farmland.”

The beer: “A complex rich dark porter with a sweet malty base, overtones of bitter orange and hints of coffee and chocolate.”

It’s nearly six years since I last had a Wold Top beer so I was delighted to find this in Asda whilst staying in Berwick-upon-Tweed. Another very tasty porter, I enjoyed this immensely. 5.0% A.B.V. March 2022. Related entries.

745: Weetwood | Jester IPA

20220328_163242The brewery: Weetwood Ales began brewing in 1992 when finding a great pint of cask ale was a challenge. The brewery was founded by Adrian Slater, a skilled brewer, and Roger Langford, a farmer with space in a barn and a love for proper beer. Roger’s farm is in Weetwood Common, near Tarporley in Cheshire and the brewery took the name”

The beer: “You’ll be laughing along with this modern India Pale Ale which pairs US hops with British, including the delightful ‘Jester’. Vibrant tropical fruit aromas begin the fun and the punchline comes from the refreshing citrus finish.”

Another quality ale from Weetwood, this was certainly full of flavour. Not my favourite style of beer as you know but I served it quite a bit colder than usual and it was very refreshing indeed. As I’ve said before, a style I’d enjoy more on a hot summers’ night. March 2022. Related entries.

744: Magic Dragon | Obsidian

20220327_153426The brewery: “Our Brewery is based in North Wales and located in the Plassey, it is the oldest micro brewery in Wales surrounded by glorious countryside. Richard moved into the brewery in 2017 and started making real ale from our 12-barrel brew plant. We focus on brewing a core range with some seasonal specials. “

The beer: “Obsidian Welsh stout has a very attractive aroma of chocolate and coffee. The palate is lovely and clean with a nice dark, smoky finish. The acidity is very refreshing and carries all of the flavours through to an attractive, bitter finish.”

Top stuff this, another superb stout with a great combination of flavours. March 2022.

743: Everards | Old Original

20220326_180955The brewery: “Founded in 1849 as an independent family business, you can enjoy Everards beers in more than 150 pubs across the East Midlands…..

The beer: “The ultimate strong ale with rich and fruity flavours, Old Original is a classic. The very best premium British hops and malt give this ruby coloured beer a full-bodied taste.”

Ooh yum, this was nice. Very nice indeed. Lovely colour, crystal clear and well balanced flavour that my awkward old taste buds found very appealing indeed. 5.2% A.B.V.

March 2022. The Collyweston Slater, Stamford. Related entries

Sunday, 13 March 2022

742: Red Willow | Heritage Porter

20220216_121628The brewery: “2010 - Toby and Caroline McKenzie start RedWillow brewery. First official RedWillow beer, Directionless, launches at the Treacle Tap and other pubs across Macclesfield. 2012 -Expanded into 12brl brewery, another brewer brought on board….2015 -  Building of new brewery spans over six months, moves over to new site and increases production to an average 80 barrels a week.”

The beer: ”Taking inspiration from 19th Century recipes this is a traditional full bodied porter, brewed with a blend of dark malts, generously hopped with a hint of chocolate and robust bitterness”

 

A lovely pint in a fabulous boozer hidden away just off Hatton garden in London. Quite possibly my new favourite London boozer. Well worth a look.

Ye Olde Mitre, Holborn, London. February 2022.

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741: Moor Beer Company | Illumination

20220213_114644The brewery: “NATURAL LIVE BEER SINCE 2007.Always live, always natural, always vegan friendly. Moor pioneered the naturally hazy, unfined beer movement in 2007, firmly believing that adding isinglass finings (fish guts) to beer is unnecessary and harmful. Natural carbonation with live yeast is at the heart of everything we brew. It’s what makes our beers vegan friendly and what gives them such an enhanced flavour, aroma and mouthfeel that simply can’t be replicated.”

The beer: “That light at the end of the tunnel illuminates your journey. Ours started with the rawest form of an untraditional best bitter. Today we find ourselves setting off in a new direction that is even more welcoming, like a pub fire after a long walk. Naturally carbonated with live yeast. Unfiltered, unpasteurised, unfined. Vegan friendly.”

And blimmin’ tasty. A great best bitter. Cloudy as unfined but don’t let that put you off. Looking to sample more of their wares. 4.3% A.B.V.

Westow House, February 2022.

740: Big Hug Brewery | Red Rye

20220213_114649The brewery: ”Big Hug Brewing came together in 2014 and was founded by three friends – Matt, Dan and Chris. We use the word brewing rather than brewery because we don’t own one….Some people call it cuckoo brewing, some people call it gypsy brewing, some people call it contract brewing, some people call it nomad brewing. We prefer the term hobo brewers but whatever you want to call it… its what we do. So we are Hobo’s…..a homeless brewery who work with some of the best in the business. People that we now call friends who have helped us develop and allowed us to use their experience, knowledge, facilities and time, coupled with our own unique recipes to bring you some great beers that we hope you enjoy. “

The beer: “Our most complex beer that marries together different flavours and hues from 6 different malts, including Rye and Crystal Rye. Vibrant red in colour with a good body it combines well with the assertive US hops of Mosaic and Columbus. The end result gives flavours and aromas rich in mango, lemon citrus and earthy pine with the rye helping give a slightly dry, spicy finish. Pairs well with rich flavours, BBQ and smoked dishes and brewed as our seasonal winter range with our friends at Portobello Brewing.”

Nice drop this. Another great offering from Westow House during my stay in Crystal Palace for the February 2022 term. Accompanied a lovely if pricey (to me) Sunday roast. 5% A.B.V.

739: Brimstage Brewery | Oyster Catcher

20211020_200826The brewery: “We’ve been brewing great quality beer for the local drinker since 2006, enjoyed by real characters in some of the best local pubs in the world. But no matter how far we travel, we always remember where our home is – Wirral.”

The beer: “Smooth and rich with chocolate and coffee aromas, Oyster Catcher Oatmeal Stout will remind you of sitting by a log fire in your favourite local pub.”

Yeah, just the environment to enjoy this filling tasty beer. Top stuff. 4.4% A.B.V.

November 2020.

738: Riverside Brewery | Sneaky Steamer

IMG-20210918-WA0000The 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: “One of our directors has a passion for steam engines. His Burrell steam traction engine “Lion Lord of the Forest” was built in 1916 and can often be seen being driven around the locality. Four different hops are used in this beer giving it a pine / floral characteristic with a hint of grapefruit.”

It’s always good to try local beers and that was brewed just over the ‘border’ in West Sussex. As you may have guessed from the description, not one of my favourites but pleasant enough. 5.1% A.B.V.

September 2021. Related entries

Wednesday, 9 March 2022

737: Isaac Poad | Christmas Cheer

20211211_222338The brewery: “Around the time that Yorkshire County Cricket Club was formed, whilst Palmerston was Prime Minister, Victoria was Queen and the American Civil War was in full swing, Isaac Poad started in business…..Since 1863 five generations of our family have traded the finest ingredients to brewers & distillers. We now use this experience to produce our own range of expertly crafted, award winning beer & gin.”

The beer: “A dark amber beer with subtle hints of chocolate and spices. Smooth and easy drinking, it is the perfect accompaniment to all things Christmas, especially cake and pudding!”

Another tasty one from Isaac Poad, reasonably full bodied at 4.8% A.B.V. Just needs a nice coal or wood fire to accompany!

December 2021. Related entries.

736: Robinsons/Marks & Spencer | Cheshire Chocolate Porter

20211211_174417The brewery: “Based in the heart of Stockport for over 181-years, owning a collection of around 260 pubs, inns and hotels across the North West and North Wales, Robinsons is one of the most respected names in British brewing and innkeeping.”

The beer: “A porter-style, full-bodied beer with ripe malt and a smooth chocolate taste. Based on an original recipe from 1899 and created with the collaboration of renowned chocolatier Simon Dunn.”

Yum. Very tasty indeed and just the job on a cold winters’ night. Full flavoured and packed a punch at 6% A.B.V.

December 2021. Related entries.

735: Isaac Poad | Best Bitter

20211210_164500The brewery: “Around the time that Yorkshire County Cricket Club was formed, whilst Palmerston was Prime Minister, Victoria was Queen and the American Civil War was in full swing, Isaac Poad started in business…..Since 1863 five generations of our family have traded the finest ingredients to brewers & distillers. We now use this experience to produce our own range of expertly crafted, award winning beer & gin.”

  The beer: “Where it all started. A traditional bitter that combines the finest maris otter malt with traditional English hops. Well balanced, bronze in colour, smooth and easy drinking, our signature session beer clearly defines who we are.”

Procured by a friend whilst Christmas shopping during a visit to York, some may argue that, weighing in at 3.8% A.B.V it can’t be called a Best Bitter – however it tasted pretty good to me.

December 2021. Related entries.

Saturday, 5 March 2022

734: Glastonbury Brewery | Lady of the Lake

20211025_182953The brewery: “We set to work back in 2006, bravely challenging the traditional values of the UK beer market.  At the time, real ale was under-represented and largely unexciting…..In 2008 we took the leap and moved the brewery to a larger site.  More space and better equipment enabled us to experiment and diversify.  We continued to deliver a broad range of real ales, but expanded into the territory now known as craft beer – small batch, highly experimental brews that ignore the rules to focus on flavour.”

The beer: “Mysterious and enchanting, this gorgeous ale will beguile you with a subtly malty caramel flavour. Robust full bodied bitterness. Deliciously Malty. Hints of aromatic vanilla and fruit.”

It took over eight years but I finally got to return to the superb Old Oaks campsite last October and in doing so was able to renew my acquaintance with the offerings from the Glastonbury Brewing Co, an entry for which you will find right at the beginning of this blog.

This didn’t disappoint – a delicious beer – just what my palate enjoys the most. 4.2% A.B.V.

October 2021. Related entries.

733: Box Steam | Piston Broke

20211025_173905The brewery: “Phew, where has the time gone? We’ve been brewing for almost 15 years……Our roots are firmly in the West Country, where we continue to be inspired by the engineering triumphs of the late great Isambard Kingdom Brunel.”

The beer: “The talented Isambard Kingdom Brunel didn’t get everything right. His early trains were propelled by pistons sealed by leather valves – leather that proved fatally vulnerable to damp, cold weather. It’s reassuring to learn that even the one of the greatest Britons sometimes ends up Piston Broke. A robust golden ale, refreshingly hoppy with bittersweet fruity aromas, Piston Broke is a blend of Goldings and Cascade hops that never fails, whatever the weather.”

Definitely one served a bit colder on a warm summers’ night – as far as my taste buds are concerned anyway. Pleasant though. 4.5% A.B.V.

October 2021. Related entries.

Sunday, 27 February 2022

732: Box Steam | Funnel Blower

20211024_180520The brewery: “Phew, where has the time gone? We’ve been brewing for almost 15 years……Our roots are firmly in the West Country, where we continue to be inspired by the engineering triumphs of the late great Isambard Kingdom Brunel.”

The beer: “On 7th Sept 1859 the largest ship the world had ever seen, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Eastern, was launched. It’s five black funnels, lined up like pints of porter on bar. However, two days later a build up of steam blew one of the Great Eastern’s funnels clean off. An event that years later inspired this porter’s name. Skilfully built from citrus Target, spicy Challenger and earthy Fuggle hops, our porter is a voyage of vanilla sweetness and bitter chocolate.”

Not my favourite porter but tasty enough and it was good to pick up some Box Steam beers again, whilst staying in Somerset, after a gap of a few years. Worth noting that ALL their beers are currently gluten free and suitable for vegans too. 4.5% A.B.V.

October 2021. Related entries.

731: Robinsons | Old Tom

20211023_203131The brewery: “Based in the heart of Stockport for over 181-years, owning a collection of around 260 pubs, inns and hotels across the North West and North Wales, Robinsons is one of the most respected names in British brewing and innkeeping.”

The beer: “Dubbed ‘The original craft beer’, this dangerously drinkable legend has been in the family since 1899, when Tom, the old brewery cat, was sketched into immortality by Robinsons’ Head Brewer as he waited for the ale to ferment. 120 years on and it’s still the same great tasting ale, brewed to the same award-winning recipe.”

Oh my. This was very nice indeed. Rich and malty but well balanced with some bitter hops. In the smaller 330ml bottle but then it is 8.5% A.B.V. Certainly one to be sipped and savoured rather than sloshed back.

October 2021. Related entries

Saturday, 26 February 2022

730: Meantime | London Pale Ale

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The brewery: Meantime Brewing Company is a brewery based in Greenwich, London, England, and owned by Japan's Asahi Breweries. The company was founded by Alastair Hook in 1999, and was purchased by SABMiller in May 2015.

The beer: “British and American hops unite to make a sessionable pale ale that’s packed with citrus flavour. Now that’s a special relationship.”

Yeah, a bit too fruity for me to be honest. Might enjoy more on a warm summers night, serving it a bit colder.

October 2021. Related entries

729: Staffordshire Brewery | Gold Beer

20211024_163408The brewery: “Myself and partner Sue began brewing
hand crafted beers in our garden shed, with just two fermenters and a four barrel plant, the ales were bottled in the kitchen!……Our beer production grew, so we moved to a 1000 sq ft unit in Cheddleton, enabling a 6 barrel plant to be set up, allowing us to sell more beers at local farmers’ markets”

The beer: “Brewed the traditional way with a lower ABV at 3.8%. Creating a great session ale with the addition of floral and honey tones. Triple Filtered For A Clean Crisp Finish.”

I’ve been gravitating towards stronger beers but this made a pleasant change and one I’d happily sink a few of in an evening. Very pleasant without being outstanding.

October 2021. Related entries

728: Staffordshire Brewery | Hoppy Bitter

20211023_164844The brewery: “Myself and partner Sue began brewing
hand crafted beers in our garden shed, with just two fermenters and a four barrel plant, the ales were bottled in the kitchen!……Our beer production grew, so we moved to a 1000 sq ft unit in Cheddleton, enabling a 6 barrel plant to be set up, allowing us to sell more beers at local farmers’ markets”

The beer: “Brewed the traditional way with a higher percentage of hops added. Creating a 4.2% full bodied bitter with a hoppy aftertaste. Triple Filtered For A Clean Crisp Finish.”

Regulars will have guessed correctly that this wasn’t one of my favourites, however it was quite refreshing, served as it was – by accident – a bit colder.

October 2021. Related entries

727: Bristol Beer Factory | Fortitude

20211022_133410The brewery: “Our ethos is pretty simple - to brew technically excellent and consistently awesome beer.We want to keep building on the strong foundations which hold us up, to sit on the shoulders of the legendary Milk Stout and Southville Hop and push the boundaries of brewing with an ever-evolving range of beers in cask, keg and can.”

The beer: SMOOTH.BALANCED.MOREISH. 3 WORDS THAT ANY AMBER BEER SHOULD SCREAM FROM THE BREWERY ROOF. FORTITUDE BRINGS YOU ALL 3 IN TANKFULLS WITH THE VERY BEST OF CLASSIC BRITISH MALTS & HOPS

Nice drop this, made for a lovely lunchtime pint – just the one I might add! Very tasty.

George Hotel & Pilgrims’ Inn, Glastonbury. October 2021. Related entries

726: Staffordshire Brewery | Danebridge IPA

20211020_192202The brewery: “Myself and partner Sue began brewing
hand crafted beers in our garden shed, with just two fermenters and a four barrel plant, the ales were bottled in the kitchen!……Our beer production grew, so we moved to a 1000 sq ft unit in Cheddleton, enabling a 6 barrel plant to be set up, allowing us to sell more beers at local farmers’ markets”

The beer: “Brewed the traditional way this 4.8% IPA is reminiscent of the original c19th IPA’s. Triple Filtered For A Clean Crisp Finish.”

Yep, would agree with that – not that I was around in the 19th century though it sometimes looks it!

October 2021. Related entries