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810: Peak Ales | Black Stag

  The brewery:  "In 2003 Robert and Debra Evans had a carefully prepared plan – sell the house, uproot their family, leave secure jobs and set up a microbrewery in the Peak District…..Chatsworth suggested he took a look at Cunnery Barn on the Chatsworth Estate, the barn buildings were in disrepair but the potential was obvious; the perfect location for a microbrewery had been discovered. Two years later and after many hurdles including planning, electricity, drainage, renovation, finance and resident barn owls, the first beer had been brewed and the owls had a purpose built nesting box – no other barn owls in Derbyshire have accommodation so grand!” The beer: "Delicious British Bramling Cross & Target Hops combined with seven different malts producing a roasted coffee and chocolate base, with a spicy blackcurrant and liquorice finish. If you like a moorish velvet stout then Black Stag is for you!" Another tasty Peak Ale, and quite possible my favourite so far - delic

809: Bowland | Hen Harrier

  The brewery: "Bowland Brewery started life as a microbrewery on the edge of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, making a selection of beers named after the scenery and wildlife of this picturesque corner of Lancashire.......As the reputation of Bowland Brewery cask and bottled beers spread, demand increased from further afield requiring a relocation to larger premises at Holmes Mill." The beer: "Our top flight ale! A stunningly refreshing beer filled with soft citrus and peach flavours. A delight on its own and a great companion for chicken and pork dishes." Nice drop this, I didn't find the citrus incursion too overpowering. One for warmer days. 4.5% A.B.V. October 2022 

808: Peak Ales | IPA

The brewery: " "In 2003 Robert and Debra Evans had a carefully prepared plan – sell the house, uproot their family, leave secure jobs and set up a microbrewery in the Peak District…..Chatsworth suggested he took a look at Cunnery Barn on the Chatsworth Estate, the barn buildings were in disrepair but the potential was obvious; the perfect location for a microbrewery had been discovered. Two years later and after many hurdles including planning, electricity, drainage, renovation, finance and resident barn owls, the first beer had been brewed and the owls had a purpose built nesting box – no other barn owls in Derbyshire have accommodation so grand!” The beer: "....is a bold and hoppy IPA, similar in strength to the original beers exported to India with a modern citrus twist." Bold it certainly was, not my favourite style of beer but quite enjoyable on a warm day. October 2022.

807: Shropshire | Three Tuns Best

The brewery: " In the heart of Shropshire, our 17th Century brewery holds tradition in the highest regard, which is why our legendary ales are made the traditional way, using only the finest ingredients to give each one its own unique Three Tuns Brewery flavour." The beer: "A most traditional brown ale, Best is richly hopped and smooth throughout. Crafted with all English hop varieties, enjoy a pleasing bitter-sweet finish from one of our signature ales. Authentically brewed, this distinctive velvety beer is one to remember." A nice enough drop this though having got used to stronger ales it didn't taste that rich. A good session beer though and one I'd like to try on hand pump. August 2022.

806: West Midlands | Black Country Ales | Fireside Bitter

The brewery: "When we bought The Old Bull’s Head pub in 1999 it came with a boarded up brick building at the rear that was referred to by the estate agents as “a two storey outhouse”. Imagine our amazement after the purchase when we finally entered the building to find three magnificent wooden fermenting vessels and other brewing equipment going back years. We love running pubs but there had never been any plan to brew our own beer until this great find. It took a few years to set up and we have had a lot of mistakes to learn from too but in 2004 beer started flowing again from the Gornal brewery." The beer: "A full bodied, well rounded premium bitter, amber in colour, clean in taste. Fruit hop aroma leading to a pleasant, dry rewarding finish." My last beer before heading home and a good 'un to finish with. More of a winter drink as the name suggests than a hot summers evening but I enjoyed it very much all the same. August 2022.  

805: Shropshire | Ludlow Brewing co. | Gold

The brewery: "Our story began in 2006 with a dream to rekindle the brewing industry in Ludlow, Shropshire. The medieval town had enjoyed a long tradition of brewing until the closure of the Ludlow and Craven Arms Brewery in the 1930s. Launching Ludlow Brewing Company in a disused maltings buildings in Corve Street, it was clear to founders Gary and Alison Walters by 2008 that the business had outgrown the premises. Gary and Alison were given a fantastic opportunity to move the brewery to a derelict Victorian railway shed (built in 1857), off Station Drive, which they sympathetically renovated." The beer: "Our flagship ale is a full-bodied soft and creamy golden pale ale. It packs wonderful flavours and aromas of citrus and tropical fruits – lemon, pineapple, papaya." The last night of my trip coincided with my birthday and my companion had arranged for a meal at the Roe Deer near Wordsley. Despite an impressive range of beers this was the only one I hadn't trie

804: Shropshire | Three Tuns | Stout

The brewery: "In the heart of Shropshire, our 17th Century brewery holds tradition in the highest regard, which is why our legendary ales are made the traditional way, using only the finest ingredients to give each one its own unique Three Tuns Brewery flavour." The beer: "Our award-winning Stout is an old-fashioned dark stout; smooth and creamy to taste, with a bittering finish. Whole bodied with depth and texture in every sip, prepare for some seriously mouth-watering character to transport you back. Delicious, but then so have all the beers I've tried whilst in this neck of the woods. Procured along with a few others during a visit to the Halfpenny Green wine estate. August 2022.  

803: Worcestershire | Bewdley | Severnside Stout

The brewery: " Bewdley Brewery was established in 2008 in the heart of the Worcestershire countryside, set alongside the River Severn.  We are the first brewery in Bewdley since 1912..." The beer: "  Severnside Stout is brewed using a complex blend of six different malts, with chocolate and smoked malts for depth of colour and distinctive flavours, malted oats give an enriched body with roasted barley for an enhanced finish. Bramling Cross hops give flavours of blackcurrant and spice, with subtle bitterness." It always nice to taste something local when away and whilst I didn't get to visit the town itself, I paused at the station whilst on the Severn Valley Railway.  Another lovely drop, though perhaps a tad fruitier than I prefer for a stout. August 2022.

802: West Midlands | Holden's | Black Country Special

  The brewery: "We are an award-winning independent family brewer based in Dudley, West Midlands. Celebrating 106 years this year!" The beer: "A Dark amber premium beer with robust malty overtones and a bitter sweet full bodied taste. Brewed using the Finest English Maris Otter Malt and Goldings hops this big, beautiful malty monster is an industrial strength beer at it’s best." Yep, tasty stuff this indeed, a lovely combination of flavours.  August 2022

801: Shropshire | Hobsons | Postman’s Knock

The brewery: “Hobsons Brewery is an independent local brewery founded in the Shropshire town of Cleobury Mortimer by Nick Davis and his parents back in 1993. Taking retirement in 2000, Nick was left at the helm and today employs a close-knit team of 22 people to run one of the largest breweries in the county.” The beer: “A beer that really delivers, it’s rich and smooth with flavour notes of vanilla, treacle and roast malt leading to a velvety chocolate finish….Splendid with a sticky toffee pudding or sweet treat.” A long weekend in the West Midlands saw another opportunity for ‘research’ and this was certainly a good one to kick off with. Very tasty indeed. Bottle conditioned so needs to be poured carefully.  4.8% A.B.V. August 2022. Related entries.

800: Bathams | Best Bitter

The brewery: “Bathams have become a family born to brew, with the  sixth generation now involved in creating and serving a legendary beer of the Black Country…..The company has continued to expand from that day in 1882 when Daniel Batham senior became the landlord of the White Horse in Cradley Heath. We think he would be proud to know that 137 years later in 2019 that Batham’s would be operating 11 pubs and supplying many more throughout the Black Country and beyond!” The beer: “A straw-coloured bitter which initially seems sweet, but a complex dry, hoppy taste soon predominates.” A little paler than I had in mind for a best bitter but it was nonetheless a nice drop and accompanied a great Sunday roast too. The King & Castle , Kidderminster. August 2022 “

799: Staffordshire | Peakstones Rock | Black Hole

The brewery: “Conceived during a Sunday afternoon pint, David Edwards brewed his first batch of Nemesis in May 2005. The brewery now produces 9 different real ales regularly in our 4.5 barrel plant based in the Staffordshire Moorlands. The beers take their names from the surrounding area as the brewery looks out across Dimmingsdale Wood, home of the Chained Oak towards the village of Alton.“ The beer: “A dark award winning beer brewed with chocolate malt that always impresses.” My first of the day at the CVR and impress it certainly did. A fabulous day all around with some heritage railway action, lovely scenery and some awesome ales too. The Churnet Valley Railway Rail Ale Trail July 2022.

798: Staffordshire | Peakstones Rock | Alton Abbey

The brewery: “Conceived during a Sunday afternoon pint, David Edwards brewed his first batch of Nemesis in May 2005. The brewery now produces 9 different real ales regularly in our 4.5 barrel plant based in the Staffordshire Moorlands. The beers take their names from the surrounding area as the brewery looks out across Dimmingsdale Wood, home of the Chained Oak towards the village of Alton.“ The beer: “A ruby coloured beer with a smooth fruity flavour.” A tad too fruity for me to be honest but otherwise a tasty pint. The Churnet Valley Railway Rail Ale Trail July 2022.

797: Liverpool | Flagship | Silhouette

The brewery: “Flagship Beer was launched in 2016, and has gone from supplying just The Ship & Mitre to national distribution…..We brew small batches, just 620 litres a time, to ensure the beer is freshest. Most of our beer is grain-to-glass in less than a month.” The beer: “Dry Irish stout, with plenty of roasted, toasted richness.” Not my favourite of the afternoon - there was some stiff competition - but very pleasant nonetheless. 4.5% A.B.V. The Churnet Valley Railway Rail Ale Trail July 2022.

796: Wrexham | Sandstone | Abyss

The brewery: “Sandstone Brewery has helped to restore a traditional craft to the town of Wrexham. Commissioned in late 2008, the 4-barrel plant is situated in a former explosives manufacturing unit on Wrexham Industrial Estate, it has also been infested with Dragons since time immemorial. Well, at  least since the beer arrived.” The beer: Nothing on their website about this one but found this online: “Made from a careful blend of seven malts to create a truly unique flavour. Hidden depths of rich flavours including caramel, chocolate and a slight coffee note.” Delicious, the flavours were all there even though I’d had quite a busy day ‘researching’. The Churnet Valley Railway Rail Ale Trail July 2022.

795: Nottinghamshire | Flipside | Flipping Best

The brewery: “In May 2014 we opened our brewery tap, the Old Volunteer in Carlton Square, Nottingham. The pub has nine real ales on hand pull, four of which are Flipside brewery beers with five regularly changing guest beers….After a lot of thought about a name for a brewery we came up with Flipside, a reference to the coin collecting hobby of our head brewer. This also provides the theme for the names of the beers which are loosely based around coins and currency, apart from when we can’t resist using the word "flipping"!” The beer: “A traditional dark brown best bitter. Strong malt flavours complemented with good bitterness and gentle hop flavours. At 4.6%, a popular beer for the bitter lover.” Couldn’t agree more, very tasty, even in plastic. The Churnet Valley Railway Rail Ale Trail July 2022.

794: Wiltshire | Twisted Brewing Co. | Gaucho

The brewery: “As an authentic micro brewery we know the value of producing small batches of traditional beers that showcase the best of traditional British beer, from best bitters to pale ales we have beers that everyone loves to drink.” The beer: “This dark ruby red ale celebrates the malt with a dark caramel and chocolate base, balanced on a blend of European hops. Aromas of soft fruit, chocolate and toffee play around the taste of berries.  A great beer to have with your Sunday dinner.” This was a busy day ‘research’ wise but I very much enjoyed this. A lovely combination of flavours. 4.6% A.B.V. Black Lion , Consall Forge, Staffordshire. July 2022.

793: Cheshire | Robinsons | Wizard

The 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: “This is the stuff of Cheshire legend (The Wizard of Alderley Edge), combined with 5 English hops, pale, wheat and magical crystal malts. The result is Wizard, a mythical amber ale with a spell-binding fruity, zesty palate…and a tantalising hint of blackcurrant.” Not my favourite style but it was well kept and went down well on a warm evening The Wilbraham Arms , Alsager, Cheshire. July 2022.

792: Leicestershire | Leatherbritches | Bad Boy

The brewery: “Long before the days of scientific analysis and the invention of the saccrometer, Ale Conners, who collected taxes for the Crown, needed to check the strength of the beers brewed. They would pour some of the beer onto a barrel top, sit on it for a while, and, depending on how sticky they felt it to be when they stood up, they were able to assess it's alcoholic strength and impose the appropriate duty. Worsted, cord and even moleskin trousers failed to withstand this onerous duty. Thus leather britches were worn by all the Ale Conners and they became the mark of their profession.” The beer: Nothing on the website but found this on the ‘net: "Mid-brown in colour with a fresh hoppiness flavour, and a bitter sweet lingering finish.” Nice drop this although a tad hoppy for me. Refreshing though. 4.6% A.B.V. Nice pub with good value food too. The Bulls Head , Smallwood, Cheshire. July 2022.

791: Cumbria | Great Corby | Corby Ale

The brewery: “Since starting in October 2010, Great Corby Brewhouse has been a very enjoyable and hands-on experience. Great Corby Brewhouse uses the finest ingredients to create a classic range of core beers, we have a small dedicated team who take care and pride in producing our ales.” The beer: “Classic copper coloured ale with a soft caramel palate rounded off with fine English golding hops".” Another good honest bitter here - nothing fancy but tasty - a great session ale. 3.8% A.B.V. July 2022. Related entries .

790: Cumbria | Hesket Newmarket | Black Sail

The brewery: “We are a small, co-operatively owned micro-brewery based in the beautiful village of Hesket Newmarket in the north of the Lake District National Park. We have been producing fine real ale ever since we started in 1988; we are now Cumbria’s oldest surviving micro-brewery. Our brews are loved by locals and visitors alike; to such an extent that the brewery became co- operatively owned in 1999 to prevent its closure or sale to a larger enterprise.” The beer: “A traditional stout brewed with a blend of dark malts including lots of chocolate. Complex flavours of coffee, liquorice and cocoa are tempered by using malted oats to smooth out the sharpness. Hopped with a simple bill of English hop varieties to give a delicious bitterness resulting in a classic stout.” Another gorgeous stout from my time in the North Lakes. It’s taste belied it’s relatively modest strength. 4.0% A.B.V. July 2022

789: Lancashire | Moorhouse’s | Pendle Witches Brew

The brewery: “We have been producing world-class beverages in Burnley for 150 years” The beer: “Summoned by the witches, this mystical beast prowls in the shadows, stalking its prey, ready to pounce. A bold, malty amber beer with spice fruit notes and crisp fruity aftertaste.” Nestled in the shadow of Pendle Hill, Moorhouse’s beer names give a nod to the legends, folklore and the witch trials held in 1612. A nice drop this thought that fruity finish was a little too prevalent for my awkward taste buds. Enjoyable though. 4.9% A.B.V. July 2022. Related entries.

788: Cumbria | Cumbrian Ales | Esthwaite Bitter

The brewery: “Cumbrian Ales is a craft brewery lying on the shores of Esthwaite Water at the southern edge of Hawkshead village in the English Lake District. Established in 2003 our beers are all produced with care and pride using the wonderful Lake District Fell water.” The beer: “Delicious amber bitter with a distinctive flavour from the combination of malts and American Cascade hops.” After all the big dark guns on my trip to the North Lakes this initially seemed a little lifeless but I rapidly grew to like it. It’s this sort of beer that brought me back to ale after years of drinking lager after all. A very pleasant good honest bitter. 3.8% A.B.V. July 2022. Related entries.

787: Cumbria | Ulverston Brewing Co. | Celebration Ale

The brewery: “….in 2006 the brand new Ulverston Brewing Company made its home in the old winding machine shed of the Diamond Pit in Lindal…..Demand grew and grew and finally they decided to take the plunge into full-time brewing –  well it’s full time for Anita at the moment, with Paul fitting in the deliveries and everything else when he finishes the day job!” The beer: “A pale, slightly spicy, refreshing golden beer, initially brewed to celebrate the unveiling of the Laurel and Hardy statue in 2010. Undoubtedly a top quality beer if not my favourite style. the hint of spice was different though. 3.9% A.B.V. July 2022.

786: Cumbria | Cumbrian Ales | Grasmoor Dark

The brewery: “Cumbrian Ales is a craft brewery lying on the shores of Esthwaite Water at the southern edge of Hawkshead village in the English Lake District. Established in 2003 our beers are all produced with care and pride using the wonderful Lake District Fell water.” The beer: “A robust dark ale brewed with generous amounts of Maris Otter, Crystal and Chocolate malts together with all English hops.” Another delicious dark ale from the North-West though not my favourite - but then the competition has been pretty hot on this trip. 4.3% A.B.V. July 2022. Related entries.

785: Yorkshire | Saltaire | No.5

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: “This classic stout’s creamy smoothness and roasted malt flavours will leave you wanting more.” Another lovely drop from Saltaire though their Triple Chocolate stout just tops it for me. 4.2% A.B.V. July 2022 Related entries.

784: Cumbria | Windermere Brewing Co. | Dog’th Vader

The brewery: “Millholme Country Hotel was purchased in 1987 by the Coulthwaite family who dreamed of opening a traditional Lakeland inn, and ultimately, an on-site brewery. Developments soon began and The Watermill Inn was born, with the doors opening in 1990. Alan and his son Brian’s further aspirations were achieved in 2006 when they launched the Windermere Brewing Company.“ The beer: “Come over to the dark side”, this is a well balanced stout beer with fruit , a malty flavour that has a dry bitter aftertaste to finish.A dark , powerful “may the force be with you” beer.” Yep, another tasty stout from Cumbria. They know how to brew good stouts up here. 5.0% A.B.V. July 2022.

783: Cumbria | Kirby Lonsdale | Jubilee

The brewery: “Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery Co Ltd was established February 2009…….After many months of planning and preparation, the brewery was finally installed by Porter Brewing Company and is situated at the Old Station Yard, Kirkby Lonsdale.” The beer: “A powerful yet smooth stout brewed with chocolate and black malts, and just a hint of roasted barley. Pale malt and liquorice to show through.” Another good ‘un from the gang at KLB. Exceptionally smooth and didn’t taste as strong as it was. 5.5% A.B.V. July 2022. More from this brewery . More from this area.

782: Cumbria | Great Corby | Coffee Milk Stout

The brewery: “Since starting in October 2010, Great Corby Brewhouse has been a very enjoyable and hands-on experience. Great Corby Brewhouse uses the finest ingredients to create a classic range of core beers, we have a small dedicated team who take care and pride in producing our ales.” The beer: “A full bodied smooth coffee milk stout with chocolate notes.” This was even better than their very enjoyable basic Stout , almost like a meal in a glass. Absolutely superb. 4.7% A.B.V. July 2022.

781: Cumbria | Eden Brew Company | Beacon

The brewery: “Eden was born out of a dream of better beer. The kind of beer that requires love and hard work. The kind of beer you demand; beer for people who aren't afraid to push themselves.” The beer: “Beacon has a special place in our hearts as the first beer we ever brewed. We'll be honest in our experimental beginnings it was far from 'the best' at all. But three brews later we had perfected our gorgeous, light chestnut best bitter. We use traditional floor malted Maris Otter barley and personally choose a classic blend of English hop varieties to make what we call 'the best of the bests'.” They certainly did get it right - as far as my palate was concerned anyway, very tasty. Another Cumbrian beer procured and enjoyed whilst on a caravan trip to the North Lakes. 4.0% A.B.V. July 2022.

780: Great Corby | Stout

The brewery: “Since starting in October 2010, Great Corby Brewhouse has been a very enjoyable and hands-on experience. Great Corby Brewhouse uses the finest ingredients to create a classic range of core beers, we have a small dedicated team who take care and pride in producing our ales.” The beer: “Dark, roasted and smooth, with chocolate notes and a balanced malty palate.” The first of three beers from Great Corby and it didn’t disappoint - in fact none of them did. I like a nice bold stout and this worked really well. 4.5% ABV. July 2022. Related entries

779: Tirril | Kirkstone Gold

The brewery: “Based in Long Marton, near Appleby, Tirril Brewery offers fine traditional ales, refreshingly crisp pilsners & a range of spirits. The first brew was delayed for a month, by the arrival of our daughter India. It turned out by chance that the current Tirril Brewery opened exactly 100 years after Siddle’s the last brewery in Tirril had closed….“ The beer: “Our first specifically designed Lakeland Ale. A pale golden beer, lighter in colour than our Grasmere Gold, yet also subtly hopped to make for plentiful session drinking.” It didn’t offend and hardly excited but after a warm day out on Ullswater it was indeed very refreshing. Pleasant but not outstanding - but that’s just my palate. 3.9% A.B.V. Glenridding Hotel , Cumbria. July 2022.

778: Bowness Bay | Swan Black

The brewery: “In a region renowned for delicious local produce and divine taste experiences, Bowness Bay Brewing have been producing a range of hand-crafted traditionally made beers using the famous Lake District water to create the freshest, cleanest beers around.” The beer: “Set sail on a journey into the deliciously darker waters of our black IPA with its start-to-finish hoppy magnificence. Allow this beer’s rich chocolate sweetness along with its subtle citrus notes and grassy loveliness to wash over and refresh you with its Lakeland water freshness.” I liked the colour -obviously - but the flavour? Not so much. A tad too hoppy for me in truth. Forgot my specs when I went into Booth’s in Keswick and so didn’t read the label. 4.6% A.B.V. July 2022

777: Kirkby Lonsdale | Ruskin’s

The brewery: “Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery Co Ltd was established February 2009…….After many months of planning and preparation, the brewery was finally installed by Porter Brewing Company and is situated at the Old Station Yard, Kirkby Lonsdale.” The beer: “Brewed using fine Maris Otter malted barley complimented with Magnum and Brewers Gold hops to give a fruity and spicy characteristic, with a lasting dry finish…..The name of the first beer produced, “Ruskins”, comes from the iconic Ruskin’s View which Turner famously painted in 1816.” Good old Booth’s supermarket is always a good source of ales when I’m up north and this first of a number procured from their store in Kewsick did not disappoint. Very tasty indeed without being too potent. 3.9% A.B.V. July 2022.

776: Magic Dragon | Border Bitter

The 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.” The beer: “Welsh traditional best bitter.” Not the most descriptive of tasting notes nut nevertheless a very fine good honest bitter. Not too strong but tasty. 3.8% A.B.V. July 2022. Related entries.

775: Peerless | Knee Buckler IPA

The brewery: “Peerless Brewing is an award winning microbrewery based in Birkenhead on the Wirral Peninsula. We specialise in creating modern cask conditioned ales and keg beers by combining traditional brewing techniques and fine ingredients with a modern approach.” The beer: “Knee Buckler is a wonderfully golden IPA style beer. At 5.2% there is good strength and lots of initial hop bitterness which is matched with a little hint of sweetness from the use of  Crystal and Caramalts,  The aftertaste and aroma comes from a blend of American hops, Citra, Cascade and Columbus which gives a distinct fruity finish.” Not my favourite style of beer but on a warm day, and it being nicely chilled, it went down very well indeed. 5.2% A.B.V. July 2022.

774: St Peters | Golden Ale

The brewery: “St. Peter’s Brewery is one of England’s original craft breweries, founded in 1996 in former traditional agricultural buildings alongside the moated St. Peter’s Hall, deep in the picturesque Suffolk countryside.” The beer: “English Pale malts coupled with Challenger and Goldings hops provide the bitterness and aroma. The result is a highly distinctive light, golden ale, with caramel aromas, a pleasing toffee apple flavour and a late bitterness.” I tend to gravitate towards darker beers more and more these days, however I liked this more than I expected too. A nice summer beer indeed. 4.7% A.B.V June 2022

773: Shalford | Rotten End

A basic website with no history of the brewery, however they are based in Essex. The beer: “Traditionally coloured and strong, accompanied by slightly sweet and nutty undertones with a bitter edge to finish.” A gift from a caravanning friend and well received it was too, I didn’t find it too sweet. Bottle conditioned so pour carefully and 6.5% A.B.V so drink carefully May 2022. Related entries.

772: Papworth | Pass The Porter

The 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

The 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

The 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

769: Weetwood | Cheshire Cat

The 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

The 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

The 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.

766: Hambleton | Nightmare

The 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: "T he 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. Rela

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