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.