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Showing posts from December, 2022

832: Snowdon Craft | Porter

The brewery: "In 2003 after working for eight years as a management consultant in the food sector just outside of London, I thought it was time for a change. It was clear that locally sourced food was growing in popularity and North Wales, the land of my birth had very few breweries. By 2006 after reading many books and testing out various recipes in the kitchen, I had grown the embryo of an idea into a fledgling business, The Great Orme Brewery......In 2018, triggered by our relocation, we took the bold decision to reinvent the business. We looked hard at how UK microbrewing had developed into the craft brewing sector we know today and tried to predict where the industry might be heading in the future, and so Snowdon Craft Beer was born with the goal of producing high quality beer with a clear regional identity and a modern outlook on society and the role that a modern brewery and its beers can play within it." The beer: "Our toughest expedition yet. Dark, rich and vel

831: Bragdy Cybi | Mor-ish Seaweed Ale

The brewery: "A long time ago, there was a hardworking man and a hard working woman, both in full time jobs. Then the husband was made redundant.  Faced with this new challenge, he decided he'd like to make beer. With no prior experience, he set about learning all he could about brewing. He immersed himself in books, youtube videos, courses and of course some real life market research! This is why Bragdy Cybi was born!" The beer: This doesn't appear on their website sadly so I can only assume it was a special. I'll be honest I was a bit wary but was very enjoyable indeed - an interesting mix of flavours and one I'd certainly try again given the opportunity. 4.5% A.B.V. December 2022. Related entries.  

830: Bragdy Cybi | 6 Sitra

The brewery: "A long time ago, there was a hardworking man and a hard working woman, both in full time jobs. Then the husband was made redundant.  Faced with this new challenge, he decided he'd like to make beer. With no prior experience, he set about learning all he could about brewing. He immersed himself in books, youtube videos, courses and of course some real life market research! This is why Bragdy Cybi was born!" The beer: "6 varieties of hops including Citra. Strong but refreshing. With a slight orange body, kettle hops fill the taste and a fruit salad of hops giving fruity and citrus undertones. One of the favourites." Refreshing, granted but as you may have guessed from the description, not one of my favourite styles of beer. Bottle conditioned so store and pour carefully. 6% A.B.V. December 2022. Related entries  

829: Saltaire | Unity

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: "A complex, balanced blend of rich malt and fruity, resinous hops give this authentic India Pale Ale real character." At 6% A.B.V. it's not one to slosh back but it was enjoyable nonetheless if a little too hoppy for my awkward palate - but given the style of beer that was to be expected. December 2022. Related entries  

828: M & S (Robinsons) | Cheshire Chocolate Porter

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......A proud family of independent brewers, we operate one of the most advanced and sophisticated breweries in the UK (home to the largest Hopnik in the world) with a global reputation for producing traditional real ale." 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. Serve lightly chilled. Suitable for vegans." Delicious, a lovely combination of flavours and at 6% A.B.V it packs a punch too. December 2022.  

827: Conwy | Clogwyn Gold

The brewery: "Solar generation system on the roof of brewery which reduces electricity consumption by approximately 30%......Spent Grain is re-used as cattle feed.....Waste Beer, Yeast & Hops & Wort is re-used in Anaerobic Digestion to generate Energy........We use very little water in making our beer with 3 Litres of Water used to produce 1 Litre of beer, this is well below the industry standard of 5:1......Our beers are Cask & Bottle Conditioned. This means very little cooling is required (cooling uses LOTS of energy)......No expensive chemicals & no Filtration (Filtration can produce as much as 20% waste beer, Not Good!) By doing this we get better tasting beer as well as helping the environment." The beer: "Golden Hoppy Ale" Not big on descriptions, nor on the history of the brewery that I could find. Anyway, a pleasant enough beer but as regulars will know, not really to my taste. Bottle conditioned so needs careful storing and pouring. 40.% A.

826: Peak Ales | DPA

The beer: "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: "Derbyshire Pale Ale (DPA) is our popular traditional full flavoured, crisp and refreshing pale ale, which is well hopped with Goldings for a smooth slightly sweet taste with a hint of spice." Another one that, for me, ideally needs to be served a little colder. Tasty but not my favourite style as regulars will know. Ano

825: Penine Brewing Co. | Heartland

The brewery: "Our story began in April 2013 with one simple mission to bring people together through our love of beer. Based in the beautiful North Yorkshire hills in Well, near Masham our 18 barrel microbrewery brews three times a week. We are a fiercely independent family brewery and pride ourselves on brewing the finest and characteristic beers." The beer: "Dark copper coloured ale with a toffee, malted caramel smell and a rich smooth moreish flavour." A great find during a weekend break in Bath. Very flavoursome and a lovely lunchtime pint without being too strong.  

824: Wincle Beer Co. | Burke's Special

The brewery: "Set in a lush valley within the Peak District National Park beside the River Dane we are in a very privileged and unique location for a brewery......We are privileged to have a very loyal customer base for our beers. This is not something that we take lightly - there is still intense competition in this sector that was embryonic 15 years ago when we started out. Now with the added complexity of a global pandemic; we, like all other breweries, have had to rethink our strategy and purpose in order bluntly, to ensure survival." The beer: "A exceptional bitter in more ways than one. One of our absolute favourites, and a winner with lovers of darker beers. Enjoy ideally with a faithful companion." Agreed, it was certainly a winner with me. I do love strong dark beers and this was delicious November 2022. Related entries  

823: McEwan's | Champion

The brewery: In 1856 William McEwan started the Fountain brewery in Edinburgh. In 1930 a merger with William Younger's brought about Scottish Brewers. In 2005 the brewery moved just up the road to the Caledonian Brewery. The beer: "This is Scotland's favourite premium bottled beer for good reason. Full bodied and complex, it's uniquely sweet and fruity character smooths the way to it's McNificent strength. Launched in 1997 after winning a Tesco bottled beer competition." Lovely drop this, helped by the fact that it's available around my way in a few supermarkets relatively cheaply. At 7.3% it certainly creeps up on you though. Related entries  

822: Greene King Future Brewers | Harvest Moon

The brewery: "We’ve been running pubs and brewing award-winning beer from our base in Bury St. Edmunds ever since the company was founded in 1799 by 19 year-old Benjamin Greene. " Read more The beer: "GK worked with students studying on the National Brewing Apprenticeship Programme, in creating an exciting recipe for a new, delicious cask ale. Named after the full moon closest to the autumn equinox, it provided farmers with a guide, offering early moonlight after sunset, helping to harvest the barley and rewarding them for another year’s graft.  This deep ruby coloured ale is light in body and has delicious toffee and caramel character beautifully balanced with floral and herbal notes." Tasty enough but not overly memorable to my taste buds. It did help me tick off another pub in the Liquid History pubs guide though. A busy pub full of tourists and young lawyers types jostling for space. Ye old Cock Tavern , Temple, London. October 2022  

821: Brightside Brewing Co. | Secret Santa

The brewery: "We started trial brewing on a home brewery kit back in early 2009 when the country was in the depths of the recession, which is partly how the name Brightside arose. That and the fact that we also like The Killers!.....These days we’re an established name in Manchester, with a reputation for quality consistency and service. Our beers can be found in many of the free of tie pubs and bars in the city, out towards Crewe and Chester in the South, through the Wirral, and up to Preston in the North (in fact, across much of the UK by way of swapped casks with partner breweries and wholesalers)." The beer: "Perfect for the colder months, this golden amber coloured ale blends Mandarina Bavaria and Ekuanot hops with a toasty malt bill to create a delicious premium bitter." Delicious it certainly was - not the usual fruity and/or spicy seasonal offering but 'just' a damn good premium best bitter - as it says. I may have had a second. Dysart Ar

820: Harviestoun | Old Engine Oil

The brewery: "Harviestoun started life in a shed on 5th October 1983. Fanatical home brewer Ken Brooker hosted what would become his legendary Tuesday tasting nights sharing great beers with local friends. This ethos of simply producing superb beer that people love remains with the business to this day" Read more The beer: "Old Engine Oil is a bitter-sweet beer with smoky notes and a lingering finish. Beautifully engineered with premium roasted malt for a velvety mouthfeel....This dark and rich stout was first created in 1999 for a well-known supermarket beer competition, which it won with resounding success. Ever since, it’s been a much-loved beer by the brewery and customers alike."   A lovely drop this, despite being served too cold - I was in a restaurant so it was probably bunched up with all the bottled lagers. Even more enjoyable at the proper temperature I'm sure. The Ivy City Garden, London. October 2022.

819: New River Brewery | Blind Poet

The brewery: "New River Brewery was established in July 2015 on the banks of the New River in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire......Much of our success is owed to our highly energetic strain of “wet” yeast which imparts a unique, clean flavour to our beer, and which we nurture and recycle from brew to brew." The beer: "Charles Lamb once wrote of his short sighted friend, the poet George Dyer, who after an evening at his house, lost his way returning home and took an unplanned dip in the New River. With its four malt varieties providing lightly smoked, liquorice and chocolatey flavours, we imagine our smooth, dark Porter would have provided the perfect tonic for Lamb’s ‘blind’ poet after his mishap." The sort of beer I always envisage drinking in the snug of a cosy pub by a lovely open fire. however this one was sampled on a warm October afternoon in the garden in a boozer on the banks of the Thames - and very nice it was too. A nice combination of flavours. The Prospect of

818: D&G (Desnoes & Geddes) | Dragon Stout

The brewery: "Desnoes and Geddes Limited (D&G) is a Jamaican brewer and beverage producer. It was formed in 1918 by Eugene Peter Desnoes and Thomas Hargreaves Geddes who combined their two shops into one business." The beer: "An exceptionally dark stout that crams a lot of Jamaican flavours into its small bottle. Prepare for flavours such as chocolate, rum, liquorice and raisins." D & G are more famous for the widely known Red Stripe lager - I found this in a  convenience shop in Herne Hill, south London  whilst swapping from train to bus during my stay in October. Only a half-pint bottle but at 7.5% A.B.V that probably wasn't a bad thing. I enjoyed it though it didn't stand out particularly from other similar strength stouts I've had. It's the one that's certainly travelled the furthest though, being imported from Jamaica. October 2022

817: Southwark Brewing | Bermondsey Best

The brewery: "Southwark Brewing Company was founded in 2014 by Peter Jackson and lifelong friend Andy Nichol. Peter had worked in the brewing industry since leaving university in 1981. There was only one problem.... he hadn't brewed a pint of beer in all that time, spending his time in sales and marketing. Enter master brewer Sean Franklin, a friend of over 25 years, and former owner of the award winning Roosters Brewery in Harrogate and pioneer of Hoppy Pale Ales. Via a complete home brew kit in his garage, Peter learnt the art of brewing to complement his knowledge of the theory! LPA, Bermondsey Best and Harvard all have their routes to his garage." The beer: "Traditional English Best Bitter with the finest English ingredients, East Kent Goldings from the garden of England, produce a superbly balanced chestnut beer, with hints of caramel shortbread flavour and wonderful lavender, spice and honey hoppiness." I'm sure there's plenty would question how &

816: Coach House | Hoptober

The brewery: "Coach House was established in 1991 following the closure of Greenalls Brewery earlier that year. We are the oldest cask ale producer in Cheshire celebrating our Silver anniversary in 2016." The beer: "Light straw blonde ale, clean and crisp with spicy orange marmalade finish and lemony hop aroma" As regulars may have guessed, this seasonal ale was not really yo my taste. However, unusually for Wetherspoons this was all that was immediately available when I met with my colleagues to say goodbye to our much respected department manager. I got better though as the night went on - not too strong either which was good! Wetherspoons, Brighton Marina. October 2022. Related entries  

815: Quarr Abbey (Goddards) | Ale

What they say: "Originally founded in 1132, Quarr Abbey is home to a community of Benedictine monks. The Benedictine way of life is one of devotion to prayer, work and hospitality. The Abbey grounds are cultivated by the monks to grow a bountiful supply of fresh food for their own sustenance and to share with the local community. Abbey beers have been brewed by monks for centuries utilising locally grown herbs, malt and barley. Quarr Abbey Ale is brewed to capture the essence of these traditional Abbey Beers and uses coriander and sweet gale grown in the abbey’s own gardens." Another and sadly the last - for now - of beers from the Isle of Wight, this one was equally as enjoyable. Quite potent as you can see and only available in 330ml bottles.  December 2022  

814: Yates | Santa's Ale

The brewery: "Yates Brewery are an independent brewer and wholesale drinks distributor across the Isle of Wight. The company has grown dramatically since it was established back in 2000, this has been achieved by building long sustainable relationships with all our customers....Whether it’s a light refreshing Summer drink, or a dark coloured Winter ale, we’ve got something for all tastes in our range of beers, all brewed by ourselves at our Newchurch Brewery." The beer: "Amber Coloured ale with a slightly toasted sweet malty finish complimented with a hint of cinnamon." Another tasty beer from the small Island - I liked the hint of cinnamon - a spice that features in a number of my batch cooking efforts. Not a flavour I'd want in a beer all year around but perfect for this time of year. Thanks again to Isle dweller and fellow camper Yolanda. December 2022  

813: Goddards | Ale of Wight

The brewery: "We’re the oldest brewery on the Isle of Wight and one of the first independent craft beer producers in the UK. Goddards has been brewing fine real ales in the beautiful surroundings of Barnsley Farm since 1993." The beer: "A bright blonde ale, with delicate citrus notes, a fragrant hoppiness on the nose and a long lemongrass, grapefruit, scented hop palate from the infusion of Cascade, First Gold and Challenger hops." Huge thanks to a fellow camper who went to great lengths to send me a selection of beers from the Isle of Wight. I've not visited for a number of years - and can't recall having anything local when there so it's been lovely trying some ales from there. This wasn't as hoppy or citrusy as I feared from the label - in fact it was a very pleasant drop indeed and one I'd be happy to sink a few of one evening. Nothing fancy but a good honest ale that was much enjoyed. December 2022

812: Chatsworth (Peak Ales) | Beer Gardener's Tap

The brewery: "Peak Ales have been brewing award-winning beer on the Chatsworth Estate since 2005. With a selection of craft ale including Chatsworth Gold made with Chatsworth Estate honey, you can't go wrong with any of these Peak District pints." The beer: "When James Paine built the Chatsworth stables in the 1760s, a brewery was included. Rather than carry the barrels to the house cellar, a lead pipe was sunk from the brew house through the garden to the cellar. In the 1950s, it was decided to uproot the lead pipe for the salvage value. When tracing it through the first Duke’s greenhouse, it was found that the gardeners had tapped into it! When ale was flowing down the pipe, the brewers would tip the wink to the gardeners so they could ‘borrow’ the odd pint or two." Lovely drop this, a good quality lovely coloured traditional bitter. 5% A B.V. October 2022.

811: M & S (Meantime) | Greenwich Winter Spiced Porter

The brewery: "You’d be hard pressed to find a more passionate group of beer lovers and brewers than our Greenwich brewery crew. Great beer is at the heart of everything we do, and everything we brew." The beer: "A well balanced traditional London Porter with warming, aromatic cinnamon and allspice" Interesting group of flavours this. Not one I'd want to drink all year but a great seasonal special. 5.5% A.B.V. October 2022