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Brewskie

In 5: Creamy, Wholesome, Moreish, Balanced, Tasty

After the Batemans Hooker left us with a questionable rash earlier in the week we thought we’d give Batemans another chance with their Combined Harvest. We were sold hook, line and sinker by the bottle’s promise of multigrain goodness to cleanse our body, soul and mind. OK, so it doesn’t promise all of that but surely any beer with all those grains in it has to be ludicrously tasty and maybe a little bit healthy?

It pours with a wonderful burnt golden colour and the head is nice and creamy and hangs around for quite some time, a big contrast to the Hooker with no head, a phrase which sounds unnervingly like a scene from CSI! The taste is a joy to behold as well, creamy and rich yet balanced and ultimately very tasty and moreish. There is nothing lurking beneath either, no bitterness, no anguish; just good honest flavour in a lovely pint. The multi grain is evident as it does actually taste healthy and a bit like a warm bowl of cereals on a cold rainy January morning.

Don’t wait until harvest, go get one (ten) of these now!

This article is copyright © 2014 

Brewskie

In 5: Cakey, Fruity, Full-bodied, Strong, Drinkable

Ringwood, the maker of probably our favourite summer beer, Boondoggle, launched their Old Thumper way back in 1979 and it’s gone from strength to strength since then, winning the CAMRA Champion Beer of Britain in 1988. It’s pretty easy to find nowadays in most supermarkets and in little multi packs of real ale you get in your Christmas stocking from Aunties and Uncles. If only everyone would just get us beer we’d be guaranteed an excellent Crimbo every year. I’ve tried drinking a sock; it’s not nice and you end up with a mouth full of fluff.

So how did they manage to bottle up their ‘beast of a beer’? Well I reckon it wasn’t quite as difficult, or anywhere near as much fun to watch as Old Thumper the wild boar on the label makes you dream up it might have been. They probably just used the same big machine that they use on most of their other beers… Yawn.

The first thing that struck us after pouring into a glass was the smell of brioche this beer seems to emanate. You certainly won’t get Boared as its taste changes and grows mouthful after mouthful. You discover new aspects of its flavour with a different fruit coming through with every sip. Its all round body is definitely strong enough to handle a BBQ (or a curry for that matter), which makes me think… If Old Thumper were to accidently end up on a spit, and then someone were to say, place a little bit of fire underneath him that happened to roast him up, a pint of Old Thumper would certainly make a wonderful companion to the any hog that were roasted as a consequence. Just don’t forget the apple sauce, a hog roast needs apple sauce; that is a fact that cannot be changed.

So is it a ‘beast of a beer’? Well in a ‘I’m stronger than you’ contest, it would probably thump most beers straight out of the Ring-wood.

This article is copyright © 2014 

Brewskie

In 5: Cloudy, Bold, Distinctive, Bitter, Moreish

A highly recommended American beer? Yeah, that’s what we thought too.

Well it took us a few mouthfuls to get used to the powerful, full bodied flavour that this Pale Ale throws straight at you but we were soon singing the praises of this hard hitting little beer. There is no messing about with the brewing process and with just the 4 ingredients and no preservatives Sierra Nevada have crafted a classic hoppy yet slightly bitter brew with distinctive flavours that is really moreish. When it’s poured it has a wonderful golden body with enough life in the head to keep it interesting throughout the drinking experience. It’s more bitter and less citrusy than other pale ales we’ve tried but don’t let that take anything away from what Sierra Nevada have done by bottling up this golden pale delight.

If you are ever lost in the Nevada desert, parched and thirsty, this would be an ideal beer for you. Once you’ve got your bearings, head over to Vegas and Pair up your trip with a couple of bottles of Sierra Nevada. It’s certainly not a gamble and you would be feeling Royally Flush with your choice after heading Straight to the bar. When you get back from your little trip I can guarantee you will end up with a Full House of bottles of this lovely stuff.

Make sure you take the Sierra or you’ll end up with an Escort, and the Mrs wouldn’t be too happy about that now would she.

This article is copyright © 2014 

Brewskie

In 5: Dark, Pleasant, Sweet, Drinkable, Deceptive

We’d never heard of the Cottage Brewing Company before and the thought of a Cottage Brewing Industry, with people all around the country brewing beer in their back garden filled us with pleasure. Our home brew kit has long been overlooked in the cellar alongside a couple of bikes, some smokeless fuel, and an old bag of cement… gone hard. It’s high time we got it back out!

Atlantic Ale then… Well it looks stunning, dark and broody like the deep Atlantic abyss. Try not to let the smell of whisky put you off this magnificent brew as it’s not at all what you expect as it reaches your lips and unleashes a flowing torrent of flavour. Dark chocolates with a hint of liquorice hit your palette, but not too much, as this unexpectedly light beer drinks away.

We considered adding some Titanic puns but the mere thought of it left us with that sinking feeling.

This article is copyright © 2014 

Brewskie

In 5: Blonde, Smooth, Citrus, Powerful, Light

When you first see this Meg-jestic beer in the glass it comes across as a sweet and innocent little blonde; harmless and welcoming.  However when you finally make your move, it kicks you directly in the hops. Weighing in at 5.5%, its light, moreish flavour disguises its roar potential. Named after a canon this beer certainly isn’t just fodder for a big session and needs to be treated with a little care and a lot of respect. With such a lovely flavour, try not to get ‘megged without it at least touching the sides or its Meg-nitude will mean your trip to the pub quickly descends into a roar-cus occasion. It is a lovely beer for a summer’s day so be careful to drink it up quickly while you’re under the sun or it will go roar-ten.

This article is copyright © 2014 

Brewskie

Many people believe that the taste of a beer should reflect the place that it originated, in this case Barnsley. Thankfully with Barnsley Gold, this is not the case. Instead, you can drink this tender brew while laughing at the audacity of the brewer to combine the words – Barnsley and Gold. Perhaps this would be a bit harsh toward the brewer however in fairness, this is the only gold that Barnsley has ever produced and as such, should be celebrated as an achievement in itself.

Perfect for a sunny day in summer, autumn, winter or spring this lovely golden brew was a breath of fresh air on our recent trip to the CAMRA pubs of Yorkshire. Anyone who ever tried eating an acorn as a child (or a student doing a dare in return for beer) will vouch for the fact that they are minging. Fortunately the good folk at Acorn Brewery used a more traditional approach to brewing beer which avoided the use of any acorns. However, much like an acorn, the Barnsley Gold grows with every mouthful into a fine and mighty pint which Jill Masterson of Goldfinger fame would be proud of. With each swig you get a hint of flavour without lingering too long on the palette. It really flew down and has refreshing qualities which leave you wanting more.

Be careful not to tell too many people about this wonderful brew, or there will be a gold rush at the bar!

This article is copyright © 2014 

Brewskie

In 5: Rich, Dark, Fragrant, Moreish, Clean

You won’t frog-et the experience of supping this toadally delicious newt beer spawned by the Toad Brewery in Doncaster. With clean but rich flavours this is a good, honest bitter that really knows what it is. It has a long lasting head and each mouthful leaves you with a rich but uncomplicated aftertaste. Be careful not to park your beer for too long or it’ll get toad away by one of your drinking buddies. It’s rather moreish but we think it’s possible to have a rib-bit too much of it. Make sure you try one of these before you croak and when you get to the bar, remember, Brewskie toad you so.

This article is copyright © 2014 

Brewskie

In 5: Distinctive, Fun, Flavoursome, Alive, Crafty

The more we dig up the back garden the more we like about Brewdog. Born out of a frustration shared by the Brewskie authors and readers with the rubbish array of beers in pubs and supermarkets, the Brewdog founders decided to set up a brewery and started making their own tipples, how wonderful. It puts our passive aggressive attempts at ridding the world of crap beer to shame and if they keep up the good work they have started no doubt they will be Brewdog millionaires before too long!

So, what kind of pedigree is the 77 lager?

Well firstly, what is it? Lager or bitter? We think that’s the point… So to continue the growing trend of  making up mongrel dog breeds to make them sell for more money we think this would be known as a ‘Rug’ as it has all the bite of a Rottweiler and the ugly charm of a Pug. Every mouthful is a delight of lingering full flavours making it far too good to be ‘put down’. It also has a wonderful head to it which no matter what you do, just keeps swirling around, mocking you, daring you to drink the whole lot before it will go away. So we did.

Although we highly recommend you get your jowls around a bottle you will need to keep this beer on a lead as you’ll be hounding for more; but be careful not to have too many or you’ll end up in the doghouse.

This article is copyright © 2014 

Brewskie

In 5: Strong, potent, balanced, distinctive, pungent

This beer certainly doesn’t pull the wool over your eyes in terms of quality and strength with flavours perfectly knitted together, even if you do ram this beer down. It is certainly appropriately named and after a few too many of these you will be on your back, unable to get up. With a far more full-flavoured finish and a more respectable potency than its entry level counterpart (Black Sheep Ale), this sheep is baa far the standout ale of the Black Sheep flock. Ewe’ll be pleasantly surprised by this aromatic beer, rarely found at any traditional pubs or baas, its moisture is distinctive and well balanced and if you’re driving, you mutton’t get too carried away with the first sip or you really will riggwelter.

This article is copyright © 2014 

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