Category Archives: Real Ale

RCH Brewery – Chocolate Mild

RCH Brewery – Chocolate Mild

This Mild ale was on offer from one of our local Breweries at the Burnham-on-Sea Food Festival. It is an excellent dark ale with a chocolate aroma. The taste is a mix of chocolate and vanilla notes and a sweet  malt background, with a hint of hop sharpness. overall a satisfying taste. An excellent ale if you like the milder beers, that were historically common and more popular further north in the UK. It is nice to see a mild ale in the South West. My 5* rating

Gyle 59 Brewery – Dark and Bitter Black

Gyle 59 Brewery – Dark and Bitter Black IPA 5.8%

Gyle 59 Brewery - Dark and Bitter
Gyle 59 Brewery – Dark and Bitter

This ale is brewed in Dorset. It is a dark ruby coloured ale with deceptive sweet malt and plum aromas. It has a roasted coffee taste from the dark roasted malts used, with a strong hop and grapefruit bitter follow on. A very dry bitterness in taste like an Irish black stout but with the thinner texture of bittered IPAs.

Overall this was an ale that confuses the mind and pallet, leading the drinker to expect the taste and texture of a black stout, whilst giving the pallet of an IPA.
This ale is produced by Gyle 59 Brewery, Thorncombe, Dorset. The brewery is log powered and uses its own spring water, producing natural ales.

Additionally the Brewery runs a cellar bar in nearby Lyme Regis –

Cellar 59 – The Natural Beer House

a visit to which will be planned.

Just Ales Micro pub

Just Ales is the first micropub in Somerset

Just Ales beer and cider menu
Just Ales beer and cider menu

If you want the usual mass produced lagers, Just Ales is not for you and you will be directed to a pub around the corner. Just Ales, located in England’s smallest city – Wells Somerset, is what it says on the label, it just sells real ales, oh and a few local farmhouse ciders. It has up to seven real ales selected by Pete and Andy, based upon their knowledge of available real ales and may be some recommended.

Just Ales 1/3 pint beer flight
Just Ales 1/3 pint beer flight

Look out if you are visiting, you could just walk past, without realising it is there, unless you are greeted at the door as we were. As well as real ales and farmhouse ciders, bottled ales including the odd Trappist ale from Belgium; you can have a tea or coffee for the nominated driver. The food menu includes – pickled eggs, crisps, pork scratchings, or a ‘top of the range Somerset’ Barbers 1833 Cheddar cheese bowl. A speciality is a pint and a homemade pork pie.  This is not a pub if you want to sit with a meal, it is for those who want to try a real ale or 2 and talk beer etc.

Just Ales beer and cider cellar
Just Ales beer and cider cellar

The ales may be local, such as Milk Street Brewery in Frome, or may be from the West or Wales or further afield. On our second visit we sat with Andy and his dog and a couple of local Wilkins cider connoisseurs, and chatted about bourbon whiskeys, whilst nibbling on some of the great Cheddar cheese.

Anchor Brewing Company – Liberty Ale

Anchor Brewing Company – Liberty Ale 5.9%

Anchor Brewing - Liberty Ale
Anchor Brewing – Liberty Ale

This is a golden amber ale with a fresh off the bine hop aroma, with hints of vanilla. It is has a pleasant malt and orange warming taste with a fruit sharpness and a good hop bitter background, without overpowering bitterness.

Brewed with Cascade hops and also dry hoped with Cascade. This is a really good ale of a European style from the U.S. west coast San Francisco. My 5*
According to the brewery Liberty Ale® was first brewed to celebrate the bicentennial of Paul Revere’s historic ride (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem), he alerted the American forces of the British approach before the battles of Lexington and Concord .
It was the first modern American IPA brewed after prohibition and the first modern American single-hop and dry-hopped ale, which started the American Craft Beer brewing.

James Street- Big Red

James Street- Big Red 4.5%

James Street Brewery - Big Red
James Street Brewery – Big Red

This is a dark chestnut ale, with a good malt aroma. The taste is malty with a bitter follow on. I would place this ale between a Bitter and an IPA in taste, well hopped with a dry bitter finish.

This ale is produced by the James Street Brewery, headed up by brewster Anna, based in The Brew House, James Street in Bath. Giving not only the environment of an old style pub, with barrel tables, in which to try the beer offerings and food but you can see the brewery inside, behind a glass wall.  Well worth a visit… or two!

Cotleigh Brewery – Long Eared Owl

Cotleigh Brewery – Long Eared Owl 4.9%

Cotleigh Brewery - Long Eared Owl
Cotleigh Brewery – Long Eared Owl

This is a chestnut coloured ale, with a good malt and hop aroma balance. It has a rich hop and malt taste of a good English bitter.

This is another of Somerset’s Cotleigh Brewery bird themed ales, which if you are looking for a traditional bitter ale with good malt and hop balance this is a good choice.

Hopshackle Brewery – Double Momentum

Hopshackle Brewery – Double Momentum 7.0%

Hopshackle Brewery - Double Momentum
Hopshackle Brewery – Double Momentum

This is an amber coloured ale with a strong malt and dried hop aroma. It has a strong malt taste with a heavy resinous hop bitterness. A strong IPA rather than a barley wine type that may be expected at this strength.

This ale is based on a historic 18th century recipe.
The Hopshackle Brewery is based in Market Deeping, Lincolnshire have originated from The Saracens Head in Cambridge via Cox’s Yard Inn in Stratford on Avon and the brewing equipment was built by the engineers at Charles Wells, Eagle Brewery in Bedford.

Schlenkerla Brauerei Heller – Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen

Schlenkerla Brauerei Heller – Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen 5.2%

Schlenkerla Smoke Beer
Schlenkerla Smoke Beer

This is a dark beer with a strong blackened wood smokey aroma. It has a sweet German weiss beer taste with an overriding wood smokiness, with clove notes.

This is a very unusual weiss beer with the smokiness cutting through the typical sweetness of a wheat beer. It is a great drink for the winter in a pub with an open fire.
5*.
This beer is from the original Schlenkerla Smokebeer Brewery in Bamberg in the Franconia region of Germany, first mentioned in 1406 and brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516.
The barley malt portion of the grain bill is smoked over beechwood logs. The wheat malt is unsmoked.

Jennings Lakeland Ales – Red Breast

Jennings Lakeland Ales – Red Breast 4.5%

Jennings Lakeland Ales - Red Breast
Jennings Lakeland Ales – Red Breast

This Christmas ale is a dark chestnut, ruby coloured ale with a spicy aroma and sweet fruit notes. The taste is malty, with dried fruit  and a quick following hop bitterness and aftertaste.

A winter ale using pale malt and traditional Fuggles and Goldings hops, celebrating the Victorian postmen called ‘robin redbreasts’.
A good Christmas ale but may be a little too hoppy for some tastes.