Category Archives: Craft Beer

Siren Craft Brew – Broken Dream Breakfast Stout

Siren Craft Brew – Broken Dream Breakfast Stout 6.5%

Broken Dream Breakfast Ale
Siren Craft Brew – Broken Dream Breakfast Ale

This is a black coloured ale with a strong coffee aroma. It is a sweet with a strong roast coffee taste and chocolate notes.

This craft brewery is based in Finchampstead
Berkshire and describes its beer as “Beer for coffee lovers”.
This beer from their selection needs to be described by the brewery notes “Broken Dream is deep and complex. She lurks in your imagination. She binds smoke and coffee aromas with chocolate, milk and oats to create something thick, velvety and slick”.

Cornish Crown Brewery – Red IPA

Cornish Crown Brewery – Red IPA 5.9%

Cornish Crown Brewery - Cornish Red IPA
Cornish Crown Brewery – Cornish Red IPA

Good things in food and drink come from Cornwall, but also some unusual things, as in the case of this IPA.

The ale has a pale red colour, with rich hoppy aromas. It has  passion fruit taste, with a malt sweetness The initial taste is followed by a  citrus grapefruit bitterness, typical of the use of new American hops. The hops impart the tropical fruit and citrus bitterness, typical of the American and British craft beer sector and the American Pale Ale style.

Cornish Crown Brewery is a small batch craft brewery based near Penzance, Cornwall.

Harbour Brewing – Light Ale

Harbour Brewing – Light Ale 3.7%

Harbour Brewing - Light Ale
Harbour Brewing – Light Ale

This is a pale golden ale with a grapefruit aroma. It has the grapefruit bitter taste, predominant from the use of American Hops, with peach notes.

An interesting summer ale from Cornwall if you like the APA craft beers.
Harbour Brewing is based in Trekillick, Kirland, close to the town of Bodmin.

The Zululand Brewery – Zulu Blonde

The Zululand Brewery – Zulu Blonde Export Ale 4.5%

The Zululand Brewery - Zulu Blonde
The Zululand Brewery – Zulu Blonde

This is a golden ale, with toffee and fruit aroma notes. It has a good mix of malt and hop taste notes without giving the ale an excessive hop bitterness.

A very pleasant bitter ale.
This brewery is based in Eshowe, South Africa and has been brewed by their brewer, Richard Chennells, at the Marston’s Brewery in Burton-on Trent, for one of the Wetherspoon’s beer festivals. It proved to be very popular reflecting its good taste.

The Vaults in Devizes

The Vaults in Devizes, Wiltshire.

The Vaults in Devizes
The Vaults bar

Find one micropub and you are sure to find another. Having a wander around Devises, we happened to come across The Vaults, a micro-pub ale house and bottle shop, in sight of the famous Wadworth Brewery. The Vaults is another  gem where it is all about good beer, talking about good beer and the enjoyment of this wonderful drink.

The Vaults Ale House
The Vaults Ale House

Well worth a visit to sample the latest ales or a cider, or coffee. I bought 3 new porter ales to try, including one I had been looking for, from Anchor Brewing. There were also a number of Belgian Trappist beers on offer.

If you are around West Wiltshire and want a little break, hunt down The Vaults by the Town Hall just off the Square.

The Vaults ale house and beer shop

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.

Brewdog – Nanny State – alcohol free

Brewdog – Nanny State 0%

Brewdog Brewery - Nanny State
Brewdog Brewery – Nanny State

Well what can one say but… It’s Brewdog at it again!

This ale is a chestnut coloured, non-alcohol beer, with a fresh, sharp grapefruit aroma. It’s taste is strong dry grapefruit taste, without any sweetness. making an interesting option on a non-alcohol beer.

Like a number of the Brewdog offerings this alcohol free ale is very much the acquired taste typically needed for Brewdog beers. It does carry a gluten warning for the barley used in the beer to go with the zero alcohol – and it would have to be called ‘Nanny State’

It is brave for a craft brewery to produce an alcohol free ale to compete with the bigger names in this sector. Look out for a Brewdog Bar.

Brewdog Brewery