Tag Archives: real ale

Einstök Olgerd (Brewery) – Icelandic Toasted Porter

Einstök Olgerd (Brewery) – Icelandic Toasted Porter 6.0%

Einstök Olgerd – Icelandic Toasted Porter

 

This is a very dark to black ale, with toasted coffee and toffee aromas. It has a warm coffee taste with a toasted coffee and chocolate bitterness. It is an excellent porter style ale.

This ale is brewed with toasted a chocolate malts and is brewed with Icelandic roasted coffee.
 
An interesting and successful Icelandic brewed traditional ale originating in the pubs around the traditional London markets.
My 5*
 
This 6 Pack of Icelandic Toasted Porter was was a much appreciated present, brought back from Rekjavik by my son on a visit to see the Northern Lights.
 

Belhaven Brewery – Robert Burns Brown Ale

Belhaven Brewery – Robert Burns Brown Ale 4.2%

Belhaven Brewery - Robert Burns Brown Ale
Belhaven Brewery – Robert Burns Brown Ale

This is a chestnut coloured ale, with a good fruity aroma. It has a good sweet taste and fruit notes, for brown ale.

This ale is a  very pleasant brew, produced in memory of the Scottish Poet Robert (Robbie) Burns and to celebrate Burn’s Night. This ale would go well with hagis.
Belhaven Brewery is in Dunbar and has been brewing for 300 years.

Acorn Brewery – Barnsley Bitter

Acorn Brewery – Barnsley Bitter

Acorn Brewery - Barnsley Bitter
Acorn Brewery – Barnsley Bitter

This is a darker chestnut coloured ale, which comes with rich malty and toffee aromas. The taste is a good full bodied malty ale and is an excellent English bitter. My 5* rating. Surprisingly this ale is 3.8%, as I would have expected it to be around 4.5 or so.

Barnsley Bitter was traditionally locally brewed, and in the past was brewed by Courage, now long defunct. It is good to find such a good version of this traditional northern bitter ale, brewed in Barnsley, which was fortunately on tap at my local micro pub – Just Ales in Wells. Do look out for this ale.

Acorn Brewery, Barnsley, Yorkshire

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

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

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.

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.

CAMRA

CAMRA

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) believes it has achieved its primary aim of promotion of Real Ale. It was founded in the days of Watneys Red Barrel, with a red barrel keg tap on the bar, later reduced to Watneys Red and a red keg shaped bar tap. Other keg beers at the time were Whitbread Tankard, Worthington E and Ind Coope’s Double Diamond; all thankfully long gone.

We now have a thriving collection of small and micro breweries producing real ales, such that even the big brewers and combines try to compete, either buying up real ale breweries, or setting up their own so called smaller ‘craft’ breweries within their main breweries.

Does this mean that CAMRA has now finished its job. No, it will need to continue to support real ale against the conglomerates but will now also campaign to keep our British pub heritage against the continuing closure of pubs in both towns and rural areas.