To that end, I chanced across a local brewery with it's own pub attached. I believe it to be featured in CAMRA's Good Pub guide and, certainly, it was a place where ale was discussed. The publican was there holding forth on his brews, brewing technique, pricing and beer in general. Not to me, I hasten to add, but in a way that was quite reassuring about the pints on offer.
|This sums the place up well, and shows what I was trying...|
I am very much feeling my way on this one, it may turn into a regular thing too. In the meantime, I shall be mostly babbling about some halves that I had, do you want to know more?
The pub itself looks like a living room and I have avoided it, sort of, as it is usually peopled by older couples and looks vaguely like a cafe. On the night that I patronised there was one couple who came in and, on being told there was no Budweiser on tap, promptly left again with bemused looks on their faces. It was mainly working people with the sort of camaraderie that put me in mind of miners and steel workers. Several times conversations did turn that way and the larger groups of mainly men that were there were clearly involved in hard manual labour. I was very much feeling out of place. But, for that, the people were welcoming and the place not uncomfortable. And the ale was very much a part of this. I was on halves simply because I seem to enjoy sampling large amounts of ale rather than sitting with a pint when out and about, in the absence of a meal I felt that going through multiple tipples was more interesting than a single long pint.
Alligator Ale by Ascot was first up. 4.6% ABV and a Golden Ale.
Dark Peak Stout by Raw Brewing Company came next. 4.5% ABV and a Stout.
here). There's a good string aftertaste here as well.
Ruby Jewel by Muirhouse Brewery had to be had at 3.9% ABV and a Ruby Ale.
here) but a much superior product (and I really rate Late Red). The aroma is very much a cleanser, little to it - thin and uncomplicated. There are hops lurking about the edges but they don't dominate or take over proceedings. Immediately following a stout made this quite light and the definite chestnut tones in the taste had me thinking about Mr Trotter's (here). Hopping is light overall and the malt is uncomplicated and unassuming. Not light or pale but lacks the hulking punch of the rubies that I'm used to. Clearly brewed to take advantage of being on draught rather than bottled. Over several tastes this does build to a smokey spice not unlike that of a barbeque on a summer night, quite welcome on a cold evening with the windows steaming up. As the publican put it: "beer with a sensation, not a beer that is 'in your face' and then has a taste like beer, but beer that is a bit interesting." He wasn't describing this brew, but he may as well have been.
Atlantis by Great Orme was last, being an Amber Ale at 5% ABV.
The winner of the evening has to be Dark Peak Stout. On the actual evening, I repeated the experience of the Ruby Jewel out of deference to the host and it is a decent ale, but the Dark Peak plays more to the sort of ale that I prefer these days, having darkness, depth and an adventure in the tasting that the others, though interesting, just didn't have.