Shepherd Neame – Master Brewers Choice I.P.A

WP_20150121_001What they say: Crisp and clean with a refreshing citrusy hop bite, This IPA is burnished gold in colour from the carefully roasted malts used in the mash tun. Hops are added at three stages in the brewing process to give the aroma and bitterness so typical of an India Pale Ale.

Couldn’t find this on the brewers website, so I’m guessing it’s exclusive to Lidl, who were knocking it out for 99p. Lovely crisp bitterness but lacked a little body. Gassier than some bottled beers too but excellent value. 3.8% A.B.V. January 2015.

Dartmoor – Jail Ale

WP_20150109_002What they say: A full-bodied, deep golden brown beer, Jail Ale has a well-rounded flavour and a rich, moreish aftertaste. We’re proud to have achieved many top awards with Jail Ale in the Premium Bitter categories at numerous beer festivals.

Another guest at nearby The Spanish Lady this was every bit as good as the blurb. Another strong ‘un at 4.8% with a lovely rich taste but not one to slosh back in a session. Well, I wouldn’t but maybe I’m a lightweight!

Theakston – Old Peculier

WP_20150109_003What they say: Old Peculier is a beautiful, yet very simple beer, brewed using a very generous blend of finest pale, crystal and roasted barley with two bitter hops combined with the majestic and noble ‘Fuggle’ hop to produce a beer of awesome full-bodied flavour with subtle cherry and rich fruit overtones. It tastes superb when accompanied by rich stews, strong cheeses and sweet puddings.

Aah, it’s been a while since I’ve had a pint of this – certainly not since I started this blog anyway. Our other ‘local’ The Spanish Lady continues to present a changing range of beers and I was very pleased to get the chance to ‘research’ this again. Not a bitter and not a stout. Christmas pudding in a glass? Maybe not quite but dark and rich and I really enjoyed it as a change. 5.6% A.B.V so one to savour.

January 2015

Windsor & Eaton – Canberra

WP_20150101_003What they say: Our third Jubilee beer, Canberra, is a rich chestnut coloured beer brewed with dark malts including Imperial, Chocolate, and Dark Aromatic.  As with the other beers in this series (Treetops and Kohinoor) it is inspired by the use of ingredients from areas of the Commonwealth. In this particular case, this ‘New World Commonwealth Ale’ uses Maple Syrup from Canada and hops from Australia (Galaxy) and New Zealand (Motueka and Nelson Sauvign).

The last bit of ‘research’ in our stay in South London was this offering from a relatively local brewery. 4.0% A.B.V but tasted much stronger, with a lovely malty flavour it was perfect for a cold January day.

Wychwood – Hobgoblin

WP_20150101_002What they say: Traditionally craft brewed with Chocolate & Crystal malts and a blend of Styrian, Goldings & Fuggles hops to produce a full-bodied, Ruby beer that delivers a delicious chocolate toffee malt flavour, balanced with a rounded moderate bitterness and an overall fruity, mischievous character.

Had this loads of times in bottle form – mainly thanks to frequent special offers in a certain German supermarket chain, but never on draught. It didn’t disappoint and its one of my favourite ruby ales, thankfully slightly less potent at 4.5% than it’s 5.2% bottled equivalent. January 2015.