Beer Of the Month

Imperious Rum Barrel-Aged – Durham. Durham Brewery produce some of the best beer in the country in my opinion and do it quietly without hype or fuss. I had my first bottle of Temptation sometime around 2011 and it blew me away, for me it is the defining Imperial Russian Stout brewed in the UK. Each small batch of Imperious is Temptation aged in oak barrels to create unique annual variations. This year Durham aged three versions, whisky, bourbon and this one was aged in rum barrels. All of them are brilliant, but for me the rum barrel takes it. Ready now but will continue to mature and improve over the next 3 to 5 years and probably more.

This is where hops are the stars of the show, be that from simple bitterness, to add those tempting citrus & tropical fruit aromas or to add more of the same with those mouth-filling juice bombs. Expect traditionally styled Bitter, Pale Ale, IPA, Double IPA, Triple IPA, plus anything else hop-forward in style.

If you like things on the dark side then this is the place for you. We have Stouts, Milk Stouts, Porters, Imperial & Pastry Stouts and Porters, there may even be the odd Cascadian Dark Ale (Black IPA). With flavour profiles ranging from bitter coffee, cacao, roasty and smoky, right through to sweet & decadent chocolate pudding & doughnuts in a glass. Throw some barrel ageing into the mix and this really has something for pretty much everyone.

Belgian beer is my happy place, it’s where I cut my teeth so to speak and is probably the reason my passion for great beer, developed into my love for selling it to you. It deserves it’s own section and will be full of my personal favourites. In here you will find Trappist beers too, perhaps not always from Belgium these days, but it seems the most logical place to list them together.

Lager, crisp, clean, easy drinking refreshment. But behind that one word is a plethora of regionally traditional variations. Dark and malty, dry & peppery, floral and spritzy and lots more, the list is endless. More recently, brewers experimenting with modern hopping techniques, Foeders & barrel ageing are making beers that blur those traditional boundaries and appeal to IPA & sour beer lovers too.

Lots of modern breweries experimenting more and more with yeast strains, Keolschips (Coolships), Foeders and more, there’s a wide selection of beers on offer here. Traditional Gueuze, Lambic, Berliner Weisse and their derivatives, then Saisons, Farmhouse style pales through to crazy funked up lactose/fruit beers.