For many years these guys have quietly been producing good, solid, tasty beers, in fact I can take a punt that most of you reading this have had more than your fair share of Windermere Pale and Brodies Prime over the years, as both have graced many a bar top nationwide.
But it also goes without saying that they have also been pushing boundaries for many a year too. They host one of the countries finest beer festivals over at their Staveley home, not once but twice a year, and were one of the first as far as I know to have a bar dedicated to keg. (I wrote briefly about that back in 2012 )
The beer range they put out is superb, whether you are a dyed in the wool cask traditionalist or as craft as Crafty McCraftface they have a beer for you. Take the absolutely sublime NZPA, with head brewer Matt Clarke clearly showing his Kiwi pedigree to the max. I remember the first time I ever tasted it well, with Matt beaming at me excitedly as he knew damn well how good it was and still is. An absolute classic.
So what have we got in store for you then, well, here goes..
NZPA (obviously) – Brewed with several varieties of New Zealand hops and created by a Kiwi, Head Brewer Matt Clarke. Passionfruit, mango and apricot aromas and a citrus bitterness are balanced by the sweetness of English Maris Otter barley to produce an extraordinary beer which showcases the unique hops of New Zealand.
Brodies Prime Export – Our original ruby brown premium beer, Brodie’s Prime, brewed to export strength to create a rich, complex, strong dark ale. English Maris Otter malted barley, dark malts and a medley of English and American hops produce aromas of dark chocolate, treacle sweet flavours, roasted bitterness, a surprising fruitiness and a long dry finish.
Northern Imperial Stout – A beer to be savoured and sipped to appreciate evolving layers of flavour. It is a deep, rich, complex, intense, strong black beer. Mouthfeel is full bodied. Chocolate, coffee and roasted flavours are at the forefront, dark stone fruit is in the background. The finish is bitter-sweet and warming.
No 5 Brodies Prime – Our 5th limited edition oak-aged release is a matured version of our Brodie’s Prime Export at 8.5% ABV, which is in turn a stronger version of the original Brodie’s Prime at 4.9% Brodie’s Prime Export has been aged for 9 months in oak casks last filled with red wine (Pinot Noir grape) from Burgundy, producing a deep, dark, rich, malty winter ale to savour now or allow to mature further.
Oat Wine Cask Aged – Brewed in collaboration with Wild Beer Co. Oat Wine is a take on the classic British beer style, Barley Wine…..but dominated by oats not barley. Brewed with 50% oats, rye, barley & wheat, double mashed and hopped with English varieties Admiral & First Gold. Matured in cask for 12 months. Deep golden in colour with a warm bitter-sweet compote of rich fruit; deep, full bodied, spicy with marmalade & vanilla flavours.
Oat Wine Cider Brandy – As above but matured in a cider brandy cask for 12 months. Deep golden in colour with notes of baked spiced apples, rich fruit, full bodied, deep warm flavours.
Tonka – A deep, dark, unfiltered, velvety ale, aged with a smattering of tonka beans & cacao nibs – luscious layers of flavour: chocolate, vanilla, coconut, almond, bitter cherry, rolling into the richness of dark malts – a sumptuous beer. Tonka beans are the fruit of the South American Cumaru tree, used by chefs for their complex scent and nut & fruit flavours.
Key Lime “Tau-rsday”
OK it’s confession time, I made a mahoosive boo-boo. Several weeks ago, Matt at Hawkshead contacted me to ask if I would like to be part of this years International Key Lime Tau day, on Tau’sday 28th June. Having tasted Key Lime Tau at last years Rainbow project launch at Magic Rock and been absolutely blown away by it, of course, I jumped at the chance and said YES. Plans were set, beers were ordered and everything was well with the world until I saw the launch day poster and thought, “oh damn” (or words to that effect), we are closed that day. More on that later..
Anyway, apart from getting a stand in which wouldn’t have been fair, our only option was to put everything on when we get back, so our launch day will be Thursday 30th June.
On the day we’ll have on keg and in bottle..
Key Lime Tau – Hawkshead 2106 Edition – A kettle-soured, lactose infused Golden Ale brewed with fresh lime zest and lemon grass. Created by head brewers Matt of Hawkshead Brewery and Chad of Crooked Stave (USA) in answer to drawing green in the 2015 Rainbow Project. It is their take on a key lime pie – biscuity, spicy, sweet flavours with the sharp zestiness of lime.It is called Key Lime Tau because Tau is 2 x Pi (τ = 2π), it has now been made on both sides of the Atlantic and is brewed to 6.28% abv.
and in bottle only
Key Lime Tau – Crooked Stave original release. – Chad at Crooked Stave was so impressed by the beer he brewed here in the UK, that he asked Matt if it would be OK for him to brew it again back home. This is the result, same recipe but this time coming out at 7.0% abv. These are very limited, but it is a perfect opportunity to try the two side by side.
Check out this video review of the original Hawkshead/Crooked Stave collaboration by Rob Derbyshire over at Hopzine.
We still have a few tickets left for our Sour Beer Tasting with Mike from Chorlton Brewery on Saturday 2nd July, see here for details.
Finally, a heads up about our opening hours next week. We will be closed all day on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th June as we take a little break with some beery research thrown in. Also we will close early on Saturday 2nd July, with doors closing at 4:30pm to prepare for our event that evening.
Loads more new beer in stock as always, including new releases from Cloudwater, Mad Hatter and Chorlton. See you soon