UK Bottle Ale

The UK can lay claim to being the first producers of a number of types of ales such as IPA, bitter, stout, etc. and the culture of drinking real ale in the local pub has been a mainstay of British society for many years. Although the introduction of huge breweries 50 years with their mass produced lagers threatened real ale in the UK, the formation of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) in the North West of England helped to revive the interest in real ale and it can be considered as one of the most successful advocacy groups in the country to this day.

Today there are well over 500 microbreweries in the UK with new breweries opening regularly. It is said that wherever you are in the UK, you are never further than 10 miles away from a microbrewery and according to SIBA (the Society of Independent Brewers) the microbrewery movement is the only sector in the UK beer market that is actually growing.

Moorhouse’s to launch ‘Black Cat Reserve’ for Halloween

Moorhouse's Black Cat Reserve

Moorhouse’s, the Lancashire-based independent brewer is to launch a bewitching special edition of it’s ‘Black Cat’ dark ale (3.4%), a former winner of the coveted CAMRA Champion Beer of Britain. Primarily available as a 4.6% cask beer, there will also be a 7% version with limited cask availability – the latter will also be available in bottles, to be sold exclusively by the Booths supermarket group. Moorhouse’s describe the beer as “An intensely dark beer, Black Cat Reserve conjures deep complex notes of roasted coffee chocolate and mocha, balanced by…

Continue Reading →

Batemans Mocha

Batemans Mocha is a strong stout from the traditional family brewers Batemans who were founded in 1874. Their company slogan is “Good Honest Ales” and a strong stout that has chocolate and coffee as the predominant flavours ticks all the boxes as far as I’m concerned so I have high hopes for this one. Mocha pours a darkish mahogany colour as opposed to the more traditional jet black stout and no matter how it was poured from the bottle it was impossible to retain any head for longer than 30…

Continue Reading →

Bad King John by Ridgeway Brewing

There is an old style tapestry design on the front of the bottle portraying two knights jousting and on the back there appears to be a medieval wench being hanged. Charming. Nice olde English design though – very apt given the name of the brew. The beer has quite a sweet, malty nose and it pours very dark. Not quite a jet black standard stout colour but not far off. For a bottle conditioned ale I expected Bad King John to retain a nice head but within a minute or…

Continue Reading →

Marble Brewery Ginger 1888 Stout

I’ve long been a fan of beers with a hint of ginger about them and so I was keen to try this one. Until this point, most of these beers with ginger (I’m deliberately avoiding referring to them as ginger beers to avoid any confusion) have been paler entities along the lines of Marble’s own Ginger Marble and the somewhat stronger Ginger 6, or the rather lovely Hardknott Cool Fusion, and I can’t remember having ever sampled a ginger stout before. These paler beers leave a lovely fresh lingering ginger…

Continue Reading →

Hook Norton Double Stout

Hook Norton is an old English brewery that has been in operation for many years and they have produced an appealing looking bottle design with strong classy branding for their Double Stout with a nice tag line of “Handcrafted in the Cotswold Hills since 1849”. How many other stouts currently on the market have a brewing history of over 150 years? The stout ours jet black with an off cream head that seems to dissipate to a couple of millimetres of head within a few minutes of drinking and as…

Continue Reading →

Williams Bros Brewing Co March of the Penguins

March of the Penguins is from a brewing company from which I have never had the pleasure of drinking any of their brews before so I have been looking forward to sampling the quality. The bottle itself is branded very nicely. It has a modern, slick design which the brewers have clearly given some time and effort towards. Understandably for a stout it pours jet black and is slightly above average carbonation for a stout. It has quite a frothy off-cream coloured head upon pouring which is retained through drinking….

Continue Reading →

Marston’s Oyster Stout Review

Marston’s Oyster Stout is a traditional stout offered by a mainstay of British brewing. Perhaps this can explain the “traditional” labelling on the bottle which in my mind is quite old fashioned and lacking in precision. The notes on the bottle label suggest it is best to drink with oysters, other shellfish or just on its own. I haven’t personally contemplated a combination of eating oysters or any other shellfish along with a stout, but perhaps that’s just me being unadventurous. Anyway, about the brew itself. It pours jet black…

Continue Reading →

Buxton Axe Edge

Axe Edge from the Buxton brewery is one of the flagship beers that they currently produce (along with Wild Boar) and is a strong double IPA at 6.8% ABV. It is available on cask or in bottles (our review is of the bottle conditioned variety) and it takes a not too subtle inspiration from some of the big hoppy American IPA’s that are thankfully hitting our shores from the West coast US. It is very heavily hopped, using Amarillo, Citra and Nelson Sauvin but there is also an element of…

Continue Reading →