Monday, 19 May 2014

Bobby Beer: Great British Lager brewed for you

Good food deserves a good beer to accompany it; that's the general premise behind Bobby Beer. Makes sense right? But this small scale brew is set for much bigger things. Last week I caught up with Jonnie Ritchie - one of the team behind Bobby Beer - to get the inside scoop.

"Bobby is a man who makes lager in England. He wanted to create a great tasting lager that was easy to drink."

You might not have heard of Bobby before, it's quite a local-to-the-Cotswolds thing - you can find it at fabulous foodie destinations such as The Wheatsheaf Inn Northleach and 131 The Promenade Cheltenham - though it's recently been added to drinks lists in Bristol and Bath venues, so it is gradually spreading further afield. It had to be a decent drink, one which would complement the skills that come out of the kitchen, but also an easy drinker in it's own right. As of last September, Bobby Beer was born; a premium product to be enjoyed in premium places.

"[Bobby's] approach is resolutely hand crafted and based on the key principles of water, malt, hops and yeast."

The beer is brewed in Bourton-on-the-Water using a combination of American and German hops, along with Cotswold water. It’s clean and crisp with a slight wheat-y element to it too. It's refreshing without being heavily carbonated, and because of that it doesn't make you feel bloated in any way - ideal then to go with your grub. Bobby claims to be a Great British lager, but I'd say it sits somewhere between a pale ale and a lager better; nothing like your standard stuff.

"There aren’t any nasties in his beer. It is made to bring you pleasure and hopefully no headache.”

At present, Bobby Beer is available on draught and in 330ml bottles. When we tried the two next to one another, we were able to taste a difference. Draught Bobby can be made and then distributed almost instantly, giving it a slightly lighter taste, whereas bottling adds an extra process and a bit more time, enhancing the flavours and making it feel that little bit stronger - personally, I like the bottles best, though if you get a pint from the bar it does come in a MEGA glass.. Very macho.

Our taste test was from Batch 2, which tells you that it's early days for the chaps making Bobby. There are little quirks and variations which are still yet to be ironed out, but that's to be expected for something so new. It's given them the goal, to perfect a pint of Bobby Beer, and to get that consistency between draught, bottle and any future vessels it may come in (there was mention of cans - those stylish stubby sorts, which would suit 'the look' down to a tee). I'm a big fan of this 'look', the branding has been done really well; British colours, bold block lettering, no faffing about; Bobby is one cool fella.

From the sounds of it, his cool-ness will only improve too. The plan is to push Bobby into as many reputable dining places/bars as possible, making it available to buy at independent beer merchants, and having pop-up bars at events and music festivals. For the time being, get over to one of the places listed below to try Bobby for yourselves, see what he's up to on Twitter (@bobby_beer), and even listen to his favourite tunes on Spotify! For everything else, contact

You can find Bobby Beer at:

131 The Promenade (Crazy Eights) // The Tavern // The Wheatsheaf // The Chequers // Cowshed Bristol // The Pig near Bath // Bagelboy // The Beer Emporium // Gallimaufry

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