Thursday, 16 April 2015

Drinks Delivered: Best Of British Beer's Craft Beer Club

You know what it's like, you come home from a hard day's work and all you want is a decent pint. But what's this? A parcel on your door step? It's a big brown box! You don't know what it is but it looks interesting. Hang on, what's this on the side? Well if you're parcel looks like the one above then you can be certain of a fabulous evening.

A little while ago I did a little round-up of booze subscription services. I mean the fact that you can get it delivered direct to your door (or even your work if you're that way inclined), is remarkable. It was in this round-up that I mentioned Best Of British Beers wonderful Craft Beer Club.

Well I must say that they have been rather spiffing chaps and have sent me another case to try - this time, a more spring-like case as opposed to the winter warmers of last time! I feel it is not only my privilege but my sworn duty to inform you of the results.

What's In The Case?

What gets me instantly (aside from overwhelming joy at the sight) is the fact that this isn't just any old case of beer. It's a well thought out cross section of some of the nations finest producers. It strikes a fantastic balance between innovation and comfort, with some instantly recognisable labels and some that are just begging to be explored.

The literature that's provided isn't half bad either. There's no pretence or assumption of knowledge, just easy to understand tasting notes that aren't remotely patronising. It gives insightful info on everything from the producer themselves right down to how to pour the perfect pint. Doff of the cap indeed!

The Beers

Instantly I'm greeted by the familiar label of Oakham Ales JHB. Named after Jeffrey Hudson, a three and a half foot tall duellist in the service of King Charles 1st, this bitter offers big citrus flavours and a nice dry finish. Bags of character.

Amongst my old favourites are Woldtop Bitter, Lancaster Red and a delightfully dark beer from Monty's Brewery in Wales.

As I blissfully glugged my way through this case (not all in one sitting, honest!) It felt like an old friend taking me on an adventure as a child. Yes that is a ridiculously corny line but it's true! There's the childish excitement of finding out what behind that fence, or in this case, under that crown cap.

So what did I find behind that fence? Some absolute blinders!

From Windsor And Eton Brewery comes the Knight of the Garter. A 3.8% Golden Ale, the nose is sweet with honey and petals. The palate is light and fragrant with that honey really shining through leading to a lemon led finish.

Next comes a brew from a place more associated with cheese. Cheddar Ales' Crown And Glory, this is a tremendously hoppy number and almost a nod towards the more powerful American IPA style. Huge fruit flavours and slight tropical note nestle in to peppery finish.

Going further south we find ourselves in Cornwall sampling Keltek Brewery and their Even Keel Pale Ale. The malt aroma leaps out the glass followed by a slight treacle note. Very sm\ooth and gently floral on the palate. Well balanced and at only 3.4% it's very chilled out.

Now we go North of the border to Scotland and an absolute belter from the Williams Brothers. Joker IPA packs a tropical punch with a slight biscuity note on the nose. The mouth feel is rich and satisfying with citrus flavours such as pink grapefruit and orange giving way to a long dry finish.

Heading back into England we're confronted by The Leveller from Springhead Brewery in Nottinghamshire. If this wasn't from a company called Best of BRITISH Beer, I would assume this is a Trappist beer from Belgium. Dark in colour and smoky on the nose, the slightly lighter than expected but with bags of coffee and caramel flavour.

This is just what one month of beers has to offer! Imagine what it would be like if you got it every month? So much beer! So much good beer! Never again will you be disappointed with the sight of a mass-produced can being the only sustenance in the fridge. Even if you don't have it every month, this is the kind of beers case it is well worth treating yourself with.

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