Thursday, 13 August 2015

Best of British Beers Monthly Craft Beer Club: July Part Two

OK so I know we're now into August, but time flies and I've had a fair amount of beer to get through recently. Not that I'm complaining, mind! But here at last is part two of my review of Best of British Beer's monthly beer club case for July. Part one is here.

Part two. HERE WE GO!!

XT Brewing, 3, 4.2%

From the home county of Buckinghamshire, the XT brewing team are all about simplicity. Sometimes less really is more as is the case with the stripped back IPA. Crystal clear, bright amber and with all the hallmarks of a good IPA but without any of the oily texture or over the top hop characteristics.

Arkell's, Wiltshire Gold, 4%

An absolute stunner and beautifully drinkable. This is a no nonsense golden beer. Bright floral nose, good balance of malt and hop. A slight sweetness and a long dry finish make this a perfect brew for knocking back in the sunshine.

Woods, Parish Bitter, 4%

Up to Shropshire where we find Woods brewery. This is another well thought out, no nonsense brew made with passion. Leaning slightly more to the malty side with flavours of caramel, toasted nuts and subtle fruit. Bitter on the finish with plenty of citrus.

Backyard Brewery, East India, 6.3%

Backyard are a brewery I've encountered before and have never been disappointed. East India, as you may have guessed, is an IPA. At 6.3% it's pretty much your average IPA strength, maybe a touch more than most. There's an overt sweetness to this beer, with a lot of candied fruit. If anything it's slightly too sweet for my taste. Wonderfully bitter finish and not a hint that it packs an alcoholic punch.

First Chop, Extra Love, 4%

Again, I have had the pleasure of sampling First Chop before. Again, I have never been disappointed. I couldn't wait to try this beer. 'Brewed with extra love and mangos'. Intrigued to see how the mango worked, I also wondered what extra love tasted like. It gets you straight away on the tongue with an extra tropical note and an exuberant bitterness. The finish is a little bit short but while it does last, it's beautiful.

Cheddar Ales, Fire Witch, 4.8%

Saison is one of my favourite styles of beer. The combination of unusual fruit flavours and heavy spice can make them a little bit daunting. This however, is slightly tamer than most I've tried. There's red fruit, herbs, pudding spice and even a touch of smoky bacon.

Huge body, good balance and, having finished the bottle, an understanding of why it's called Fire Witch. The finish has such a beautiful heat to it, followed up by a subtle smoky character.

Once again my month has been drastically improved by the presence of a Best Of British Beer Craft Beer Club case in my life.

If you're thinking about signing up, stop thinking and do it. There are beers in here that I would never have unearthed in a million years were it not for these chaps. Here's to you boys!

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