Home Beers – December 2015 – Part 1

It’s been 5 whole months since my last bottle post. 5. Whole. Months.

There were times during that period where I doubted that I would carry on with this. But then I remembered, this is how I get to taste beers from breweries that I may not see in the pubs. Breweries that I might need to invite to a certain beer festival – announcements to come soon – for YOU to drool over.

So, I continue. But there will be a change in focus. Towards more pub related posts. And only relating truly exceptional packaged beer. But still Northern focussed. Starting now.

You know the drill by now. You get the beer, the brewery, where I got it from. And my thoughts. So let’s get on with it, eh?


1. Bradford LagerBradford Brewery (Er… Bradford) – Lager4.5%abv330mlDrink (Hebden Bridge) – £2.50

So. A dry hopped Yorkshire Pilsner eh? Straw golden colour with a lacey fluffy head? Check!

Slightly floral and spicy aroma? Check!

First mouthful? Boxes ticked. Refreshing and light, nice light carbonation lending the beer a crispness that all good Pilsners should have.

Second mouthful and there is a building herbal hop hit. With each swallow this intensifies and adds to the dry finish leaving you wanting just another mouthful.
Then the glass is empty. And you want more.

A fine first beer for me from this Brewery. And bought from a fine shop/bar in Hebden Bridge.


2.  CascadeBarearts Brewery (Todmorden, W Yorkshire) – 3.9% abvPale Ale500mlBarearts Shop (Todmorden) – 3 for £8.

A bright golden Pale Ale with a light foamy white collar giving an aroma with notes of gooseberry, grapefruit and lemon sherbet with a background of fresh baked bread.

Oh yes this is one light refreshing beer! Light to medium bodied the citrussy grapefruit tartness is light and palate cleansing and is supported by a light biscuity slight sweetness that is cut through by a finishing gooseberry hit.

This is mouthwatering and juicy with a lovely fruity balance with the light Pale malt leading to a dry finish with that lingering citrus hoppy flavour carrying over into the aftertaste.

If you’re ever heading by car or train to Hebden Bridge, stop off on the way back and treat yourself. There’s not many places you can get this beer. And the shop is a bit of a local art space too. Well worth it! You can’t miss it. It’s painted big and bold in pink. Opposite Morrisons.


3.  Brewsmith BitterBrewsmith Beer (Ramsbottom) – 3.9% abvPale Ale500ml – Direct from the brewer.

Pale golden – almost straw yellow – coloured beer with a light soft white head emitting an aroma fragrant with sweet lemon and light mango. Really fruity juicy nose on this.

Oh sweet baby Jesus is this GOOD!!! WOW! As sharp as Julian Clary’s tongue is this, juicy with sweet mango flowing over the tongue welded to a serious hoppy bite!

The carbonation is spot on, light and refreshing, leading to the fruitiness that is initially almost overwhelming but the swallow stops you dead in its hoppy dryness, quite abrupt with a sharp lemony hint, hugely satisfying.

This is right up there with Mallinsons for me, a pokey and full flavoured hoppy pale ale that punches well above its weight. That fruitiness leads to a substantial resinous hit in the aftertaste, sticky and dry.

This is one hell of a beer.


4.  Reddish RyeThirst Class Ale (Stockport) – 5.0% abvRed Rye Ale500mlHeaton Hops (Heaton Chapel) – £3.50

Proper red beer. Almost the colour of Salfords own Vimto, this beer has a luxuriant off white foamy head and a deep fruity nose, oof plums and cherries with a little peppery spice.

Medium to full bodied, this is quite creamy in the mouth with good carbonation maintaining that head. A wholemeal bready body with raisins, juicy rum macerated raisins, some peach and that spicy Rye dryness. This is simultaneously sessionable, yet quite complex.

That spicy peppery dryness is the dominant feature in this finish, a grassy herbal hop features too and rounds this beer off nicely. Not had this on draught. Can’t wait!


5.  City ShuffleShindigger Brewing Co (Manchester) – 5.1%abvRed Ale330mlHeaton Hops (Heaton Chapel) – £2.90

Coming out of the bottle a rusty red/brown colour, this beer has an off white foamy head that gives off an aroma full of berries and spicy pepper. My nose screamed “RYE”, but I thought I was mistaken. Until I read the grain bill. Yup. Rye.

Medium of body, a fruity wee beast on first sip is this. Red berry fruit with a citrussy twist. And that peppery note characteristic of Rye. Drying the tongue and twisting it, curling it upwards.

A fairly gentle carbonation lends this beer a smoothness, almost creamy in the mouth. But oh that dry Rye…… The finish is dry, as you might have predicted! But with a hoppy edge.

Shindigger haven’t disappointed me yet. Other than curtailing casking. Onwards and upwards in 2016?


6.  Life & DeathVocation Brewery (Hebden Bridge) – 6.5% abvIPADrink (Hebden Bridge) – £2.90

Oh my days, the grapefruit on this nose!!! This Pale golden beer pours with a light and thin white collar which lasts to the end and gives off simply masses of drool inducing grapefruit with a basket load of other tropical stuff. Oh yes.

Oh yes. This is another of those “Um Bongo” beers. Just a glass full of fruit salad…. Mango, big mango, kiwi, passion fruit, it’s all going on on top of a big juicy malt base. It’s like a tart with simply stacks of sliced fruit on top. Just SO juicy!

I could never tire of beer that is this good. This is fruity from start to finish. Light carbonation and really well balanced on that big malt, with a smooth bitterness that asserts itself the further down the glass you get. But it doesn’t get in the way of this really smooth beer.

A proper Beergasm.