Home Beers – March 2016 – Pt 1

Following a conversation whilst I was out in Liverpool, this blog may diversify. Still predominantly beer focused, but – given some of the excellent concerts I’ve been going to – maybe a bit more music.

I may even start to write less. Give you “all” a break, like. Not actually…stop though. This is sometimes my window onto breweries for #ISBF2016. But, musically, Mixcloud may be the way forward……

But, for now, more beer wibbles – starting with:


AbyssNeptune Brewery (Maghull) – 5% abv – Oatmeal Stout – 330ml – Direct from the brewer.

On opening the bottle, I inhaled the fumes escaping from the bottleneck. I hate waste I do. Especially when it smells so goodly and dark. This pitch black beer just reeks of dark chocolate and roasty malt and rich toffee. Decadently so. Flaunting its pale coffee coloured head, positively taunting me….

Oh. My. Days. Is. This. Lush.

The first mouthful is barely a dip, but it coats my mouth in roasty bitter goodness. Deeply chocolatey with a light note of caramel sweetness and a little dash of licorice to get the tongue gossiping. Moderate carbonation making this feel very creamy and full in the mouth.

Second gob full rubber stamps the first impression that this is just a lovely Stout with a well judged bitterness adding to the dry finish rounded off by another, delayed, licorice hit along with a herbal hop tone.

You need this in your life. You do.


We’re All Mad HereCheshire Brewhouse (Congleton) – American Pale Ale – 6% abv – 330ml – Heaton Hops (Heaton Chapel)

Deeply golden, almost amber coloured beer with good fluffy white collar and some deep fruity citrus tones in the aroma with a sticky orange uppermost to these bunged up sinuses!

In the mouth, this thing comes alive! This full bodied beastie is as fruity as good want it. Slightly sweet with a toffee malt background, this is all about the fruity hoppage which more than balances that malt base.

Marmalade oranges, peach a little lemony note too, this is simply a gorgeous Pale Ale, beautifully fruity, smooth drinking with a nice carbonation and a lovely bitterness to it.

The finish is sticky orange with an equally sticky resinous hop aftertaste and is just superb. In line with the rest of this beer.

For all the hoopla around some breweries in this country, when Shane Swindells gets all liberal and shit with his hop store, few do this business better.

You need to pay more attention to this Congleton brewery. You really do…


More Grounds For DivorceFive Towns Brewery (Wakefield) – 8.2% abv – Belgian Tripel – 750ml – Direct from the brewer

A thing of Pale golden beauty is this beer. That might blonde head sitting atop of that chalice of gold with a luscious aroma with peach, fragrant honeyed fruits, a touch of spice, even the merest hint of that sweet of my childhood, Parma Violets! Like a trip down memory lane this….

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. That Orval yeast…..

I had this in its previous incarnation when it was 7.8%abv. We even had it in cask at #ISBF2014 AND this version last year. This is just sooooo lush!

Banana split toffee ice cream, drizzled with honey and topped off with slices of peach and mango…. Drooling yet? Fruity. So fruity. But with that yeasty peppery bite. It gets your saliva glands pumping, then slams the door shut with a spicy dryness..

So rich and smooth yet simultaneously light, the fruit plays in your mouth before the yeast muscles in like a parent at a teenagers party and turns the music off! But not quite, as the fruitiness lingers on, leading to a dry spicy yeast finish.

A simply cracking beer. Long may Barry keep bringing that great yeast over!

I got a bit of a kicking recently for my attempts at getting more of Malcolm’s beers over here. Seems like Yorkies want to keep him as their little secret.

Well, Bollocks to that!

Started to get some on draught over here, bottles to follow – including a lush sounding Seville Orange IPA……. And that makes me a happy bunny.


GrailfritQuantum Brewing Co (Stockport) – 4.8% abv – Grapefruit Pale Ale – 330ml – Epicurean (W Didsbury)

This beer followed a conversation I had with Mr Krause. I asked about the chance of him making a beer with grapefruit. And supplying it to #ISBF2015. I have a feeling that he’d may have been thinking about just that.

The next thing I saw was a picture. Of simply LOADS of grapefruit.

Which you can smell. The moment you flip the lid. Simply leaping out of the bottle neck.

The beer is a beautiful burnished gold in colour and sports a light white collar from which that fruity bounty is emitted. Really juicy on the nose, without the tartness that you get from the fresh fruit.

Light to medium bodied, this is a really refreshing mouthful indeed. Plenty of grapefruit fruitiness, really smooth and juicy, with that dry tartness only making itself felt after the swallow, when it raises its tangy head.

This beer rewards patience and proper tasting, run it around the mouth and all shades of the fruitiness reveal themselves.

The finish is dry and slightly tart with the Mosaic hops giving a bit of fruity spice to the aftertaste.

Another cracker from the Stockport lab of Jay¬†Krause. Long may he experiment….


Brown AleCloudwater Brew Co (Manchester) – 4.8% abv – Brown Ale – 330ml – Epicurean (W Didsbury)

Boring. Brown. Beer. Who said that again? Just remind me. So I can tell them to GET IN THE ******G SEA!

The colour of this beer is spectacular. Reminds me of a good Cognac. And the smell….. Just so fruity hop. There’s all sorts of tropical shit going on here, but with a more savoury, almost nutty, note. Enticing to say the least!

Oh my. This is divine! Medium bodied and shortly carbonated, yes, the first thing that hits the senses I’d the tropical fruit. But what grabs me is the earthiness. Nutty and savoury, like a Rye loaf coated in walnuts. Floating in an ocean of bitter tropical fruitiness.

Quite a dry fruity finish to this and that earthiness raises it’s dirty head again before the end, with an almost rye-ish spikyness joining with the slightly resinous hoppy aftertaste.

A splendid beer indeed. From a brewery that just gets better and better.

And guess what. They don’t just make DIPAs you know!


EquinoxBarearts Brewery (Todmorden) – 6% abv – Brown Ale – 330ml – Barearts Shop (Todmorden)

Beers like this remind me that being malty is no crime!

This really dark ruby beer has a mocha coloured head and a spicy aroma reminding me of rye, molasses and licorice.

Oh my! This is a beauty!!! Deep dark vine fruits on rye toast. There’s nothing like a good first impression! Quite full bodied, and darkly fruity with currants and raisins and a bit of cherry. A bit like a beery Dundee Cake….. Yummy!

Yes, there’s a certain sweetness, but not much. The overwhelming feeling is fruit and spice here. And richly cakey.

I love my cake! (Frank Kelly RIP)

In later swallows there is more than a building hint of licorice too to the finish and quite a grassy hoppiness in the aftertaste as well.

The Arch Nemesis had banged on to me about this elusive Todmorden brewery and with each beer I’ve drunk, I can see why.

I might have to have a word for #ISBF2016!


Double IPARunaway Brewery (Manchester) Р7.2% abv РDIPA Р330ml РHeaton Hops (Heaton Chapel)

This copper coloured beer supports a generous fluffy white head that exudes tropicality. That aroma is full of mango, passion fruit even a bit of kiwi. Really juicy on the nose.

And just as juicy in the mouth too! Mango, grapefruit and lemony tartness with a box of apricot in here too. A proper sharp fruit salad of a beer is this. Big bodied as you would expect, with a substantial chewy juicy malt backbone to support that bowl of fruity hop muscle.

Quite a spiciness following the swallow too. This beer finishes very dry, leaving you wanting another mouthful. Then another…. Not that I want to wash away the delightful resinous aftertaste. Oh no.

I’ve been waiting to try this beer when sober, as I always seem to get it on keg when I’ve had a few (if you get my meaning). It doesn’t disappoint. Simply a stunning beer from a brewery of similar stature.

Nicely done Mr W…………….