Tonight I went to my first micropub, Little Chester Ale House in Derby. A long drive for a pint but well worth it. My next blog post will be about Little Chesters and micropubs in general but the beer I chose tonight was the latest recipient of my gold medal awards. It is a couple of months since my first post regarding gold medal beers and I've drunk quite a few more since then.
Great Heck Brewing Company's Dr Rudi (3.8% ABV) was one of the clearest gold medal winners so far. The barman very kindly invited me to sample it first and I was instantly hooked. It looked very pale and inviting in the glass and I could smell the hops. It went down incredibly smoothly and left a lovely bitter aftertaste. The clarity and taste of this fine beer is obviously due to the brewer but it must also be an indication on how Little Chester look after their beers. This was my first ever beer from the North Yorkshire brewer and hopefully I will find it again on my travels.
So what other beers have I tried recently that will receive the gold medal award? There aren't as many as in my first post so perhaps I'm becoming harder to please or I've just been unlucky. To remind you of my criteria, it must have been a pint served in a pub, so that excludes many of the fine bottled beers I have had over the new year period. Taste is obviously the key factor. However, the condition in which it is served is also a major factor too. I have had one or two beers that I know have been gold medal recipients in the past but did not live up to expectations this time around due to being served in less than perfect form. So, the latest winners are
American Pale Ale 4.8% ABV (Firefly Brewing, Worcester). A delightful hoppy brew served in perfect condition as to be expected as it was brewed on the premises.
Old Henry 5.2% ABV (Hobsons, Shropshire). A lovely rich ruby ale served in The Bear at the Swan's Nest, Stratford-on-Avon.
Shakespeare's County 3.4% ABV (Warwickshire Brewing Co, Cubbington, Warwickshire). A low strength well balanced beer that was surprisingly tasty.
Hoppy Helper 4.0% ABV (Wibblers Brewery, Essex). Bursting with hops and citrus flavours.
Of the gold medal recipients from my first post, Mud City Stout 6.6% ABV (Sadlers Ales, West Midlands) wins again. I have not got to try a second pint from the other winners. It is quite rare at the moment for me to try the same beer twice. In the past 4 months I have tried 103 different beers from 73 different breweries and I have only had a second pint of five of these beers. By 'eck though, if I see Great Heck on the bar again I will be straight in there.
Until next time, keep smiling and happy drinking.