Now that I have completed my work assignment in the West Midlands and returned home it is probably a good time to list my latest gold medal beers. It will be interesting to see if the beers down south match up to the quality I have enjoyed in the Midlands. Without further ado and in alphabetical order here is my latest list of winning beers.
Beowulf Dark Raven (4.5% ABV). I had a pint of this in the Post Office Vaults, Birmingham back in March. I found this beer to be very warming with plenty of chocolate and coffee notes being balanced by spicy fruits and caramel. This very dark mild also has a good strength and it really hit the spot on such a cold evening.
Byatts Brewery Pheonix Gold (4.2% ABV). This beer was enjoyed at the Golden Bee in Stratford-on-Avon. Brewed with a blend of three American hop varieties this was a superb pale gently hopped bitter. Yet another beautiful beer from this relatively new Coventry based micro.
Elgoods Thin Ice (4.7% ABV). This was a very pleasant find at the Wetherspoons pub in Coalville, The Monkey Walk. It was a superb deep brown malty ale. My only criticism of this beer would be the name. It bears absolutely no relation to the taste. Instead of a crisp refreshing beer I got a full bodied malty offering with a spicy warming finish. Totally bizarre.
Elland Eden (4.2% ABV). This was another beer served in perfect condition at the Golden Bee in Stratford-on-Avon. This superb session bitter is brewed using Chinook and American Cascasde hops. I found it to be a delightful blonde with plenty of citrussy notes but this was well balanced by a sweet spicy fruitiness.
Ilkley Mary Jane (3.5% ABV). This is my latest award winner which I had at the Wild Boar in Warwick a couple of weeks ago. Having recently sampled some lovely bottled beers from this brewery I was delighted to find one of their beers in a pub for the first time. This is a simply awesome pale hoppy bitter. Brewed with Amarillo hops it had all the tangy citrus notes I was expecting and it had plenty of flavour for such a low strength beer.
Lincoln Green Tuck Porter (4.7% ABV). This beer was enjoyed direct from the cask at Nottingham micropub Doctors Orders back in February. I love porters and I must say this was one of the best I have ever tasted. It was incredibly smooth and full of flavour. Jet black in colour it had the right amount of chocolate and coffee notes with hints of blackcurrant too to smooth out any bitterness.
Muirhouse Magnum Mild (4.5% ABV). I found this gem from this Derbyshire brewer on my first visit to the Craven Arms, Birmingham back in early March. A classic black mild as smooth as silk with plenty of roasted malts giving it a full flavour.
Thornbridge Jaipur IPA (5.9% ABV). This long time favourite of mine was found at the Shakespeare Inn, Birmingham and it certainly did not disappoint. I normally drink this in bottles as I rarely see it on my pub travels so this was a rare delight. This classic award winning IPA has a light golden paleness. Bursting with citrussy hops and a lovely bitter finish it is a classic IPA.
That's it for this update. Now I am back home and it will be interesting to see what gold medal beers I can discover. With a visit also coming up to Norwich and the City Of Ale Festival at the end of May I will be looking out for some Norfolk winners too.