Harveys Ales of Sussex brew some excellent seasonal and special edition beers but it has to be said that they have just produced their very best. For the full story behind the beer and the person who it has been named after then you must click here to read the excellent article from the editor of the regional CAMRA publication Sussex Drinker, the Quaffer (David Muggleton).
Last night the final stop on our local CAMRA branch social evening took us to the Harveys pub, the Swan, in Midhurst. I had been in the day before and offered a sample of the Copper Ale and I was told it had been flying out. At 5.7% ABV some of the locals had probably been flying out too if they had consumed a few pints of it. Fortunately I was not driving last night and there was some left for all of us to try. In fact, after the first, we had to try it again. There was only a small group of us by the time we reached the Swan as the Chichester group had retired to a pub nearer home so they did not get to try this fabulous beer. Oh dear what a treat they missed. While we on our second helping I suggested that this is probably the best beer ever from Harveys. Coming from me, someone who does not drink Harveys a great deal it has to be said, is probably no huge statement but there were nods of agreement all round including from our chairman who has probably consumed more Harveys beer than most.
As you would expect from the name the beer is copper in colour and in the brew it has passed through the Harveys 'brewing copper' too within their own Georgian microbrewery. The first taste is fairly sweet and malty and beautifully smooth with undercurrents of oranges. Then the bitterness kicks in without being over the top and the finish is beautifully balanced with hints of dark fruits, toffee and marmalade. It doesn't taste as strong as it is initially but it bites you at the end that's for sure. This beer won't be around for long so get it while you can although it may be available in bottles too. Yes this is the best I have had from Harveys.