I have once mentioned our pub's special beer in this blog way back on Christmas Eve in 2007, but I think it is the only time I have done so. The Landlady pestered Lees for another beer to enhance her cask offering. The result was a dry hopped version of Lees Bitter which was named after the rutted lane which leads to the pub, hence Bumpy Lane. As an aside it was named after a competition for a name for the new beer, some of which had particular local meanings and allusions and were exceeded in their inappropriateness, only by their libellousness.
We had wondered if a change of licensee would bring an end to this unique little feature - and it is unique to our pub - I confirmed this with the Head Brewer yesterday - but no, it is still there and is selling well. I have never been a total convert to it, but I do enjoy a pint of it now and then. My way on a Sunday is to start slowly with a couple of pints of mild then move on to Bitter and I did so this Sunday too, but detected that tell tale taste that the bitter is nearing the end. Not enough to complain, but that slight loss in condition and very faint, but recognisable taste of "bottoms" where the beer is picking up a slight touch of the sedimented detritus of the cask conditioning process. So I switched to Bumpy Lane and this was a very good sample of it, with a distinct dry hoppiness which lifted the beer considerably. If you ever come to the THT, do try a side by side comparison.
So, things are shaping up nicely at the pub and a return of in form Bumpy is another good thing, as is the reappearance of the seasonal beer. Nice to see my local and new landlady Sarah, doing so well.
Bottoms refers to the lees at the bottom of the cask as a result of the secondary fermentation. It has no other connotation.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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