Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Hawking Hawkshead

I was at a birthday party yesterday at the well known Angel in Manchester. The pub is normally closed on a Sunday, but my mate Jim whose birthday it was and is a regular there, had arranged for it open for him as a private function. I started with Hawkshead Windermere Pale and such was the appeal of this splendidly hoppy, Citra dominated, pale beer, that I almost continued with it to the end of the do, despite, or possibly because of its relatively weak 3.5% strength. Of course the road to Hell is paved with good intentions and the fast moving Lakeland Gold handpump was far too tempting. Resinously bitter, but easy drinking, it made the stepping up adjustment all too easy. I've said it before and will say it again. Hawkshead have a superb range of beers and they certainly aren't afraid of using hops at the front of each beer , all of which seem to complement each other to a remarkable extent, despite being very different. They are one of the top breweries in the UK presently, with an attention to detail and exacting standars of production that few match. While they do bottle, this has been done mainly by brewing a simply superb range of cask conditioned ales that you want to drink a few of.  And you know, drinking a few pints of beer that you can really enjoy one after the other, is still in these days of edgy, hard to drink beers of doubtful quality, something to treasure. So seek them out and to enjoy at their best, make sure the beer is sparkled as the brewery intends.


Anonymous said...

I think I've probably made this same comment on your blog, but easily a Top Five UK brewery. Never hit a beer from them that wasn't outstanding.


Mark said...

Perhaps of less interest to you, but still worth noting, is that their beers bottle favourably as well, which is always good to find in low ABV beers.

I've been searching for the Windermere Pale in the 'Spoons fest but it's one of the only ones I haven't ticked yet. I also really like the look of their new brewery tap - pretty smart.

Erlangernick said...

Tell that young Kiwi that my Hausbräu, a sort of Hawkshead Pale Lite (broadly in the style of post-post modern Trans-Atlantic Golden Ale, batch 36 ready to rack now), is doing nicely and dropping bright in a matter of days with the help of the brilliant Nottingham yeast. Or I'll tell him if I run into him in Sheffield, by which time I'll probably have batch 38 racked FWIW.

IIRC, their Bitter is a bit brown, isn't it?

You are going to blog about Sheffield and Donny beforehand, aren't you? Somebody has to!

John Clarke said...

Interestingly they use a clever combination of New World hops along with good old Fuggles and Goldings. Matt the brewer told me they work well together to give a modern hop kick combined with huge drinkability (or words to that effect). As you say one of the top brewers around at the moment.

By the way, I tried a bottle of their Lakeland Lager - one of the very best UK interpretations of a classic pilsner I have come across with a superb grassy hop character.

Tandleman said...

John - they have the hopping just right, with enough bitterness from the British hops being complemented by great flavours from the foreign ones.

Nick - I have to say you were an early admirer of Windermere Pale. So you have some taste. (-;

Mark - Good point. I haven't tried any, but will try and do so soon.

Beer Rev. Indeed you did, wise man that you are.

Jeff Pickthall said...


I'm sorting out some of Hawkshead's splendid wood-aged Brodies Prime Reserve for the Rake. Even I love it and I'm not generally a fan of wood-ageing shenanigans.

Also bringing Citrilla - citra and amarillo hop loveliness.

Plus many more of the beers that keep me entertained in my homeland.

Cumbria BF - Royal Wedding weekend, Rake, put it in your diary.

Wensleydale Brewery said...

Don't miss their Summer beer fest, always a good do!

Tyson said...


I may have spotted your problem-Windermere Pale isn't on as part of the Spoons fest:) They have Five Hop on, which is actually Citrillo under another name.