I had a quick couple of halves in the Baum in Rochdale the other night. A pretty decent, nay rather good, half of Brighton Rocks from Edge Brewery, a brewery I'd never heard of, but despite this appearing to be a bog standard brown bitter, it was lifted by careful hopping to be above just pleasant.
My second half was a different beast. Hop Bomb it was called and this hazy little number immediately gave off huge wafts of piney, resiny hops and was exactly the same to drink. Absent was that cloying crystal malt, so beloved of Yankee brewers and instead a good biscuity malt base was interwoven with hops piney, hops bitter, hops resinous and hops perfumed. This was a cornucopia of hoppy goodness. It did in fact exactly what it said on the tin. It was a hop bomb. A perfect example of Gazza Prescott's Mid Atlantic Pale Ale and strangely, from his neck of the woods it seems.
Annoyingly though, these two different beers suffered from the same "unrelated to brewing" fault. I couldn't tell anything about where they came from from the pump clip. Neither here nor there you might think, but why hide your light under a bushel? I want to know more about these breweries and importantly tell people. T'internet doesn't help much either. I can find nothing definitive on Edge but with the help of the kindly barmaid at the Baum, who went to the cellar to look at the cask, I find Hop Bomb is from Windsor Castle Brewery.* The web tells me that this is owned by Sadler's Brewery, but Sadlers does not list anything under the Windsor Castle name and Quaffale and Beermad send you round in a frustrating circle. Doh.
So a plea brewers. You are in business. Don't make it hard for us to find out anything about you.
*I now understand this to be a brewpub in Stourbridge. Possibly.
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.
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