Hawkshead Windermere Pale. The Champion Beer of the Society of Independent Brewers Northen section and very well deserved it is too. I first alerted my readers about this beer way back in 2009. You can read about it here. For those that don't know it, Windermere Pale is a very pale, highly hopped beer of a mere 3.5%. When we read so much about hop monster triple IPAs or other such, weighing in at 9% plus, it is good to remember what we are, possibly uniquely, so great at brewing on these islands - very drinkable low gravity beer that you can just straightforwardly sup in volume.
I was able to congratulate both the brewer and owner after the result was announced at the Great Northern Beer Festival last week in Manchester. The beer is one of my favourites and though judging was blind, I was pretty sure that it was one of the beers I judged, but I'll never know for sure, as I'm not anal enough to write down the codes, thus enabling me to find out later. I know it is a cracking beer though, as does Matt the brewer and Alex the owner. For those that don't know it, Windermere Pale is hoppy and refreshing, pale gold in colour with a long bitter finish with hints of grapefruit. The fruity hop flavours come from a medley of traditional and modern hops in which Citra - no surprises - features.As Alex said " “Windermere Pale is a very popular beer, it has a lot of fans. It has become the best selling beer in The Beer Hall at the brewery. It is one of those beers that is winning converts to real ale. I’m so glad competition judges like it too.”
If you come across it, seek it out and insist it is both cool and sparkled.
You'll also wish to know that the festival was a great success too. More on that in due course.
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.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
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Beer samples are welcome, but I cannot guarantee a good review. You, the brewer, on the other hand can.
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