Hop Daemmon BLO Tony Hayes
Reported no changes from the brewery.
Mad Cat BLO Michael Hoey
This month’s report is essentially a confirmation of the plans reported in last month’s report. Mad Cat took delivery of their first bottled ales. As previously reported, the beers are Jester, an English Pale Ale, Under Pressure, a Californian common Steam Ale, and Big Stick! a Pale Ale made with New Zealand hops. They are in 500ml bottles, and I am happy to report that the two I have tried (Jester and Under Pressure) are both excellent. They are currently only available across the counter at Tiddly Pomme’s in Brogdale Farm, but the brewery hopes to make them more widely available before long.
Similarly, to Boutillier’s, Mad Cat is getting known further afield. This month the brewery is exchanging beers with Goff Brewery in Gloucestershire, so if you see Goff beers in a pub you visit, it is because Mad Cat is being served somewhere in Gloucestershire.
Boutilliers BLO Michael Hoey
Boutilliers are engaged in a number of collaborations, as mentioned last month. With Torrside Brewery in the Peak District they are brewing two beers – Zero Ducks, a raspberry IPA, and Power Mallard, a double IPA. With Ampersand Brewery in Norwich, they have just brewed a Forest Fruits stout, and with Emperor’s Brewery in Leicester, they are currently brewing a chocolate and vanilla imperial stout. They are also collaborating with Tom’s Tap in Chester and Ora Brewery , an Italian Brewery with a base in London, but I don’t yet know what styles of beer are planned.
On top of all this, they are participating in Deptford Craft Beer Feast on May 3rd and in Nottingham Craft Beer Festival on June 14th. So the picture is one of a brewery reaching out for new audiences outside Kent.
Shepherd Neame BLO Bob Thompson
Bob visited the brewery last week and spoke to Head Brewer Mike Unsworth. So please find below some information on current beers and those on the way.
Just reaching the end of its run in the pubs is Hop County Hopping Mad Pale Ale (4.8%), to give it its full title. I thought it was an excellent beer made with Crystal malt and Boadicea, Endeavour and UK Cascade hops that had a light bitter taste that belied its strength. It was the beer that kicked off the new Cask Club series. It can also be obtained at the Wetherspoon’s Spring Beer Festival where it represents Shepherd Neame’s contribution. It is on now and finishes on Sunday 7th April.
The Cask Club will feature a different cask beer at approximately monthly intervals. The next will be Samuel Adams’s Blonde Ambition (4.2%), brewed in conjunction with the Boston Beer Company of Massachusetts, USA. It combines both American and British hops. We tasted the first batch that had only been racked the day before. Obviously it had a lot of conditioning in it yet when that cleared there was a fantastic hoppy beer. For those who have tasted a beer of this name in the past I would advise that this version is not of the same recipe. It was possible to order it from Monday 1st April.
The May offering in the Cask Club will be New Dawn Citrus Ale (3.5%). This will be made with Citra hops for flavour and will also contain some real citrus fruit. The monthly beers to be brewed after that are not fully finalised yet. However, I have been told that they will include more foreign collaborations and some IPAs.
Another beer brewed by the company for the Wetherspoon’s Festival is Darling Gypsy Mask Red Ale (4.0%). This was one of the five beers brewed by overseas brewers in British breweries. The Darling brewery is from the Cape Town suburb of Woodstock in South Africa and its brewer Réné du Toit came to Faversham to brew it. We found it had a malty body yet was more bitter than a traditional red ale. We liked it a lot.
It was a good visit and I will make an appointment to see Mike again during the second half of May.