Last night I sampled the Faversham Brewery’s Whitstable Bay Pale Ale. This is a light and easy to drink ale and full of aromatic hop flavours. When I bought it I assumed it came from Whitstable and I was drawn to it because of two memorable incidents: my first Cub Scout camp was just outside Whitstable and we sampled winkles from a stall on the sea front – weird! And secondly my wife and I stayed in a small cottage just behind the high street in Whitstable that had a round jacuzzi bath in the kitchen where we enjoyed gin and tonics before heading off the jazz bars – more weird! Anyway it turns out this is brewed by Shepherd Neame in Faversham and very good it is too. Sensible 4% and, I know this is really irrelevant, but I like the clear bottle – allows you to see the colour of the beer.
Well this was a real surprise – I wasn’t expecting to find real US craft beers for sale in Sainsbury’s but there they were – two of them from the Tap Room Brewing Company, Rochester New York. This is bottled especially for Sainsbury’s and well done them because it’s a really nice beer. Initially tastes a little sweat but has a very hoppy and long lasting flavour. I’m a fan and I have yet to try the other beer of these I bought yesterday.
We all know Brains from watching the magnificent Welsh Rugby team, but I had never tried the beer. This is an easy drinking hoppy beer but I think would be better if it was drunk as draught beer in the pub (probably with song). At home it didn’t come across as memorable but that’s so often the way with ales at home. I looked on the Brains site and there have a good range of beers available, I’ll have to seek out a local pub that stocks them. The site has loads of other interesting stuff and it even recommends recipes that can be made with the beer, in this case Cheese Fondue which actually sounds good. Basically using beer as the liquid base. It still gets drunk with Kirsch though which is the downfall of cheese fondue (and mine on one occasion!).