Beer of the month, July 2015

A tricky month when it comes to choosing a beer of the month. Two visits to breweries, the Thornbridge beer festival, and a handily placed farmers market whilst away camping (another handy mixed crate of beer picked up). So, on with the contenders…

Harveys Elizabethan Ale – malty and sweet, with lemon and ginger flavours. This is a very regal ale indeed and could have won in another month.

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M&S Double Hopped Citra IPA – double hoppiness means double happiness. A classic citra sweet and sour balance – this one is brewed by Oakham Ales.

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Cumbrian 5 hop – five American hops and Maris Otter barley, this is a golden wonder. Better than so many things that attempt to pass as an IPA (it’s lack of paleness would probably qualify it as an American IPA). Another that would have won in another month.

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Hawkshead NZPA – what a surprise, another hoppy monster of an ale, I am so predictable.

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However, up against all these hoppy monsters, we come to the winner, Cocoa Wonderland from Thornbridge, sampled in the sunshine at the Thornbridge beer festival, an explosion of chocolately loveliness. As with other winners, this would make a brilliant Xmas ale, full of flavours of the season. A worthy winner, especially against all of these hoppy beasts!

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