Beer of the month, May 2016

A good month for beer tastings. A trip to Yorkshire, a night out in London, another visit to the Needle & Pin and a couple of camping trips. Lots of opportunities to sample some new beers, and May was pretty full of them. Here are the ones that stood out.

The first three all appeared over the Bank Holiday weekend camping trip, evening beers with friends.

First we have a BrewDog Ace of Chinook, full of super hoppy and pine flavours from the Chinook hops, but only 4.5% which enables you to #keepitsession – the session IPA is certainly a very popular style for 2016, loads of hoppiness but easy to drink.

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Next up we have a Vocation Pride & Joy, another super hoppy ale, an American Pale in style, which means it’s not at all pale, but it full of strong hop flavours mixed with good maltiness. The APA is another popular style for 2016, and Vocation (a new brewery to me this month) have made a good one.

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Next up we have High Wire Grapefruit from Huddersfield’s Magic Rock Brewing. I stocked up on several of their cans on a recent trip to the ever awesome Booths. As you might expect from the name, this is a variant on their High Wire pale ale, with added grapefruit, to really bring out the grapefruit notes in the hops, and some malty sweetness to counter the sourness of the grapefruit. Perfect in the evening sunshine.

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On to this month’s winner, Goldenthal from Bollington, a continental style golden barley wine which was a birthday present to myself on a visit to one of Bollington’s pubs. When Samuel Gregg bought a mill in Bollington in 1832 be named it Goldenthal, a German word which translates to “happy valley”. Residents of Bollington have used this name for the village ever since.

The beer that bears this name is very flavoursome, sweet without being cloying, like an IPA smashed into a barley wine. Dangerously drinkable for 7.4% – I could drink it all night. That would be a bad idea. There’s no way you can #keepitsession with this one.

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A very worthy winner of beer of the month, surely a strong contender when we get to the end of the year.

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