It’s another in my December gift ideas series, drawing inspiration from places that I’ve been this year, or from products that I’ve tried (mostly beers!)
A birthday usually means a trip to the pub, and this year was no different. Since reopening in March 2005, the Vale Inn has made a name for itself as an ale and food pub at the heart of the friendly community. A real fire was a welcome sight on a cool night.
Rather handily, they have their own micro brewery in Bollington Brewing, which means there are always lots of their ales on tap, as well as two guest ales and several proper ciders. The menu changes with the seasons, and there’s also a specials board which changes more frequently.
I sampled several of their beers during the night, including Bollington Long Hop – delicious hoppy goodness, Bollington Dinner Ale – a classic session bitter but it needs more hops and Bollington White Nancy (named after the white sugar loaf monument that can be seen on the saddle of Kerridge above Bollington) – light, fruity and very drinkable.
I also came away with a mixed case of beer (birthday present to myself) for later tasting. Goldenthal is a Barley wine style beer, very flavoursome, sweet without being cloying. Dangerously drinkable for 7.4% – I could drink it all night. That would be a bad idea.
Endurance is described as an American IPA and is nice enough but just not an IPA. Hints of IPA like flavours are swirling around but where is the huge hop hit? Still a good pint though and one for those who are not fans of beastly hoppy IPAs.
Defiance is a black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale with smokiness and coffee. Quite complex, but where are the hops? This is an IPA after all. NMH.
Eastern Nights is another IPA, not the hoppiest, but a well rounded IPA none the less. I really liked this one.
Bollington Best was formerly First Brew, their first beer and still the most popular, a classic best bitter that you could drink all day.
I’ll finish up with the Oat Mill Stout. The strength (5%) belies it, but I would call this a session stout. Very easy drinking but lacks a certain richness perhaps. Slight vanilla note.
A good portfolio of beers for the traditional beer fan and one who likes a few that are on the hoppy side of life.
You can do your shopping here:-