Why it’s on the list: After years of being a lager drinker my lovely man introduced me to the wonders of real ale last year, and I’ve enjoyed trying out a few and noticing the differences. He thinks tasting 50 different ones will be a tough challenge … we’ll see!
How/when I’ll judge this task to be completed: When I have drunk 50 different beers and recorded each one here, with a relevant photo and optional tasting comment.
[I’ve been having some problems uploading photos so several are missing … will keep trying!]
1: Doom Bar, drunk on 10.04.2010. A nice nutty flavour, one of my favourite beers.
2. COG, drunk on 11.04.10. Lovely rich chocolatey tobaccoey flavour!
3. Cornish Coaster, drunk on 11.04.10. Light and fruity, very refreshing.
4. Hobgoblin, drunk on 17.04.10. Quite sweet, very drinkable.
5. Oxford Gold, drunk on 18.04.10.
6. Wychcraft, drunk on 24.04.10. I was a bit sozzled but seem to remember enjoying it!
7. Golden Champion, drunk on 25.04.10. A beer at the end of a long tiring day, was nice enough but nothing special.
8. Butcombe, drunk on 28.04.10. Quite dark, a bit bitter.
9. Barbury Castle, drunk on 01.05.10. Very nice, pleasant flavour and not too heavy.
10. Spitfire, drunk on a weekend away in Torquay, 08.05.10. I thought I really liked this one but actually I found it a little insipid, maybe my palate is starting to find its favourites and this wasn’t one of them!
11. Burton Bitter, drunk on the last day of the Premier League season 09.05.10, Chelsea Champions!! Can’t say I remember much about the beer though 😉
12. Old Empire, drunk on FA Cup final day, 15.05.10, enjoyed this one, strong flavour but not too heavy.
13. Golden Bolt, drunk down ‘t pub on a Wednesday evening in May, can’t remember the date! Seem to remember it’s a nice beer.
14. Taylor’s Tipple, drunk on 29.05.10 on a mad weekend. Can’t remember much about it TBH.
15. Rev James drunk on 29.05.10, very nice, dark and nutty.
16. Banks’s Mild, down the pub one Wednesday or Saturday in May, ok but a bit … umm … mild!
17. Banks’s Bitter, Folly, 13th June, while watching England vs USA. Ewwwwwwww! Rarely am I unable to finish a pint but this was far too bitter for me, unpalatable. Had to change to number 18 (which has to be a bonus entry as it’s not a real ale!)
17a. Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer, 13.06.2010. Yum! This was delicious stuff, in a long glass with lots of ice. Really enjoyable!
18. Wainwrights, 20.06.10, at home whilst watching footie. Night fruity beer, very nice.
19. Butcombe Bitter, 20.06.10, in pub. Eww. Not keen. If this experiment has taught me one thing, it’s that though I love real ale I am not a bitter drinker! Too bitter by half, managed one pint but then had a G&T instead!
20. Stinger, sometime in August. Made from nettles but you wouldn’t know, nothing stingy about it at all, very mild actually.
21. Burton’s Bitter, August. Ugh.When will I learn? Not a bitter fan!
22. Tomos Watkins OSB. The first of many Welsh beers supped on our holiday in Wales. They all blended into one so I cna’t remember what each one was like, but they were all very palatable.
23. Tomos Watkins Cwrw Braf – see above.
24. Tomos WatkinsCwrw Gaeaf
25. Tomos Watkins Cwrw Haf
26. Tomos Watkins Magic Lagyr (bet name for a beer ever! and not especially lager like either)
27. Brains SA
28. Fursty Ferret … ok not a Welsh one, I think we ran out of Welsh options by the end of the week.
29. Oxfordshire Ales August Alegust (some time in August!) – lovely summery light beer
30. Marston Pedigree , September. A real man’s beer. Quite heavy but not too bitter.
31. Oyster Stout. My first experience of stout (apart from Guinness) I think. Really enjoyed it, very Guiness like but a tad sweeter.
32. Sharps Red Ale, Sept and Oct. A new regular(ish) beer at my local. Really nice flavour, love this one.
33. Fullers Red Fox, 21.09.10. Nice beer, very enjoyable.
34. Tribute, 20.09.10 Not bad, nothing special though.
35. Vale Best Bitter. September. Not too bad for a bitter I guess.
36. Best Mates Bewery’s Vicar’s Daughter. July 12th. Supped during the local arts festival,very nice and light.
37. Wychert, 09.10.10 Really tasty, very drinkable.
38. Bountiful. On the pumps in my local one day, can’t remember date. Can’;t remember taste either but the pump badge is worth it alone!
39. Goliath, December 2010. Really nice quite nutty flavour.
40. Hobbyhorse, December 2o1o. Bills itself as an old fashioned beer. OK but not one of my favourites.
41. Ringwood, Dec 2010. One of the regulars now at my local. Bitter edge to it but not too bitter, quite drinkable if you’re in the mood.
42. Tawny Owl. Can’t remember date, think it was ok but nothing notable.
43. Taylor’s Tipple. Quite a traditional beer.
44. Wold Top. Can’t remember anything about this one. Would that mean it was good or bad??!
45. Santa Claus, Dec 2010. Strange little one this. Definite hints of spices, cinnamon and cloves perhaps. Mulled beer!
46. Desperados, Jan 2011. OK this is a lager rather than a bitter/real ale, but it’s lager with a difference – lager flavoured with tequila!! Had this with Mexican food at Chiquitos and really enjoyed it, will definitely be back for more!
46a. Sakara, Jan/Feb 2011. Another slight cheat as this is lager, but then again it was Egyptian lager! Very nice, got through plenty of this on holiday!
47. Country Bitter, Feb 2011. A quick pint before watching Torquay United beat Barnet, was ok but nothing special.
48. Banana Bread Beer, Feb 2011. Yum yum yum!! This sounds truly bizarre but was really delicious – a refreshing taste but with a definite hint of banana. Love it!
49. Dirty Tackle, Feb 2011. First pint was very nice but second pint was too bitter. Strange!
50. Sharps Own, Feb 2011. Similar to Sharps Red, a little more bitter but still very drinkable.
Dada!!!!!!! Thing completed!
The one thing I’ve learnt from this challenge is that while I do like real ale, I’m not a bitter drinker, I prefer the sweeter, fruiter beers.