This Christmas, why not enjoy quality beer at home by stocking up with bottle conditioned real ales instead of fizzy tinned beer. Branch members were invited to try out a selection by Dave Daykin, proprietor of The Beer Stop on Archer Road, Sheffield’s premier stockist of BCA’s. Dave had arranged a variety of English beers for us to sample and rate, starting with Cropton Uncle Sams (4.5% ABV). Using American Cascade hops, this golden beer has a perfumed hoppy aroma, good balance of fruit and malt in the mouth and a hoppy, bitter finish. Condition was excellent.
Next beer to be tasted was Wood’s Geezer (4.0%). An amber ale with a fruity nose, the palate is biscuity malt with a dry bitter finish. Condition, however, was too lively. Not so the Hop Back Taiphoon (4.2%), served chilled as recommended. With an exotic fruity aroma, this pale gold ale is light tasting, spicy and peppery. The aftertaste is refreshing and cleansing. Lemongrass and coriander have been added to the brew which has been successfully tailored to go with spicy oriental food.
A local brew, Kelham Island’s newish Pride Of Sheffield (4.5%) was next out of the bottle and carbonation was just right. Amber coloured, the heady fruity bouquet leads to a malty palate, nicely balanced hops and a bitter finish.
Cropton’s T.G.I.A.O.B. (4.5%) Millennium beer was too highly carbonated. Amber hued, a fruity nose with a sharp palate and lemony dry aftertaste characterise this millennium ale. TGIAO? Thank God It’s All Over!
King and Barnes Festive Ale (5.3%) was Dave’s next offering. This dark brown ale has a strong malty aroma and mouth-filling smooth malt and dark old english marmalade fruit taste followed by a fruity hop finish. Very very drinkable.
We finished with Springhead Roaring Meg (5.7%), a golden ale. A strong flowery bouquet precedes the light peppery dry finish which makes this beer dangerously drinkable for its strength. When all our scores were added up, Festive Ale emerged as the winner, closely followed by Taiphoon and Roaring Meg but there were no losers, we enjoyed them all.
By way of comparison, Dave then produced two of his shop’s extensive selection of Belgian beers. Moortgat Duval (8.5%), the well-known classic, is pale gold in colour, has a complex malt and hop balance and is deceptively strong: a world-class beer. De Landtsheer Malheur (10.0%) is a special millennium blond-style double strength beer. This beer has a stunningly huge mouthfeel of well-balanced fruit and light malt countered by strong hops and again was very easy to drink for such a powerful beer. Definitely a beer to savour. Our thanks to Dave for his very generous hospitality.
These are only a small selection of the wide range of bottled beers from all over the world available at the Beer Stop. Draught beers from independent breweries are also available to take away at very reasonable prices, making the shop well worth a visit.
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