I’ve been thinking for a while about starting a new column where CAMRA members can write about their favourite cask beers from the last month. The idea was first brought up at the branch meeting back in June, but I’ve never got round to starting the ball rolling until now. So, here they are, in no particular order, my three favourite real ales I have tried in Sheffield over the last few weeks:
What: Hallertau Blanc + Ekuanot Pale (4.1%) – North Brewery (Leeds)
Where: Devonshire Cat
This beer was sampled as part of North Brewery’s recent tap takeover event at the Devonshire Cat. With its combination of German and American hops, the pint was attractive to the eye and the nose with a good-sized white head and a fruity, tropical aroma from the Ekuanot. The flavour had defined citrus notes imparted by the Hallertau Blanc hop, without being overly bitter. A good, sessionable pale.
What: Drop O’ the Black Stuff (4.0%) – Springhead (Laneham, nr Retford)
Where: Sentinel Brewery
I’ve always been a fan of darker ales, and this porter was no exception. Not quite black but a very deep brown colour, the aroma was packed with chocolate, liquorice and malt. Fortunately, the taste wasn’t nearly as sweet as the aroma might have suggested, with a delicious coffee bitterness from the roasted malt providing an excellent balance of flavours.
What: Brewers Reserve (5.0%) – Kent Brewery (Birling)
Where: The Drink Inn
A little stronger than the other entries on this list, but no less drinkable. Poured a rich, clear golden colour with a clean white head. The nose had a strong hoppy character, with notes of citrus and farmyard. The beer was very easy to drink, with the bitterness of the hops complimenting a strong malty flavour. You’d have to be careful not to have too many at this strength though!
Have you tried any outstanding real ales around Sheffield lately? Send in your three favourite beers for the next issue of Beer Matters.