Kick-Start

Kick-Start – Vibrant Forest  (500ml bottle, 5.7% ABV, vegan) Breakfast, we’re told, is the most important meal of the day. What do you have for breakfast? Maybe some porridge oats and a cup of coffee. Or, given that it contains both of these ingredients, why not kill two birds with one stone and have a bottle of Kick-Start instead?…

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D-Day Revival Southwick Village

Southwick D-Day Revival The annual Southwick Village D-Day Revival event is this weekend, and it is a biggie. Last year we had over 10,000 visitors to the village and this year we are expecting even more! If your planing a trip to the Brewhouse this weekend here are a few things you should know: Peak…

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Leighton Buzzard

Leighton Buzzard –  Narrow Gauge (500ml bottle, 3.9% ABV) Apparently there’s a light railway in Leighton Buzzard. The things you learn from beer bottles, eh? It makes you wonder if, after the apocalypse, some future society might be able to piece together our history purely from beer bottle labels. Although, if they happen to find Skull Splitter, Bishop’s Finger and Sheepshaggers goodness…

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Fred in London

Fred In London

Fred in London (330ml, 11.0% ABV) Siren Craft  ‘Fred in London’ is named for the late Fred Eckhardt, a pioneer of the American beer scene. He started homebrewing when it was still illegal in the States*, and was also a celebrated beer writer, historian and critic. It’s common to get a beer that showcases hops (American…

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Trapped in Amber

Trapped in Amber

 Trapped in Amber (440ml, 3.2% ABV) Staggeringly Good Table beer, or small beer, used to be a very fashionable thing – a beverage with such low alcohol you could drink the stuff all day, even feed it to your kids! Of course, people didn’t need much persuading, given how disease-ridden Britain’s water supply was at the time. Trapped…

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Black Buzzard

Black Buzzard

 Black Buzzard (500ml, 5.8% ABV) Leighton Buzzard I love English place names. From the energetic (Westward Ho!, complete with its exclamation mark) to the oxymoronic (Lower Upham), England is full of settlements both historic and strange. Leighton Buzzard has always struck me as an one of these. How many other town names include a bird of prey? The…

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Snake Oil

Snake Oil

 Snake Oil (440ml can, 7.5% ABV) Renegade Brewery Early on in this beer-reviewing lark, I made a decision to only review beer I like. My thinking went like this: why dismiss a brewer’s efforts when someone else might rave about them? Why spend my time describing something I don’t like when I could be enthusing about something I do? There’s…

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Knight Ryeder

Knight Ryder

  Knight Ryeder Staggeringly Good / Arundel  (440ml, 6.0% ABV) Collaborations between breweries are increasingly common these days. Some (I’m looking at you, Mikkeller) don’t even have their own brewing facilities, and brew solely on other companies’ equipment. Knight Ryeder is a joint venture between Arundel Brewery and Staggeringly Good of Portsmouth. A label that could so easily have featured…

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 Lerryn Blonde

  Lerryn Blonde (330ml, 4.7% ABV) The Fowey Brewery  Considering its relatively small population, Cornwall has an awful lot of breweries – 36, according to brewery listing websiteQuaffale. Lostwithiel alone has two – Castle Brewery (whose beers are also stocked by the Brewhouse) and The Fowey Brewery, situated on the river of the same name and brewing…

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Gyle 59 The Queens Legless Liz

Gyle 59 The Queens Legless Liz (500ml, 3.8% ABV) Brewed for a pub called The Queens in Corton Denham, Dorset, Legless Liz is an interesting proposition: a Belgian farmhouse beer with relatively low alcohol and a dose of American hops. The bottle suggests you can drink this with or without the sediment mixed in, so…

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March Madness

March is upon us, we survived the arctic winter, so time to celebrate! So, we’re bringing back an old favorite, 10 pounds off! Check the end of this post to claim your voucher! Brand new Southwick Brewhouse T-shirt. Only available online! The Southwick Brewhouse T-shirt is the gift that keeps on giving! Wear this T-shirt…

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Pot Kettle

Pot Kettle

Fallen Acorn Pot Kettle (500ml, 4.4% ABV) Coffee is yummy, beer is yummy. Put the two together and … yummy x yummy = yummy2. It’s a mathematical fact, which is why brewers have been doing it for years. Fallen Acorn’s Pot Kettle is their coffee porter, brewed with beans from Solent Coffee Roasters. It comes out of the bottle with a…

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Siren Craft

Siren Craft –  I Love You Honey Bunny (330ml, 6.3% ABV) For a brewery that’s only existed since 2012, Siren Craft of Berkshire have done pretty well for themselves. Named the best brewery in England, and one of the best in the world, they’ve not rested on their laurels either, with a bewildering array of…

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Stewart Brewing

Stewart Brewing St Giles (330ml, 5.0% ABV) Brewing in Loanhead, just south of Edinburgh, Stewart Brewing have been going from strength to strength since 2004, and now employ 25 people. If you find yourself in the vicinity of Edinburgh with nothing else to do, you can visit their taproom, or even brew your own beer…

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Andwell Sovereign

Andwell Sovereign (330ml, 9.0% ABV) A huge Union Jack in the shape of a postage stamp. The name ‘Sovereign’. A beer made in honour of the Queen of England’s 90th birthday. Yes, Andwell’s Sovereign is a paeon to patriotism. So, what style is it? An English bitter, perhaps, or a London porter? Maybe one of…

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Paulaner Salvator

Paulaner Salvator (500ml, 7.9% ABV) Bock is a classic style brewed for hundreds of years in Germany – a dark-ish, warming beer that’s heavy on the malt. Salvator doubles down on the concept – it’s a doppelbock, and the most famous example of the style. You don’t have to go far in Germany to find other…

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Beers of Valencia

Beers of Valencia And now for something completely different: a beer with three buttocks. Well, not quite, but given the experimental nature of Valencian beer, maybe this isn’t entirely out of the question … Spain is very much wine country – it has more land devoted to vineyards than any other country in the world.…

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Langham Hip Hop

  Langham Hip Hop (500ml, 4.0% ABV) Listen up. MC Salsbury’s gonna tell it to ya like ya never heard it. The truth – straight up, yo. I ain’t gonna sell it like the man he try to sell it. Uh-uh. I be keepin’ it real. Here we go. Here we go Langham Hip Hop’s gonna…

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Fish Key Red IPA

Fish Key Red IPA (500ml, 4.9% ABV) In her seminal 1818 novel, Frankenstein, Mary Shelley imagines a creature brought to life from the parts of dead people. And she seemed like such a nice, sensible girl. I blame it on the influence of that Lord Byron … Breweries are much in the habit of Frankensteining these days,…

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Oktoberfest It’s like a stag do that never ends.

Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen (500ml, 5.8% ABV) If you believe what you read in the press – and who does? – the average wedding in Britain now costs a wallet-shredding £27,000. Compared to Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, though, this is chicken feed. He got hitched to the lovely Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in 1810, and effectively the…

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Wooden Hand Dab Hand Session IPA (500ml, 4.5% ABV)

  Wooden Hand Dab Hand Session IPA (500ml, 4.5% ABV) Wooden Hand have been around since 2002, brewing in Truro, Cornwall. For 2017 they’ve decided to rebrand: gone are the previous, rather murky, bottle labels, and in their place is something lighter and fresher. The graphics now feature silhouettes of hands in different configurations and making…

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Ballards Brewery Split

Ballards Brewery Split

Ballards Brewery Split (275ml, 8.5% ABV) Barley wine. The name gives you a clue: it’s made from barley (in other words, it’s beer) but it has something in common with the grapey stuff – the strength. At 8.5%, Ballard’s Split is a beer to be sipped, not guzzled. The drawing on the label shows a man…

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Robbies Red by Adur Brewery 

Robbies Red

Robbies Red -Adur Brewery Sometimes it’s hard to describe a beer. Yes, I know – your heart bleeds for me. (500ml, 5.2% ABV) You know those ‘fruits of the forest’ yoghurts, where you know some red fruits have gone into it but you can’t quite put your finger on which? That’s what Robbies Red is like.…

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Renegade Brewery West Coast Pale (330ml, 5.1% ABV)

Renegade Brewery West Coast Pale (330ml, 5.1% ABV) Renegade are an offshoot of the West Berkshire Brewery, a chance to do things a bit differently while their parent company carries on with the more traditional side of things. They’re the Radiohead to the West Berkshire Brewery’s Rolling Stones, the David Lynch to their Steven Spielberg, the George…

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Good Chemistry Redstart Rye (660ml, 5.3% ABV)

Good Chemistry

Good Chemistry Redstart Rye (660ml, 5.3% ABV) If Breaking Bad gave chemistry a bad name, perhaps Good Chemistry aims to redress the balance. It’s the brainchild of Kelly and Bob of Bristol, who founded the brewery in 2015. Redstart Rye, like all of their beers, comes in a whopping great vessel that looks like a piece…

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Summer Luvin

Summer Luvin (500ml, 4.2% ABV) Piddle Brewery  And so to a brewery whose name is designed to make you think of urine. You have to hand it to the Piddle Brewery – they’ve got a very brave marketing department. The logo is interesting too – the dot of the ‘i’ comes at the end of a…

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Real Ale Train, Alton to Alresford

real

Real Ale Train, Alton to Alresford, 24th June 2017 What could be more English than taking a journey on a steam train through the old green and pleasant, while drinking real ale? That’s the proposition of the Real Ale Train (or RAT, as it’s affectionately dubbed). It starts from Alton, and chugs to Alresford and back,…

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Dark Side of the Wight

Dark Side of the Wight (500ml, 5.0% ABV) Yates’ Brewery, not to be confused with Yates Brewery, is a drinks distributor and brewer based in Newchurch on the Isle of Wight. They’ve been making beer since 2000 and are run by father and son partnership Dave Senior and Dave Junior. Dark Side of the Wight is their strongest…

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Hole Hearted – Fallen Acorn

  Hole Hearted – Fallen Acorn  (500ml, 4.7% ABV) They’re back! After the sad demise of the Oakleaf Brewery, one of my favourite local purveyors of beer, they arise Phoenix-like from the ashes as Fallen Acorn (geddit?). Similar resurrections have taken place across the south. The Havant Brewery may no longer have brewing premises, but…

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Hoptimus Prime 6.5% ABV)

Hoptimus Prime (330ml, 6.5% ABV) As well as a stable of four regular beers, Fallen Acorn are also brew up experiments as part of their ‘Nutty’ range, which currently consists of no fewer than eight beers. Some of these are pretty wild (fancy a tangerine infused weissbier or a rye beer made with Rooibos tea?).…

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Southwick Revival

Southwick Revival (Sat/Sun 10/11 June 2017) Good grief, what’s going on here? The wife and I pop into Southwick for a quiet pint and look at all this to-do! Couldn’t even get into the centre of the village – it was blocked off to traffic unless you happened to possess an army jeep, a bus…

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Harbour Brewing Co Amber Ale

Harbour Brewing Co

Harbour Brewing  Amber Ale (500ml, 4.4% ABV) In recent years, prompted by the American craft beer boom, the fashion has been for hops, hops and more hops. Not that I have any problem with that – a hoppy beer is a wonderful thing – but outside the realm of stouts and porters, the humble malted…

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Downton Brewery Solstice

Downton Brewery Solstice (500ml, 4.6% ABV) Stonehenge – a word that evokes the ingenuity of prehistoric engineering, the druids, and the heroic incompetence of Spinal Tap. It’s also the image featured on Downton Brewery’s Solstice, a beer mysterious enough not to feature on their website. It’s the brainchild of Wiltshire-based Downton Brewery, who have been…

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Palmerston’s Folly

Palmerston's Folly

With almost a year out to give way for our ‘V.E Day’ special and, the now permanent fixture, ‘Land of Hop and Glory’, we are very happy to announce that Palmerston’s Folly will be back on the shelves and in cask tomorrow! Sitting on the top of Portsdown Hill, the forts (Lord Palmerston’s Follies) were…

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London Fields Brewery Easy IPA

London Fields Brewery Easy IPA (500ml, 5% ABV) Born in 2011 in the London borough of ‘Ackney, the London Fields Brewery (or LFB to their friends) makes a range of beers including IPAs, a porter, wheat beer, red ale and craft lager. Not content just to brew beer, they also have a taproom which serves…

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The Smoke Padstow Brewing Co.

The Smoke (568ml, 4.9% ABV) For me, the concept of smoked beer always bring to mind one particular example of the genre: Heller-Trum Schlenkerla Rauchbier, a 6.5% German classic that tastes like drinking liquified smoked ham during a house fire. Padstow’s offering might be called The Smoke, but it’s an altogether more restrained affair. It’s…

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XT 13 Pacific Red Ale

XT 13 Pacific Red Ale (500ml, 4.5% ABV) Sounding more like a 1920s numberplate than a beer, it’s another bottle from the enigmatic XT brewery, this time from their ‘special’ (rather than ‘core’) range. One thing I didn’t realise about their labels: the background is colour-coded, so you can tell what the beer will look…

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Staggeringly Good Dawn Stealer

Staggeringly Good Dawn Stealer (500ml, 5.2% ABV) Some breweries trade on their sense of history, proud of their heritage and respectful of tradition. Some breweries plaster their bottles with dinosaurs wearing top hats and monocles. Staggeringly Good of Portsmouth are one of the latter. They’ve made a big commitment not to use finings such as…

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Vibrant Forest Black Forest Piquant Porter

Vibrant Forest

Vibrant Forest Black Forest Piquant Porter (500ml, 4.9% ABV) Porter was invented in London some time in the early 1700s, along with its cousin, stout. Telling porter and stout apart these days is not an easy thing. Porter used to be either smoky or slightly sour from ageing in wooden barrels, and stout used to…

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Itchen Valley Fagins 4.1%

  Itchen Valley Fagins (500ml, 4.1% ABV) On the bottle and pump clip it’s Fagins, accompanied by an illustration of an appropriately evil looking crime boss, resting his pint on the head of a hapless orphan. On the web site it’s listed as QED, or Quality English Draft. Is it in the throes of a…

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Driftwood Spars Bolster’s Blood

  Driftwood Spars Bolster’s Blood (500ml, 5.0% ABV) Parental advisory: contains scenes of dismemberment and terrible attempts at Cornish dialect. Bolster the giant had terrorised the town of St Agnes too long. On his last rampage he had destroyed the town’s only pub. The Tregellas brothers – Gerren, the fisherman; and Perran, the bottlemaker –…

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Gyle 59 ‘Low alcohol beer’

Gyle 59

Gyle 59 – Take It Easy (500ml, 2.5% ABV) ‘Low alcohol beer’ – now there’s a phrase to prompt all true beer lovers into curling their lip with disdain. Not without justification, either. My memories of low alcohol beer are sullied by two particularly egregious examples: Víking Maltöl (0.9%), a sickly sweet Icelandic ‘malt beer’…

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Padstow Brewing Co. May Day

May Day

  Padstow Brewing Co. May Day (568ml, 5.0% ABV) Fancy a pint? You’ll have to go the pub, then – bottles are half a litre, aren’t they? Not necessarily … Samuel Smith’s Brewery in Yorkshire flies in the face of convention by offering their beers in 550ml bottles. And now the Padstow Brewing Company has…

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Gluten Free Ridgeway IPA (500ml, 5.5% ABV)

Gluten Free

Gluten Free – Ridgeway IPA (500ml, 5.5% ABV) Coeliac disease affects around 1% of the UK population. It’s a reaction to gluten that can prove serious if not managed correctly. A friend of ours (whose novel I will now shamelessly plug here) is coeliac, and it’s clear when out and about with her that ordering…

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XT 9- more like a Star Wars droid than a beer

XT

XT 9 (500ml, 5.5% ABV) Sounding more like a Star Wars droid than a beer, XT 9 is something of an enigma. The bottle describes it as ‘Black’. So, is it a stout, a porter, a strong mild, a black IPA, or none of the above? Brewed with no fewer than nine malts (I wonder…

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Curious IPA – The taste is a surprise

Curios

Curious IPA (330ml, 5.6% ABV) A winemaker brewing beer? Has the world gone mad? It’s like cats and dogs living together. But that’s exactly what Chapel Down Winery has done. Not content with that, they make cider and brandy too. What’s next – a gin distillery, an absinthe laboratory? All of their beers come under…

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Denmead Beer Festival 2016

Denmead Beer Festival 2016

18th Annual , Denmead Community Centre, Sat 29th Oct 2016 As the only event of its type within staggering distance of my house, I’ve been going to the Denmead Beer Festival for years. It’s a fairly typical setup – a variety of beers, classic and new, local and distant, plus grub (hot dogs, burgers, roast…

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Emsworth Brewhouse Flotilla

Emsworth Brewhouse

Emsworth Brewhouse Flotilla (500ml, 4.4% ABV) Very new, very local and very green. That would be a good way to describe the Emsworth Brewhouse, a new, award-winning business which features a solar powered brewery and zero emission delivery of its products. It’s the brainchild of Grant Thomas, who works at IBM and has graduated from…

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Brewhouse & Kitchen Brewery Experience Day (Part 2)

  Brewhouse & Kitchen Brewery Experience Day (Part 2), Portsmouth, £85, 10:00-17:00 Fri or Sat Read part 1 here. The fact is, I have to drive home at the end of the day, so I sadly refuse some offers of ‘a bit more beer’. Oli uses a laptop and some software to keep tabs on…

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Southampton Airport beers

southampton airport

  Southampton Airport.  Priority Lounge customers at Southampton Airport are now in for a local treat whilst they wait to board their flight. Bottles of Old Dick,Skew, Liberation or Land of Hop and Glory are on offer among a range of other local refreshments. Like Suthwyk Ales,  it has an important heritage of it’s own. In 1936 the first test flight of the Supermarine Spitfire took place at the airport, making the Liberation and Land of Hop & Glory ales an appropriate fit. Unlimited WiFi, refreshments, comfortable seating, high chairs  and desks, laptop and mobile charge points are available for all Priority Lounge customers.  http://www.southamptonairport.com/

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