Coastal Brewery – Kernow Stout – 9%

I first came across this little gem at the Bhurtpore Inn Beer festival. I’d had a few Coastal beers before, all had been pretty good, their Erosion being a fine example, described as being a powerful, warming old ale, coming in at 8% it was  certainly that and more.. 

For the last few days the Kernow’s been on at The Bulls Head in Burslem, I’d been eagerly awaiting the it’s arrival as soon as the pump clip appeared on the “coming soon” board and had even managed to blag a couple of pre pump pints from the cellar. 😉 In a similar vein to Erosion this is a dangerously drinkable beer, it slides down far too easily for a 9% Imperial Stout that’s for sure. As it’s delivered across the bar the first thing that strikes you is the appearance, a swirling mass of dark brown, slowly settling to a jet black body topped with a thick chocolate brown foamy head. It smells of espresso, molasses and strong molten chocolate. The mouth feel is thick, sweet, bitter all rolled into one whilst remaining very drinkable, there are all the flavours as per the aroma list above, but suspended in a rich liquorice caramel which is long lasting. Fans of big imperial stouts will love this, it’s a truly impressive beer. If I had to pick a winner out of the two, Kernow and Erosion, I reckon the latter just edges it on drinkability, saying that both are powerhouses in terms of alcoholic strength and manage to hide it very well. For fellow foodies I’d like to try this instead of a good port and pair it with a nice strong stilton, or maybe in place of a desert wine with a good pud. How well are Coastal known in your area? If you’ve not tried them, a brewery to look out for most definitely, maybe hunt one down for International Stout Day.. 🙂

About Coastal Brewery

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Gadds (Ramsgate Brewery) – Common Conspiracy

It’s been a bit of a lean time around old Burslem town recently in terms of me coming across anything new that really stood out beer wise. Yes there’s been the ever reliable favourites Oakham Citra, Thornbridge JaipurKipling and of course Burslems own Titanic Brewery range.

We’ve also had some really big heavyweights, with Coastal Brewery’s Erosion and Titanic Wreckage hitting the spot, but with both coming in at around the 8%ABV they are late night finishers generally rather than great session beers.

This changed last night when I sampled a new guest beer in The Bulls Head for the first time, it was Gadds or Ramsgate Brewery’s Common Conspiracy.

It’s described as a Californian style Pale Amber Ale at 4.8%ABV, further reading the morning after revealed that it is based upon a California Common Ale, something I have to confess I’ve not heard of before. If you want to read more about it, check out Ramsgate’s Head Brewer Eddie Gadds brewblog, where he explains the styles origin and how he recreated it here in the UK, by following this link.

The beer itself is amberish in colour and has a creamy foam head that lasts long into the pint. It has an aroma of malty caramel with light tropical fruit lingering in the background. The taste though sees a role reversal with the fruit in much more dominance, with sweet tropical fruit and tangerine, less of the caramel without losing it completely and gentle hops in the finish.

This is a really easy drinking beer with lots of flavour, I liked it so much that I had a night off from my normal flit around the guest section and stuck to this all night. That to me speaks volumes..

I’m popping back tonight in hope that there’s some left, if you’re in the area The Bulls Head is in the centre of town at 14 St Johns Square, Burslem, Stoke On Trent, ST6 3AJ.

For those less fortunate Gadds beers are available on the web via Ales By Mail, I’m not sure Common Conspiracy was bottled but at this standard there’s surely more worth trying.