Buxton Brewery – Axe Edge at Brown and Green

This post is unashamedly aimed at people in Staffordshire and the surrounding areas, but please check it out even if that doesn’t apply. There are still some fantastic beer reviews on show (although I hasten to add, not from myself). I will say from the outset though that I have no connection (financial or otherwise) with either brewery or store. I just think they are both fantastic and hope you will too, if you give them a try.

Brown and Green are folks that in their own words are “passionate about providing you with great local, ethical and artisan food and drink which we have selected personally with care“. I know this to be true as I’ve experienced it first hand. I met the guys at B&G properly for the first time at an event they held with Brad and Viv at the fantastic Lymestone Brewery.

Anyway, as the evening went on and the Lymestone brews flowed, I took the opportunity to tell them about a range of new beers that I’d heard about from the then newly established¬†Buxton Brewery, knowing that they were keen to stock local beers from local brewers.

Anyway to cut a long story short, within a few weeks they had duly arrived at the Trentham store as a new addition to the established beer section and ever since dashing up excitedly to buy and taste them myself, clearly then seeing what all the fuss was about, I became a massive fan.

Now I’ve read loads of posts and video reviews about Buxton beers and Axe Edge in particular, not one bad report at all and quite a few copied as links below for your perusal.

As such I am not going to reinvent the wheel and wax lyrical with a review of my own here. I was compelled though to write this blog post after watching this video review made by Simon at the Real Ale Guide. It just reminded me of how I reacted when I first tasted Axe Edge (and every time I have since).. ūüėČ

All the Buxton range are brilliant in my opinion but Axe Edge sits head and shoulders above the rest it’s phenomenal. They do stock a good range of Buxton beers at Brown and Green but if you are trying one, try Axe Edge.

Don’t just take my word for it though check these reviews..

Dave from Broadford Brewer talks about Axe Edge and the Buxton range – “It was Axe Edge that introduced me to their beer, which is probably a little unusual as I would guess that a standard bitter or pale ale would usually be the first beer you might try as a way of introduction, followed by specialty beers or stronger niche varieties like the Double IPA.¬† For it’s mighty 6.8% it does not wield any destructive sharp edges, it is smooth and rounded and delivers more of a pleasant bludgeoning.¬† In short, I love it and its complex flavours and it goes straight onto my list of ‘beers of the year’.” Read more here…

Note: Dave’s blog page has moved since the above review, for new posts see¬†here:

Eating Isn’t Cheating ¬†– “These¬†Buxton¬†beers do something very difficult. They are both complex¬†and¬†hugely drinkable. You can concentrate and enjoy the depth of flavour, or simply sit back, drink them and enjoy. Which is exactly what I’ll be doing with the next bottle of either of these little lovelies.” Read more here‚Ķ

Leigh at The Good Stuff (talks about the Buxton range) – “This is my first set of Buxton Ales, and they’ve really been a pleasure to drink. As a person, I like the juxtapostition of complex flavours, but carried out well so that each element stands out; Buxton certainly tick that box. Easy drinking, light beers with complex noses are the way to go with Pale Ale, and Axe Edge and Moor Top will probably go on to do great things.”¬†Read more here..

Note: Leigh’s blog page has moved since the above review, for new posts see here:

A Swift One – “This is a 6.8% double IPA. Not for the faint hearted, it is just crammed with hop flavours from the selection used. How can a beer with nelson sauvin, citra and amarillo hops not be full of diverse and interesting fruit flavours, there is everything there, from orange to pineapple to lychees. A real classic beer.”¬†Read more here…

Zak Avery (beer writer and owner of Beerritz) blog on¬†Are You Tasting The Pith, talks about Moor Top – “Of the four beers in the boot, it’s not the never-ordinary, ever-dazzling Thornbridge beer that I’m excited about, nor the soon-to-be-crowned-classic Ilkley Mary Jane, but the Buxton Moor Top. I can’t think of a beer that is more of the moment than this one. Pale, low %abv, but absolutely stuffed full of hop character, it’s at once both no-nonsense and spectacular.”¬†Read more here..

So it’s a big thanks to Brown & Green from me for doing what they do best, stock great local produce from equally great producers. Please pay them a visit, not just for Buxton, the rest of the local beer range is brilliant and it’s a foodies paradise too. BONUS!

If I’ve helped drive you there don’t forget to tell them Phil from Beersay sent you, you never know it may get me a few Brownie (and Greenie) points.. ¬†ūüėČ

Cheers

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Indian Ink – Bristol Beer Factory 6.5%

I stumbled upon this beer by accident really after reading a post on Zac Avery‘s website “Are You Tasting The Pith“.

Zac’s review of BBFs “New World Tripel” sounded wonderful, so I paid a visit to the Bristol Beer Factory’s online shop, saw that they offer a mixed case that included the New World Tripel at a very reasonable price and placed an order.

I have to admit to being a little disappointed as the main beer that had driven me to order was not in the case when it arrived, in fact I very nearly got on the blower to complain. Then I noticed that there were a few intriguing bottles in the box as replacement and thought ah well, what the hell, in for a penny…

One beer in particular caught my eye, a big old Black IPA (which I love anyway) called Indian Ink. Interestingly it was brewed as the winning entry of a home brewing competition run or at least sponsored by BBF, won by a brewer called Ali Kocho-Williams. The prize was to go to the brewery, brew the beer to the winning recipe which would then be served in the local pubs and bottled for distribution. Oh and Ali won 9 gallons to drink too!! ūüėČ

The recipe it seems, is based on Kernel Brewery’s own Black IPA, you can read it here.

It’s a good beer, quite strong at 6.5% abv but is extremely refreshing and deceptively drinkable disguising the alcohol extremely well.

Not much on the nose, mainly a peppery hop spice. Flavours though are of intense liquorice espresso, high cocoa content bitter dark chocolate. There’s orange pith and citrus flesh too, finishing long, dry and very peppery.

How does it compare to the original Kernel version is hard to tell without tasting side by side. From memory I recall the Kernel having much more in the way of fruity aroma and flavour, but there’s no shame in that as Indian Ink is it’s own beer and works really well. Would I buy another, most definitely.

Nice one Ali

Follow Ali in Twitter here: @alikocho

 

Flying Dog Days

American beers are my new guilty pleasure.¬†No not the bland, mass produced American beers which shall remain discretely unmentioned, I’m talking about the fantastic array of products coming out of the USA craft beer scene.

Flying Dog are a classic example of this with their brilliantly diverse range of full flavoured craft beer. I managed to get hold of a few recently to try and have dropped brief tasting notes below. For the official brewery notes and food pairing ideas, visit them on their website here.

Tire Bite Golden Ale – 5.1%

Light refreshing lager type beer. There’s not much going here on the aroma front, maybe traces of the German hops. The beer itself has biscuity taste with dry finish. It poured a little flat with almost no head at all, not sure if that was the bottle, glass or if that’s just the way it is?¬†Verdict: A good hot day thirst quencher, chill it for when you finally get to light the BBQ..

Snake Dog IPA – 7.1%

This one is amber in colour, with a really pleasant grapefruit & pine resinous aroma. There’s a full mouth filling flavour of grapefruit & citrus peel, with burnt biscuity tasting malt, with a lovely refreshing dry bitterness on the finish. Verdict: Every fridge should have one, it’s fabulous.

Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale – 5.5%

This pours a copper to amber colour with a decent size white frothy head. Slight fruity hop aroma but not as much as the Snake Dog. The flavour is faint tangerine citrus, cascade hop bitter finish. Verdict: Good Pale Ale, for the less adventurous with ABV.

Raging Bitch Belgian Style India Pale Ale – 8.3%

As the title suggests this is an American slant on a Belgian Style IPA. It smells like a good Belgian tripel would, with aromas of yeast & biscuits. On tasting though the flavour is much more IPA, is has lemon, grapefruit, citrus peel and lightly roasted malt, all topped off with a nice bitter finish. Verdict: Just beautiful beer and definitely one you should try.

Check this one out on YouTube or direct on the BeerRitz website, where award winning¬†Zak Avery, one of the UK’s most respected beer writers does a video review of Raging Bitch after it’s UK debut.

Gonzo Imperial Porter – 9.2%

Gonzo is a dense black beer pouring with thick creamy brown head. The smell from the glass is of creamy malts it’s like dunking Malted Milk biscuits into a steaming mug of Ovaltine. The taste is still of that rich malt but here it turns to bitter dark chocolate (see the comment on aroma and add high quality chocolate to that biscuit), there is underlying taste grapefruit citrus which works really well. It’s big and ¬†full on in both flavour and texture, like a big fat alcoholic bedtime drink. Verdict: Snuggle up to one soon, warm and comforting…

A brief extract from the Flying Dog story:

“From a brewpub in Aspen, Colorado to a full-fledged Denver brewery, and then to a state-of-the-art brewing facility in Frederick, Maryland, Flying Dog stands for not only extraordinary beer, but also for standing tall, doing great things, and not letting anyone make you eat shit.”

Finally no Flying Dog blog post would be complete without mentioning the brilliantly designed label art, illustrated by Ralph Steadman.¬†¬†The labels are impressive enough, but to see more of his work check out Ralph’s website here:

Thanks for visiting the blog, please feel free to add comments at the top of the page, or visit me on Twitter.

Cheers

BeerRitz Bounces Back

For everyone who read this before, or is reading it for the first time now, here’s an update from Zac Avery:

Beerboy BeerRitz update

 

On a day when the Chancellor did the absolute bare minimum to help the struggling beer industry, it was great to actually hear some good news yesterday.

BeerRitz who quote on their website that they are “the longest established online beer shop in the UK” was again open for business!

You may think I am being a little vague by quoting the line above and you’d be right, the reason being that I have never been to the store in Headingley, Leeds, nor have I ordered from their on-line facility as yet and as such I know very little about them other than what I have read. So why, you may ask do I think that is good news?

Well since starting this beer blog I have made (largely through Twitter), many new friends, acquaintances, contacts or even just connections to people I follow out of interest. When the news broke last week that BeerRitz was closing it’s doors, the Twittersphere was alive with chatter universally expressing sadness, regret even grief on hearing the news. The absolute reverse was the case yesterday when it was announced that the doors were again open and BeerRitz was saved, come down and fill your boots! All of these people can’t be wrong, there’s no smoke without fire as they say.

BeerRtz is also the home of Zav Avery, one of the UK’s most respected beer writers and specialist retailers, Zac, from what I can gather was instrumental in the dramatic turnaround (circumstances yet to be disclosed) and I for one salute him and everyone else involved.

I wish BeerRitz the very best of luck and thank them for giving a good two fingered salute to the folks responsible for sticking an extra 10p on my pint yet again.

Give them a try or at least your support by spreading the word, I know I plan to in both ways, as without establishments like these and the people who run them your fridge would be full of cheap supermarket gnats piss…

http://www.beerritz.co.uk/default.asp

Check these links too:

http://hopzine.com/?p=2508http://thebeerboy.blogspot.com/

http://ghostdrinker.blogspot.com/2011/03/were-back.html

http://twitter.com/#!/realalereviews