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

Lymestone Brewery, Brown and Green on tour..

We were lucky enough to be invited to a tour of the Lymestone Brewery in Stone last night and boy was it was something special. Why you may ask, if you’ve seen one micro brewery you’ve seen them all?

Well it was all about the P’s, no not the Bees although they do feature, I’m talking about Pride, Passion and People.

The event was organised by the owners of local artisan food delicatessen, Brown & Green and by invitation I think totally through Twitter. Open though to anyone following them and who enjoys and embraces what they are trying to do. (Susie may put me right on that).

To tell you the little I learned on the journey to Lymeston, Brown and Green started as an add on to an existing Strawberry farm in Gloucester. Owners Susie and Euan wanted a small outlet in which to sell their produce, also to support other local producers in the immediate area. A small area was leased in a local garden centre and was very successful. From then they were encouraged to take a leap of faith and open another much larger store of their own on the Trentham Gardens estate, which then expanded to yet one more in the Derby area. All operating with the same ethos, of getting fantastic local produce available in one place. Enter Lymestone Brewery as a producer of local ethical ales..

Ian (Brad) Bradford is a brewer and he loves it, you can tell by watching him and listening to him speak. He was head brewer at another local brewery Titanic for some 18 years before he too took the leap of faith and decided along with wife Viv that he wanted a brewery of his own, where he made the decisions and succeeded or failed by them. So in July 2008 Lymestone Brewery was born.

On arrival at the brewery we were met enthusiastically by Brad and Viv and urged quickly to go straight into the bar room where three beers were on tap for us to try, Stone Faced, Stone Cutter and Lymestone Cowboy which was my personal favourite on the night. No service here (no complaints either), it was “there’s your glasses”, “there’s the pumps”, “get stuck in”!!

Now for anyone who has ever beer to an event where Twitter has played a major part, it was one of those awfully embarrassing periods in the beginning, where you realise that “I know that person”, but arrghhh I only know their Twitter name so you have to introduce yourself as @filrd etc as you are mingling. The beer helped particularly well at this stage….

First drink sorted, pleasantries exchanged and the evening began in earnest where sat in the cavernous brewhouse Euan was bravely nominated by Susie, to thank us for attending and tell us a little about who they were, what they are doing and their hopes for the future. He also explained how people like Brad & Viv and even the folks in attendance all play a significant part in them realising their dream for Brown and Green.

Up step Brad and Viv, who in similarly passionate style detail how and why they set up Lymestone, their story, the history of the brewery in this location dating back to 1889, what they hope to achieve and how both parties interact to realise similar ambitions by helping eachother. We were then treated to I would say the most detailed and heartfelt explanation of brewing I’ve had in my experience, Brad & Viv as I said earlier clearly love what they do and that really comes across as you watch them speak, there’s just an excited buzz about the whole thing. Second Drink Break.. ūüôā

Second session was in the brewing room, where as you’d expect it was explained how everything works, timings, volumes etc. I won’t witter on about this too much except to say that you really should visit yourself to experience it, great people, loads of knowledge delivered in a fun and enjoyable style.

Tour over, questions asked but that wasn’t the end, next was another top up of course and then foodie heaven, a buffet of fantastic local foodie treats from Brown and Green had been laid on for us all .

Uber tasty morsels including Shropshire Blue and Aged Red Lecester cheeses, firecracker and venison salami, Hand made pork and chicken pies, scotch eggs, the biggest and the biggest, tastiest hand made sausage rolls you’ve ever seen to name but a few..

As you can probably imagine a good night was had by all and sadly long after our transport was due we said farewell to Lymestone.

Just to close, taking aside the generosity and hospitality of our hosts that is clearly evident and going back to the P’s, It was a real privilege and a true pleasure to spend a particularly pleasant evening with people positively passionate about their products..

A big thanks to Euan, Susie, Brad, Viv and Jules for a superb evening, great to meet you and everyone else that attended, here’s to the next, Cheers

http://www.brown-and-green.co.uk/

http://www.lymestonebrewery.co.uk

P.S I’ve just realised that I mentioned Bees earlier in this post, that is because Lymestone has it’s very own apiary on the brewery’s roof consisting of 5 hives. From this Brad has created a honey beer called Stone Brood, made with Lymestone’s very own honey. I’ve bought a couple of bottles to try, they are available though at Brown & Green so go get some before they buzz off…

Stone Brood 4.4% ABVUp on the roof of the Lymestone Brewery, the Lymestone bees have been busy making the sweetest honey from local fields and gardens. Literally stung into action, Brad the Brewer has created this rich, dark beer from the Lymestone bees honey and the finest chocolate malt. Velvety chocolate gives way to a balanced bittersweet finish. Easy drinking and very moreish.

If you enjoyed reading this post then please spread the love, Facebook share it, RT on Twitter or send on by email. I’d love to hear your comments and shared experiences too in the comments section of this page. Cheers Phil

Stone Banker – Lymestone Brewery

First it was “Stoke City are in the Prem” and now, “Stoke are goin Wembley for an FA Cup Final, ah cost’ner belave eet”!

Seriously though, Stoke City FC have experienced a dramatic turn in fortune in recent years, after a long period of absence from top flight football they at last achieved Premier League status in 2008. Then rather than struggle as many newly promoted teams before them have done, seem to have gone from strength to strength.

So much so that this weekend, for the first time in their long history they have the chance to win the FA cup in the final being held at Wembley this Saturday, if they can overcome Premier League ‘rich kids”, Manchester City.

To mark this memorable occasion Staffordshire Brewery Lymestone have created an unofficial SCFC FA cup beer “Stone Banker”.

Head brewer Ian (Brad) Bradford explains that the name comes from Stoke City manager Tony Pulis’s mixed metaphoric quote on West Ham’s equaliser in their recent FA Cup quarter final clash. Where Pulis described Fredric Piquionne’s control as ‚Äúa stone-banker handball‚ÄĚ.

The label tries to relay that moment in cartoon form as does the beers description quoted in true Potteries “May Un Mar Lady” dialect.

STONE BANKER

“Hey up Youth! Help celebrate the mighty Potters trip to Wembley wi’ a sup o’ this winnin bayer fuller tasty malts and strung hops. Get thee chops rind it an savour the swayt taste o’ success.”

Translation

“My good fellow! Help celebrate the mighty Potters trip to Wembley with this winning beer which is full of tasty malts and strong hops. Drink in the sweet taste of success.”

Stone Banker is a chestnut coloured bitter ale, pouring in bottled form at least with a vigorous light brown head which quickly recedes. Not big on the aroma front with a smell of light caramel malts.

Tasting begins with a sweet malty flavour which turns swiftly to an almost savoury side with a quite earthy metallic hop bitterness. The finish is a sort of happy marriage between the two, with sweetness in the mouth and long lasting dry hoppiness.

At 4% it’s a light but flavoursome and would make a perfect session beer to enjoy in the run up and then hopefully celebrating on Cup final day.

Being a Newcastle United supporter I’m not used to seeing silverware, but still hope “The Mighty Potters” do the people of Stoke On Trent proud. I suspect the black & white PVFC half of the city may not agree with me there, but try one anyway and make up yer own twist on the name‚Ķ¬†It’s good beer, give it a go

GOOOOOOOAAAAAAARRRRRN STOKE!

Beer of the week “St Feuillien – Mac Ben”

Great beer weekend just gone with some crackers on show from Oakham in the form of the always reliable¬†Citra & then a new brew, Styrian Goldings from their Ltd Edition “Oakademy of Excellence” range. I managed to get a sneak preview of this on Sunday as it was actually due on Monday night, it was a really refreshing beer with classic Oakham hoppy bitterness. On a second follow up tasting through the pump, the beer really comes into it’s own with a bright easy drinking honeyed flavour which balances the bitterness really well.

Oakham’s tasting notes for reference: ¬†“A single hop varietal beer brewed to showcase Styrian Goldings.
Light gold with a slightly sweet and perfume aroma. This single hop variety beer has tangy but delicate citrus and caramel flavours.”

Then we had the Blarney Stone from Lymestone Brewery,¬†this was a specially renamed version of Seven Stone Weakling 4.7%, it’s a light tan ale with a good combination of maltiness and hops which made it my beer of choice for most of Saturday night.

The final offering from the UK was the recently SIBA voted Champion Strong Ale of Britain 2011, Allgates Mad Monk Imperial Russian Stout 7.1%. I have to say that I found this a little hard going, very tasty but seemed extremely heavy with the alcohol content very much in your face, I thought maybe it was just a step to much too quickly after the last beer. For scientific purposes only, I needed to try this again so had to go back last night and force down another, after all it didn’t win the award for nothing….

It is definitely a sipping beer, deep dark and rich with chocolate and coffee  flavours. It is as I said earlier very heavy and you can really tell you are drinking a strong ale, I would buy it again but only in small doses as a late night finisher.

The clear winner of the weekends best beer though from me I’m afraid goes to Belgium, although it does have links back to Blighty in name and style at least.

It was the absolutely deliciously more-ish St Feuillien Mac Ben Scotch Ale.

From the first taste I was hooked. It’s a sweet but very drinkable beer, big on dark caramel malt favours but also a very prominent rich fruitiness. Pleasing tastes of alcohol flamb√©ed bananas, with hints of chocolate and black cherries, a bit like a banana black forest gateaux! It’s the sort of beer that makes you want to curl up next to the bar and stay there until it’s all gone. Going back to the comments about the Mad Monk, this is the complete opposite in terms of the evident alcohol, you just would not think that it was a 7% beer which is a skill that most Belgian brewers seem to be able to replicate.

This was available on draught but is available in bottles too, as for stockists Im not sure, “beerhere” have it in stock but only by the case, having said that a full case may not be a bad option…

St Feuillien Mac Ben Scotch Ale tasting notes:

Mac Ben Scotch Ale is a light, very tasty beer to be enjoyed with friends.¬†Its light brown foam unveils a rich composition of special malts; this is a generous, compact and stable beer.¬†It is dark brown in¬†colour with hints of red resulting from the malt being caramelised.¬†It has a delicate, discreet flavour with a strong note of ‚Äúroast barley‚ÄĚ and hints of hops and orange peel.¬†It is long, smooth and full to the¬†palate with no roughness. Once more, the caramel and roast barley come together harmoniously to yield a range of almost silky sensations. Its after-taste prolongs an already positive first impression.¬†Density: 7% alc. vol.