Category Archives: Brewing

Just Ales Micro pub

Just Ales is the first micropub in Somerset

Just Ales beer and cider menu
Just Ales beer and cider menu

If you want the usual mass produced lagers, Just Ales is not for you and you will be directed to a pub around the corner. Just Ales, located in England’s smallest city – Wells Somerset, is what it says on the label, it just sells real ales, oh and a few local farmhouse ciders. It has up to seven real ales selected by Pete and Andy, based upon their knowledge of available real ales and may be some recommended.

Just Ales 1/3 pint beer flight
Just Ales 1/3 pint beer flight

Look out if you are visiting, you could just walk past, without realising it is there, unless you are greeted at the door as we were. As well as real ales and farmhouse ciders, bottled ales including the odd Trappist ale from Belgium; you can have a tea or coffee for the nominated driver. The food menu includes – pickled eggs, crisps, pork scratchings, or a ‘top of the range Somerset’ Barbers 1833 Cheddar cheese bowl. A speciality is a pint and a homemade pork pie.  This is not a pub if you want to sit with a meal, it is for those who want to try a real ale or 2 and talk beer etc.

Just Ales beer and cider cellar
Just Ales beer and cider cellar

The ales may be local, such as Milk Street Brewery in Frome, or may be from the West or Wales or further afield. On our second visit we sat with Andy and his dog and a couple of local Wilkins cider connoisseurs, and chatted about bourbon whiskeys, whilst nibbling on some of the great Cheddar cheese.

Black Knight Bitter

Black Knight Bitter 5%

Black Knight Bitter

This home brewed bitter is based on a recipe by Dave Line, who was the master of home brewing. It is a chestnut ale with a biscuity and toasted malt aroma. It has an smooth sweet taste with a light bitter follow-on from the traditional Goldings and Fuggles hops and small amount of black malt.


This is a good chestnut ale with a pleasant toasted malty flavour idea as a autumn or winter bitter. 

Beer Flights

Wetherspoon’s Festival Beer 

Beer Flight at Wetherspoon’s

Wetherspoon’s autumn World Beer Festival benefitted in the Pub I used, with the option of a Flight (3 x 1/3s) in the excellent and easy to carry holder, with blackboard discs on with the ale number was written in chalk. Hopefully these holder will become more widely available in other Wethersppon locations, when festivals are taking place. 

Great innovation sponsored by Adnams, so much better than using a tray, end better than a flight tray on which the glasses are less stable. This holder was so easy to carry across a crowded pub.

Shepherd Neame – Warlocks Broth 3.8%

Shepherd Neame - Worlocks Broth
Shepherd Neame – Worlocks Broth

Shepherd Neame – Warlocks Broth 3.8%

Another seasonal offering from Shepherd Neame in Faversham, for Halloween. A copper amber colour, it has a pleasing aroma of malt and hops with a note of toffee. The taste is malty with biscuit, with a pleasant bitterness running into the after-taste.

A  typically malty bitter ale from the Shepherd Neame brewers, suited to the season and autumnal.

St Austell Brewery – Proper Job

St Austell Brewery – Proper Job 5.5%

St Austell Brewery – Proper Job 5.5%
Proper Job is a golden coloured bottle conditioned IPA, with toffee and hop aromas. It has a refreshing yet malty taste, following on to a bitter aftertaste.
This is another excellent offering from our West Country Cornish brewery. Proper Job is a good strength ale at 5.5% with depth of flavour of the hops and malt and a continuing fizz from the bottle conditioning.
The citrus aromas are lost on ageing giving way to the malt notes.

The Perfect Pint Brewery Cup

The Perfect Pint Brewery Cup Quarter Final 2014
The Quarter Final between St Austell Brewery, our Westcountry favourite and that other great brewery Shepherd Neame, Faversham in Kent the true home of the Hop. Both brewers are deserved winners of the cup, so this has got to be a tough Quarter Final draw. I guess I have to support the Westcountry, although Master Brew is a great pint.
I would favour a three way tie for the cup between St Austell, Shepherd Neame and Fuller’s with HSD, Master Brew and London Pride. Three great southern ales!

A pint of Tribute

St Austell Tribute 4.2%

A Tribute in London
This is the very successful real pale ale from St Austell Brewery, produced initially for the total eclipse in 1999 by their head brewery Roger Ryman. Tribute is now available over a large area of the south west and in supermarkets nationally.

St Austell -Tribute

Tribute is an orange amber ale, with pervading citrus and malt aromas. The taste is citrus sharpness and sweet crystal malt sweet flavours with a light bitterness; with a malty sweetness after taste.
A very good pint with good memorable aromas and good enjoyable taste.    Edited with BlogPad Pro

GWB – Hambrook Pale Ale

Great Western Brewery – Hambrook Pale Ale 4.0%

GWB – Hambrook Pale Ale

This is another offering from one of our local micros Great Western Brewery based at Hambrook. This pale ale comes with a light golden colour and an aroma of green English Hops, green wood and fruit? The taste is of English hops but without the overpowering bitterness of an India Pale Ale; with a good malty balance and a bitter aftertaste.
This beer is named after the village in which the Brewery is located, just north of Bristol.

Goose Island Brewery – Honker’s Ale

Goose Island - Honkers Ale
Goose Island – Honkers Ale

Goose Island Brewery, Chicago IL – Honker’s Ale 4.3%
The Brewery indicates that Honker’s Ale is inspired by visits to English country pubs.

This is a darker golden amber coloured ale, typical of an English bitter type. It has a strong hop flowers and malt aroma, with a sweeter taste with a slight underlying bitterness.

This is an excellent English ale type, which for an American brew surpasses many actual English bitters. Definitely scores a top 5 on the NBSS(CAMRA) and a beer I will be looking out for again.