Category Archives: Gloucestershire

Arbor Ales – Breakfast Stout

Arbor Ales – Breakfast Stout 7.4%

I came across this ale in Bristol and I have to say it is the first time an ale has almost had me reaching for a soup spoon, in fact one  wouldn’t  be that surprised if it was ladled from a soup terrine on the bar, rather than a beer pump. I have tried some unusual ales tasting of cappuccino or custard creams, strong barley wines and Trappist dark ales but this stout is in a class of its own.
Arbor Ales – Breakfast Stout 7.4%
It is a very dark ale with a thick chocolate brown head, which leaves the glass coloured as you drink. It has rich aromas of chocolate, coffee and toasted malts. The taste is sweet for a stout, compared to the usual dry Irish style, moving to rich espresso coffee taste, with vanilla, toffee and chocolate. Breakfast Stout is an experience not just a dark stout ale.

Arbor Ales is a micro brewery based in Bristol.

Wiper and True – No. 11 Small Beer

Wiper and True – No.11 Small Beer 2.8%

Wiper and True – No.11 Small Beer

This is a slightly dark golden ale with peach and fruity aromas. The taste starts with good malt notes going into refreshing citrus bitterness without the ubiquitous grapefruit taste; which runs on into the finish and lasting aftertaste. This is a pleasant refreshing light ale suited to a summer ale and a ‘small beer’ being only 2.8% ABV, but has lots of summer pale ale flavour and body. It is an unfiltered live ale.
Brewed by Wiper and True, a Bristol based craft micro-brewery in St Werburghs, north of the city centre. Their bottles are labelled with simple stylised labels with black ‘type’ print and a gold metallic picture.
A ‘small beer’ is traditionally brewed from the sparged mash after the initial strong wort is removed for brewing stronger ales. It is also the ale given to the workers, being low strength.

Wickwar Wessex Brewing – Station Porter

Wickwar Brewery – Station Porter 6.1%

Wickwar Brewery – Station Porter


 A dark red porter ale with rich aromas of malt and chocolate. A sweet very malty ale with good notes of chocolate, coffee and caramels, with a rich malt and mild hop bitter finish. 

This is one of the best porters I have tasted and has a rich warming taste without straying into heavily toasted malt bitterness.
A worthy winner of the CAMRA 2008 supreme champion beer.

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.

Great Western Brewery – Edwin’s Ruby Porter 5.2%

Edwin’s Ruby Porter 5.2%

Great Western Brewery – Edwin’s Porter Ale 5.2%

Following the Ilfracombe Beer Festival and the beers we tried, which were a very limited selection of those on offer, Peter (Mine Host for the festival) and I commented that more flavoured beers could be found in the darker beers and porters, rather than the more common lighter ales at the Fest.  I came across this porter in JDW’s and had to give it a try, as it is now the time of Winter and Festive Ales.
Edwins Ruby Porter from one of the Westcountry’s Microbreweries – The Great Western Brewing Company run by the Stone Family since 2007, proved to be an excellent offering. A dark ruby coloured ale, with a toffee and hop aroma it promised a good ale, making a pleasant change from what is becoming the widespread use of American hops giving citrus/elderflower flavours to varying degrees. The smooth sweet toffee taste is balanced with a short-lived bitterness making this an excellent ale. This is a really good winter ale but could be drunk anytime.
I decided that I needed to give this beer a further try and as we were travelling the M32 from Bristol, took the opportunity to call in at the Brewery shop in Hambrook and bought 3 bottles to try over the festive period. I look forward to trying more of the Stone family’s offerings and perhaps calling in at the Brewery Tap – The Rising Sun Pub in nearby Frampton Cottrell.