Monthly Archives: March 2016



The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) believes it has achieved its primary aim of promotion of Real Ale. It was founded in the days of Watneys Red Barrel, with a red barrel keg tap on the bar, later reduced to Watneys Red and a red keg shaped bar tap. Other keg beers at the time were Whitbread Tankard, Worthington E and Ind Coope’s Double Diamond; all thankfully long gone.

We now have a thriving collection of small and micro breweries producing real ales, such that even the big brewers and combines try to compete, either buying up real ale breweries, or setting up their own so called smaller ‘craft’ breweries within their main breweries.

Does this mean that CAMRA has now finished its job. No, it will need to continue to support real ale against the conglomerates but will now also campaign to keep our British pub heritage against the continuing closure of pubs in both towns and rural areas.

Caledonian Brewery – Flying Scotsman

Caledonian Brewery – Flying Scotsman 3.5%/4.0%

Caledonian Brewery - Flying Scotsman
Caledonian Brewery – Flying Scotsman

A dark chestnut ale with plum and chocolate aroma notes. It has a smooth malt taste with smokey and chocolate notes. A good smooth, malty ale worth the experience of trying. My 5*

 This ale was available to celebrate the rebuild of the Flying Scotsman steam engine and its celebration run from London to York, to the national Railway Museum.
This ale is a premium bitter ale from this Edinburgh Brewery comes draught at 3.5% ABV or bottles at 4.0% ABV.

Sadlers Brewery – Reindeer Ale

Sadlers Brewery – Reindeer Ale 5.0%

Sadlers Brewery - Reindeer Ale
Sadlers Brewery – Reindeer Ale

This is a chestnut coloured ale with a sweet toffee aroma. It has a warming sweet bitter taste with toffee notes making this a good winter seasonal ale from this Stourbridge brewery in the West Midlands 5*

Oakham Ales – Scarlet Macaw

Oakham Ales – Scarlet Macaw 4.8%

scarletThis is a golden ale with a fresh hop and malty aroma. It has a lightly sweet start moving quickly to a citrus bitter finish and after-taste.  it gives a balance between malts and the bitter citrus hop notes.

This is a real ale brewery is based in Peterborough Cambridgeshire but harks back to the lost county of Rutland.

Spun Gold

Twisted Oak Brewery – Spun Gold 4.5%

Twisted Oak Brewery – Spun Gold
This is a golden ale with the aroma of a German Weiss bier. It’s taste starts clean and sharp with Weiss bier notes and a strong citrus bitter finish and a hint of the spice found in Belgian White beer.

A good ale if you favour some of the newer IPAs based on American hop varieties that are on offer. It also has a strong reminder of German wheat beers both in the aroma and taste. Another good offering from this small Somerset Brewer based at Wrington on the Mendips.

L’Ambrée d’Esquelbecq

Brasserie Thiriez – L’Ambrée d’Esquelbecq 5.8%

Brasserie Thiriez – L’Ambrée d’Esquelbecq

Biere Artisanale des Flandres 

This is a chestnut coloured ale with buttery toffee and deep malt aromas. It has a rich malty taste with toffee and sweet molasses and fruit notes. This ale is brewed at Brasserie Thiriez in Esquelbecq France.

This is an interesting ale from Flanders in northern France. It is not the typical ‘lager’ type French beer often foundin the UK but is more closely matched to the darker beers found in Belgium just across the border. A good ale if you prefer darker malty beers. 5*

Brasserie Thiriez

Ordinance City Brewery – Claymore

Ordinance City Brewery – Claymore Porter 4.5%

Ordinance City Brewery – Claymore

This is a black potter ale with aromas of toasted malt and rich fruits, it has a strong toasted malt and rich roast coffee taste notes moving to a blackstrap molasses bitter aftertaste. A good porter style ale.
This Ashcott based Somerset brewery bases its brews on historical military ordinance, influnincing thier names and beer labels. I came across their ales at the Burnham-on-Sea Food Festival, where they had their beers packed in wooden ordinance boxes carrying through their brewery theme.