Unlike Will, I have been struggling to find a beer this week I could class as 'my beer of the day' but then, just like buses, three have come along at once.
The first is from Allgates of Wigan, a brewery we do not see too much of on our side of the Pennines but a brewery I know well and respect from my trips over into Manchester. They brew a mixture of beers but generally concentrate on the light or the dark beers both of which they do well, (sounds like another local brewery doesn't it !). Anyway, their 'California' was on the bar in the Rat & Ratchet and very good it was too - named after a mine in their home town, I believe, rather than the American state. It is was a light, hoppy, refreshing session beer, just right for a warm summer's day, which unfortunately it wasn't when I drank it. Nevertheless, it was a fine beer and one that made you want a second pint.
The second beer comes from a new brewery this year. Raw from Staveley in Derbyshire are slowly building a reputation for making interesting beer and the 'Hop Rush Pale Ale' on the bar in The Star does exactly what it says. It is 4.8%, so packs a bit of a punch but the use of the hops in the beer are excellent. They give a massive bitter mouthfeel and follow it up with a dryness that gives it balance. There is little or no sweetness in the beer and although there is obviously some malt in the background it does not detract from the hop rush. Another excellent effort.
To finish you off, literally if you are not careful, comes the Church End 'Summer Terother'. Those who know Church End, who used to be a common brewery in these parts but are getting harder to find, will know their reputation for making fine beer. Sometimes they can be accused of being a little too adventurous in their ingredients but not this time. What they have brewed is a light, fruity little number which is dangerously drinkable. Why dangerous ? Well 7% is a little over the usual strength for a beer and this does not drink anywhere near that strength. It starts with a pleasantly balanced bitterness, and then the fruitiness takes over. Despite it's strength there is none of the vinous or alcoholic background I associate with beers of this gravity. It's just very good and an excellent beer to have a quick half of at the end of a session. It made the perfect end to a disappointing week.