Monday, February 14, 2011

Hawkshead Brewery

One of the better breweries to come out of the Lake District is Hawkshead, whose beer seems to becoming more widely available around our region in the recent past, in fact The Grove has 3 of their beers on the bar at the moment, all showcasing the different styles that the brewery produces, and all worth a try.

The brewery started in its home town in 2002, but was forced to move to larger, purpose built premises a few miles away in Staveley in 2006, which incorporate a state of the art brewery combined with a large visitors centre. The new brewery is capable of a 20 barrel brew length and a weekly output of around 100 barrels, which is mainly concentrated on their core range of beers with just the occasional special being brewed.

Currently on the bar at the Grove are 'Windermere Pale' - a 3.5% beer, light coloured and not over hopped, Maris Otter malt and a touch of wheat give the base and a hop medley give its fresh, subtle taste, with a hint of Citra recently added. This is joined by 'Red' - 4.2% and more malty, with its colour coming from the dark crystal malt, and the malt tends to override the hops. The third beer is the 8.5% 'Triple XBJ' - a very dark beer reminiscent of a winter warmer, masses of flavour, but at its strength, a beer to be treated with respect.

The rest of the brewery range is spread across various styles and colours. 'Lakeland Lager' 5.0% and hard to find in cask, but if you see it it it is worth the wait. A great example of a cask lager.
'Bitter' is a 3.7% beer, refreshing with an elderflower hint; 'Gold' is a multi award winning beer with First Gold and Cascade hops; 'Brodies Prime' is 4.9% and their premium beer, with plenty of fruit flavour from the mixture of English and American hops used; 'Organic Stout' is what it says, a stout brewed with organic barley and hops and an excellent take on the style.

As I said, now and again, the brewery does brew specials but we rarely see these in our part of the world in cask form, although sometimes they do appear in bottles, and the bottles are often more easy to find than the cask versions.

So, if you fancy something a bit different, get up to the The Grove in the next day or so and compare and contrast the beers on the bar and sample what one of the better Cumbrian breweries has to offer.

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