Monday, June 17, 2013

A bit of fruity stuff!!

One of the breweries that has rarely featured on this site is Sam Smiths of Tadcaster. There are several reasons for this but two of the most obvious are the lack of variety of their cask beers, in fact, there is just the one 'Old Brewery Bitter', and the shortage of Sam's pubs in which to drink it.

It is a well known fact that to find the beer outside their own pubs is a rarity, so to find it involves a trip to one of their tied houses. It is worth hunting out though, a decent beer, and it is more often than not sold at a decent price. But this is not about the draught beer but rather about something that I discovered yesterday on the bottled beer list at Tilleys in Newcastle.

I am not a drinker of bottled beers, so I rarely peruse the lists in pubs but having nothing better to do whilst sipping my beer I glanced through the list at Tilleys and was surprised to discover some Sam Smiths bottled beer there. Surprised on more than one level; initially, to see it outside their own pubs, secondly, to see that the brewery, which I had always considered fiercely traditional, had kept up with the times. The list contained four of their bottled fruit beers. 

This prompted further investigation and provided further surprises. There are only four fruit beers on their list, so Tilleys had them all. There are apricot, cherry, strawberry and raspberry varieties, which seem to cover quite a range of tastes. I had to try one, so I sampled the raspberry. It was not bad, not quite my thing, but I can see the appeal, especially for the fairer sex, with the initial tart background - sorry bad use of word! - giving way to a residual sweetness. But had I compromised myself by drinking a non cask product?

Well, it appears not after checking their web site. The beer has quite an interesting history. It is finished off at Sam's but starts life at the All Saints brewery in Stamford, handcrafted using organic barley and wheat, where it undergoes initial and secondary fermentation, and then transported to Tadcaster to be mixed with the appropriate fruit juices and bottled.

If you come across it, and fancy something a little different, give it a try. It does not break the bank and is a pleasant drink on a warm afternoon. I may even try another one soon.      


wee beefy said...

The Anglers Retreat at Wintersett WF4 used to sell it free trade, but haven't been since 2008. Assuming it's still open that's the only place I heard of selling cask Old Brewery Bitter regularly that wasn't a Sams house.

Ale Ambler said...

Good lord! You writing about and drinking bottled beer.
As someone who doesn't live near a real ale pub, bottled beer
is often the only option for me.
I think there are plenty of good bottlers out there, but as my
dad annoyingly pointed out during Father's Day part 2 last
night: "there's nothing quite like cask beer". Needless to say
I was driving and quaffing Tango!

Timbo said...

As you well know Mr Ambler, I have been well spoiled in my meetings with beer, and have never lived in a place where I was unable to reach a decent real ale pub, or several pubs actually. In fact I think it has been the most important consideration when moving home !!!
But I do take your point, and I assume there are plenty of good bottled beers out there, I have just never really had the need to find them, hence my lack of knowledge.
Speak more over weekend