Despite my love of hops and hoppy beers, I am always willing to try something out of my comfort zone, and in the last couple of days have found a couple of lighter ales, both in flavour and strength, that have really hit the spot. One I had high hopes for and was not disappointed, the second surprised me.
To take the first first. Stancill brewery has been mentioned before in these pages by my esteemed collegue Mr Ambler. It is a new brewery in Sheffield with a recognised brewer in Jonathan Stancill, formerly brewer at the Oakwell brewery in Barnsley. I have sampled several of the beers and always found them very acceptable, but their most recent special really hit the spot. 'Ginger Pale Ale' is 4.0% and is what it says on the tin. It is pale, and gingery. Nothing you wouldn't expect then; except Stancill seem to have created the perfect summer beer. The taste is refreshing and soft and the ginger does not slap you in the face but rather complements the beer to make it well balanced, easy drinking and very moreish. Just need decent weather and a cricket match now!
The other beer to tickle my taste buds came from Riverhead brewery at Marsden. I have sampled plenty of their beers and always find them solid rather than exceptional. So when I ordered their 'White Moss Mild' I expected much of the same. I was pleasantly surprised. It was a very good example of the Pennine light mild style. Light in colour, and very easy drinking at 3.6%. No discernable hop character but very well crafted and another beer that would go down superbly sitting watching the world go by in a beer garden. As it happens I was in the 'Rat & Ratchet' and it was hosing down outside! Nevertheless, the beer was excellent and I will certainly be sampling it again. And the Stancill as well, if someone has left me some to try.