One of my top 10 breweries is Adnams. I have been educated by the best, well Steve D., and years ago, when the Southwold was a regular in The Rat & Ratchet, he used to rave about it. I was a little underwhelmed to be truthful; then the Guru said ' try it without a sparkler'. I did, and from then on, I was a convert.
In the recent weeks I have come across a fair few Adnams beers in our area. Fat Sprat' 'has made another appearance - a bit spicy and grapefruity, with a nice background - their 3.8% summer beer. And yesterday I came across 'Lighthouse'. 3.4%. I have had it before, and it has always seemed a beer for the hot sunny days, (lets face it they have been few and far between lately), but it has always hit the spot. As it did yesterday, and hit the spot for a couple of extra pints ! I knew the brewery used traditional English hops in some of their beers, but I was surprised to find this was a mixture of Fuggles and Goldings hops, and pale ale and crystal malt. It tasted more European than that. And it is named after the famous Southwold Lighthouse.
But as always the jewel in the crown, the piece de resistance came when I found 'Southwold Bitter' on the bar. I was a little sceptical. I thought that the beer may have changed, as some of the beers from my past have, or my taste buds would have changed. But no. It is still the same brilliant beer it always was. Copper coloured, and hopped (and dry hopped) with Fuggles, with East Anglian barley malt, it is a beer that if had read the ingredients I may have shied away from. I would have missed a classic. 3.7% and just too drinkable, the beer has been brewed for nigh on 50 years - so it must be ticking some boxes.
So, if you have never tried it. Give it a go, but as my Guru said 'without sparkler', it gives far more depth to the beer. And it is available a bit stronger (4.1%) in bottles, which I must confess I never realised, should you fancy a tipple or two at home.