#FF Pint: Gladness, by Growler Brewery

Last Friday was so hectic that I didn’t even have the time to squeeze a real pint in, let alone a virtual one, so I have a doozy for you this week to make amends. Image

Following the theme of my last #FF pint, that is bands which create beer, I bring you Gladness, a rather curious little brew from the Essex-based Growler Brewery, in honour of one of my fave bands of all time – UK ska legends Madness.

I say curious, because they bill it as “a lager, that’s an ale…that’s totally mad.” Brewed as an ale, it uses only lager ingredients and the result is a golden amber beer, with the distinctive floral and malty notes of a lager, but a dry and bitter finish at the end.

At 4.2% ABV, it has an acceptable alcohol content and is, if I dare to describe it in this way, a distinctly British beer.

It’s a bizarre drinking experience, given that it looks like an ale, but it tastes like a lager, albeit with much more taste and body than the common cooking variety. It’s by no means unpleasant, though, and definitely one for the patio, in the sunshine, with a slow-cooked rack of ribs and some chargrilled corn on the cob.

While it’s not readily available in the major chains (certainly in my neck of the woods), a quick search of some of the speciality beer parlours near my place of work unearthed a modest supply and I’m sure the more determined real ale shops around the country can also get hold of some.

So, cheers to all the people who’ve engaged with me on this blog and via Twitter this week and if it’s your first time at the @JonnoBrews bar, don’t be a stranger.

Have a good weekend folks. I’ll leave you with this…




#FF Pint – Castle Rock Harvest Pale

CC BY 2.0 Smabs SputzerThis will be the first in a series of posts to tip a nod to the good advice of my friends and followers, both here and on Twitter.

The plan is to send a virtual pint, using the #FF hashtag, each week to all those in the homebrew community I have swapped messages, tips, advice and comments with during the week.

As I said the other day, I’ve been blown away by how friendly and welcoming the community has been so far and am looking forward to meeting and tweeting more budding amateur craft brewers along the way.

So, I’m kicking things off with my favourite tipple from my local brewery, Castle Rock.

Harvest Pale is its flagship brew, a delightfully hoppy pale ale with a long, crisp finish. Multi-award winning, it was named Camra’s Champion Bitter of Britain in 2007 and Champion Beer of Britain in 2010.

Although brewed in my home city of Nottingham, using mostly British ingredients, it is the blend of citrussy American hops which give it such a unique flavour. It’s quite a bitter brew compared with some of the other pale ales I’ve tasted, which, in my view, sets it apart and whilst not a winter warmer, there’s no better accompaniment to a sunlit early evening in the beer garden or family barbecue.

If you’ve arrived here via the #FF hashtag, cheers! If not, thanks for checking this blog out and I hope to see you again soon.