It’s almost here, sleigh bells are ringing and Santa is coming to town! By all means, you need to leave a mince pie and beer beside the fire, but gone are the days when you used to leave him a tin of bland lager. You need to leave him a brew with plenty of flavour and plenty of character, like one of these!..
Purity Brewing Co. – Maravilla Sour 6.5% abv
From a batch of only 1200 luxury champagne corked bottles, we knew that this beer would be something REALLY special! Brewed on a working farm in the heart of the beautiful Warwickshire countryside, Purity have chosen locally sourced Maravilla raspberries, the best Belgian tripel yeast and cultured lactobacillus from a local cheese producer for their first venture into the world of Sour.
Appearance: Hazy ruby-red, with an off-white head that reduces very quickly to nothing and is accompanied by plenty of bubbles.
Aroma: A subtle hint of raspberry and other fresh red berries, complimented by a touch of vanilla, almost creating a raspberry ripple effect, finished off with a dash of green apple.
Flavour: The raspberry is followed through into the flavour, creating a sweet fruitiness, and is counterbalanced by a slightly tart, sour, bitter finish.
Something new and exciting from Purity, that would even tempt the sour haters!
Available to purchase now for a limited period from bottleshack.uk or direct from the Purity Brewery Shop.
Belhaven Brewery – Twisted Mango IPA 5.1 % ABV
This is the latest fruit IPA from Belhaven and to be fair, it hasn’t even been out for a month yet, so it was pretty exciting for us when it landed on our doorstep!
Appearance: Golden amber in colour, with a thick, white frothy head and plenty of bubbles that slowly rise to the surface. The head retains, leaving a healthy bit of lacing on the side of the glass.
Aroma: WOW – very tropical, with plenty of sweet mango and a splash of grapefruit – quite floral too.
Flavour: A mellow tropical sweetness which is met by a bitter blast of hoppiness in the finish.
By all accounts, this is an exceptionally well-balanced brew and perhaps a refreshing change to your Christmas line-up!
Available to purchase here!
Little Valley Vanilla Porter – 4.5% abv
All brewed 100% organic with water from the Pennines.
Appearance: Deep, dark black, with a slight reddish glow and a thick, brown head that reduces quickly but stops short of completely disappearing.
Aroma: Rich coffee and roasted malts. A dash of chocolate and a subtle hint of sweet vanilla and orange peel.
Flavour: Powdered dark chocolate with a bitter blast of coffee, balanced out by a very delicate hint of vanilla sweetness in the finish.
Warming, the perfect after dinner, dessert beer! 🙂
Available to purchase here!
Christmas orders via the Little Valley website must be placed no later than Monday 18th December to ensure a delivery before Christmas.
Stroud Brewery – Ding Dong Mulled Porter 4.2% abv
From the epic brewery in Thrupp who only brew organic beers, we couldn’t wait to crack this baby open!
Appearance: Deep, dark ruby, with a thick, fluffy, beige head and plenty of lacing left on the side of the glass.
Aroma: Almost resembling a Black Forest gateau, with a fantastic mix of chocolate, berries, dark fruit and a slightly smoked underlay.
Flavour: Fruity and slightly tart, with a hint of cherry, warming plum, liquorice and mulled spice. Complimented by a warming bitter finish.
Quite boozy, almost comparable to a fine mulled wine but very session-able at the same time.
Available to purchase here!
Fownes Brewing Co. – LEVIATHAN 7.0% abv
The story on the side of the bottle reads: “The fishwives of the coast tell tales of a great beast that stalks the deep oceans, of seasoned Dwarfen sailors who never returned home, lost beneath the shadow of the Leviathan.”
Appearance: Jet black, with a very thin brown head that quickly disperses, apart from a slight reminiscence on the surface.
Aroma: Cherry, spiced berry fruit, coriander and a hint of molasses, polished off with a touch of ginger.
Flavour: Quite malty, with a dash of spice, liquorice and an almost sherry-like, warm, bitter finish.
Very herbal, with a very festive, spiced feel!
Available to buy at the Wineseller (Compton), Bottle Shed (Acocks Green), Stirchley Wines (Stirchley), Connolly’s (Birmingham), Simply Local (Burntwood), Tipplers (Bewdley) & The Crafty Bottle (Lincoln).
Gordon – Xmas 8.8% abv
“The original Christmas ale, Gordon Xmas started the tradition of Christmas brews. To accompany Christmas dinners and New Year evenings…”
Appearance: Dark ruby red, with a slightly off-white thick head that stays with you.
Aroma: A sweet cherry Bakewell fruitiness, with a touch of marzipan, fig and berries.
Flavour: Quite tart, with a slightly sour cherry fruitiness and a dash of burnt treacle that combines together perfectly.
The perfect brew to enjoy while in front of the fire on Christmas Eve!
Saugatuck Brewing Company – Neapolitan Milk Stout 6.0% abv
We were really excited about this one, we’ve heard so many great things about it!
Appearance: Jet black, with a brownish, thick fluffy head.
Aroma: Very sweet, smells exactly like Neapolitan… cocoa, with a hint of strawberry, coffee and vanilla.
Flavour: The strawberry and chocolate really come through, with a slightly boozy finish that creates a cracking combination and well-balanced brew.
Seriously, this is like drinking liquid Neapolitan ice cream, it’s sooo good!
Brew York – Tonkoko Milk Stout 4.3% abv
This brew is infused with hand-toasted coconut, Madagascan vanilla, cacao nibs and tonka beans! Winning Silver for Small Pack (Cans/Bottles) in the North East SIBA awards, having taken Gold in its individual category.
Appearance: Deep brownish/ black, with a thick, brown, frothy head that reduces quickly and a fair bit of carbonation.
Aroma: Rich cinnamon, spice and vanilla, complimented by a fantastic combination of coconut and coffee.
Flavour: Sweet coconut, that is counterbalanced to perfection by a bitter coffee finish.
This is truly incredible, almost like a coconut iced latte or a liquid Bounty chocolate bar!
Bellfield Brewery – Lawless Village IPA 4.5% abv
“Named after their neighbourhood of Portobello”.
Appearance: Crystal clear, light copper, with a white fluffy head that is thick and reduces, leaving plenty of lacing.
Aroma: Pine, with citrusy undertones and a dash of toffee and orange peel.
Flavour: Crisp and hoppy, with a sweet tangerine tang, followed by a bitter finish.
Very refreshing and the perfect starter for Christmas.
Two Towers Brewery – Sleighed Chillie Porter 5.0% abv
From the Brewery that rekindles the spirit of the city of Birmingham, hailing its bold innovation, history and proud heritage. You can also check out our review on when we met the Founder and Head Brewer, Mark, here!
Appearance: Deep, dark black, with a brownish tinge and a minimal head that leaves a slight bit of lacing on the surface.
Aroma: A bold hit of aniseed, delicately balanced with a hint of spice.
Flavour: An epic malty mix of chocolate and coffee that is finished off with a fiery chilli burn.
Very Christmas-y and the perfect winter warmer to enjoy before hitting the slopes.
Lacons Brewery – St Nick’s 4.2% abv
This brew is Lacons’ tribute to Great Yarmouth’s famous St Nicholas Church, which in 1942 stood burning, alongside the original Lacons Brewery, following a German air raid. A stretched fire service had to decide which building to save…thankfully the church was re-consecrated in 1961.
Appearance: Hazy dark copper, with a slightly off-white head that reduces quickly.
Aroma: A warming, fruity mix of cinnamon, spice and orange peel, complimented by a hint of chocolate in the background.
Flavour: The orange is followed through into the flavour as is the spice, creating a citrusy brew that is met by a touch of red berry fruit and slight malty finish.
Tell you what guys, Santa’s definitely coming down the chimney for this one!
Available on cask in selected bars and pubs during December.