Tag Archives: Yorkshire beer

Real Ale: Black Gold – Copper Dragon Brewery

Black Gold Copper DragonA recipe created from restored brewing records from the 1800’s. The use of traditional coloured and roasted malts give a unique rich and luscious flavour.

As detailed above, this is a lost recipe that has been recreated for the modern ale drinker. To date this is one of my three favourite porters or dark ales. It’s very light and smooth, it’s tasty but not too rich which can sometimes happen, which leaves me feeling like I need to cleanse my palette a bit before drinking some more. It’s a rich dark brown, almost black in colour, and there are hints of liquorice, toffee and coffee. It isn’t bitter and it isn’t fruity, which I’m not a fan of in pale ales and you sometimes get with some American hops. A real earthy drink that doesn’t leave a bitter after taste and it’s only 3.7% so a couple in a row is not going to leave you too fuzzy.

The Copper Dragon Brewery in Skipton has been around for a while and they produce an interesting range of beers and have recently diversified into producing a pilsner beer called Radka. I’ve not made it up to the brewery yet but it’s definitely a place that I want to visit, go on a tour, and maybe purchase a couple of ales from the shop.

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Real Ale: Kraftwerk – Revolutions Brewing Company

Mid-brown beer hopped with noble German hops. Medium-bodied, moderate levels of bitterness and a balanced finish. Somewhere between English brown ale and German Alt-Bier.

kwThis 4.5% beer comes from the Castleford based, Revolutions Brewery, where they pay homage to music from the analogue age, before digital and downloads. All of the names of their ales also come from music and they produce special brews to help promote brands. As it says on their website, love music, love beer.

This is definitely not your usual real ale and as mentioned above it does taste a bit like a German beer, but is dark and tasty without tasting like a stout, as it’s only 4.5%. So it’s not a heavy drink at all and it has a very mild bitter aftertaste. It’s very tasty and something rather special in my opinion.

Another thing I really liked about it is the more real ale I drink, the more I think about brewing as a science. To me the brewers are wizards or chefs, conjuring up the perfect pint, with a drop of this, a pinch of that, and two spoonfuls of something else. I know there are real ales like this one out there, and as a fan of dark ales and ruby ales I’m going to come across all of them sooner or later, but even so, they will be slightly different. This is because the brewery has approached it from a slightly different angle, and even with the same ingredients two brewers would produce something slightly diffferent.

Anyway, Revolutions Brewery has some great real ales and they love their music, so if that sounds like your sort of thing then check them out.

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Real Ale: Riders on the Storm – Kelham Island Brewery

A golden amber ale combining the best British malts and a combination of British and American hops which mingle together for a fragrance of fruits and spices. The addition of crystal malt gives a fulfilling equilibrium of sweetness and body.

This 4.5% pale ale is from a brewery I’ve not tried before, Kelham Island Brewery, which is based in Sheffield.The history of the brewery is quite interesting as its first beer was in September 1990, making it the first new independent brewery in Sheffield in almost 100 years. That’s pretty remarkable as breweries have been popping up across the Yorkshire region for many years, and yet it had been quiet in Sheffield until Kelham Island.

Another interesting aspect of Kelham is there is a link on their website which talks about working with local artists on the pump clips. Coming up with the name for a new ale is always going to be difficult, as it needs to be something catchy and interesting, but like so many other things, the packaging has to be eye catching. Most, not all, real ale is produced in the same sort of brown glass bottle. So the label, or if you’re in a pub, the clip, has to be something special. This isn’t a side of the process that usually gets a lot of coverage, so it was fascinating for me to have a behind the scenes look. There are some really interesting designs on the Kelham Island website here.

Anyway, about the beer itself. The name and the label caught my eye first, and the description above made me keep reading. I’m not a fan of ales that have a strong citrus edge, but a flavour of fruit and spices sounded interesting and worth a try. It was a very clean and crisp drink, a little bit of fizz, but not too much that I was burping a lot, which can happen when they’re too gassy. It was a little sweet, but also very mild in flavour. So while it was nice and I did enjoy it, some might find it too mild and want more of a kick in the taste buds, but if you like something smooth then I’d recommend it. The beer was also very light, as I drank a bottle and didn’t feel bloated or heavy afterwards. Colour wise it’s almost amber, but I believe it’s still classed as a pale ale.

More information on all of Kelham Island Brewery’s beers can be found here on their website. If you’re in the area you can arrange to take a tour and find out where they’ll be appearing at any events and all of their latest news is on their blog.

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