Light in colour but rich in taste. Clover and buttercups from one of the few genuine Midlands survivors (Brierley Hill).
A classic old-fashioned mild with a sweetness that still manages to taste like a bitter
For all those who liked Theakston’s as it used to be. Great traditional bitter from Yorkshire by Paul Theakston before Scottish and Newcastle barred him from using his own name. Bags of body and even more in the drier, more astringent Special.
Now making it’s third appearance, and as popular as ever.
A national treasure. The Henley brewery’s reliable real amber nectar blends the hops and malt so you can still taste both.
Cheshire brewery gradually expanding. Last year’s magnificent Buccaneer tasted of ginger and spring onions. Top Hat is a more conventional, premium ale.
Unknown – try it and see!
Buckley was a Welsh brewery with 18th century roots: the bitter is slightly sweet but can be tasty
Dark Horse Ale
S B A
Deliciously embracing Cotswold ale from brewery even smaller than Hooky: beer that calls out for a hunk of cheese.
Well balanced and distinctive local brew
A rich amber beer that tastes stronger than it is (I think). Lots of malt and hops. Put one in your tank.
The great Chiswick beer champion’s pale gold warm weather ale: lighter than London Pride but still unmistakably Fuller’s.
India Pale Ale
A classic dry bitter from Porsmouth. Puts wind in your sails
From the family that gave you Brighton Rock. Suck it and see. Great, easy drinking session bitter
Strong, reliable and gently mind-expanding: worth acquiring the habit
Sussex Best Bitter
A beer for summer afternoons – or to make any afternoon seem like summer – southern bitter at its best.
Strong premium ale. One to pay your respects to.
Tawny brown, malty bitter with balancing hoppiness
Rich, dark, delicious and dangerous: the ghost of Christmas Past (and hopefully Future) miraculously preserved.
Reincarnated from First World War days, lovely liquid Treacle that won’t stick in your throat.
International silver medal winner. Drunk like water around here, but a great deal tastier.
A hint of old-fashioned toffee in liquid form.
Dark but not deadly, sweet but not cutey-cutey. In a word: mild.
When the sun shines, watch out: firm, dry, self-confident and bursting with flavour. Hooky’s celebration of summer.
One of the few great northern survivors. Never mind the admen: when at its best, this is the real cream of Manchester.
Well Known popular bitter.
A definition of the festival
A genuine new wave British microbrewery in best Somerset Tradition.
Cheshire family brewery: said by some to have an aniseed note, though I’ve missed it. Better have another one. Here’s to you, Mrs.
Would you believe this is the last big brewer in Kent, the home of English hops? Lovely soft bitter. Spitfire is a dry, strong modern classic invented to mark anniversary of Battle of Britain.
Often regarded as one of the best ales in the country, fruity, almost “lemony” bitter.
Old Spot Prize Ale
Fruity redish coloured ale, strong balaced aftertaste of hops and bitterness
One of the classics of the CAMRA years. Quaffed in copious quantities by students, despite (because of) the Sick Sex nickname.
Eagle I P A
Well balanced, with a dry finish.
Chunky Bedford bitter with a satisfying aroma and a pleasantly rounded palate. Fortifying.
The big brewer we all hate to love. Has turned real ale into a “theme” but then there are so many worse ones.
Yes, it does have a good body, but then what would you expect of a Hereford lass? Heaps of hops.