We were so overwhelmed with the response to last year’s festival that we felt it our duty to provide even more delicious beer for the thirsty people of Surrey (and beyond!) to enjoy this year… so we have done just that!
We have carefully selected over 100 beers for you to try (which are fully detailed below). This has been a difficult and demanding task for our organisers, who are selflessly taken on the challenge of sampling and selecting the very best beer that the South East has to offer. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!
ALL Godstonberry beers are locally sourced from Surrey, Sussex, Kent and ‘south of the river‘ London!
If fancy Sponsoring a Barrel, it’s easy and comes with VIP privileges – See our Sponsors page HERE.
The Godstone Brewers, who brew right here at Flower Farm, will of course be taking centre stage in our beer tent. With a cask-load of passion and knowledge, the future is looking promising. The Godstone Brewers are developing an honest, exciting personality and dream of people joining in their thirst for truly fresh beer.
This new world style PALE ale packs a serious flavour punch, brimming with hops and balanced with citrus tones for crisp refreshment. It’s named as an ode to the floating residents that live in the iconic pond on the village green.
A traditional English IPA. It’s named after John Trenchman, a retired pirate who came to Godstone as a smuggler in 1687. John appreciated a good brew, and unfortunately met his end to gunshot wounds in the Fox and Hounds in Tilburstow Hill. SPONSORED
Refreshing sweet mandarin character made to help you unwind after driving around the M25. PALE ale made with Maris Otter Pale Malt, Crystal Malt and Munich Malt. SPONSORED
Honey from Coulsdon is used to impart a truly amazing delicate taste of lime blossom to this dry strong HONEY ale. Made with Maris Otter pale malt and crystal malt. SPONSORED
The antithesis of black IPA though technically a STOUT, it defies its definition, rebels and delights. It’s deceptively full bodied and carries a complex grain character with a fruity, almost white wine finish. Locals say it tastes somewhere between an AMBER ale and a milkshake! – SPONSORED
Distinctly malty BEST Bitter, exclusively with English hops for strength and bitterness. It’s got predatory instinct and attitude – just like Rusty, a juvenile Harris Hawk owned and trained by Graham at Osney Lodge Farm in Godstone. SPONSORED
Japanese for “delicious”. PALE Ale with a twist of lime, lemon, lemongrass & Japanese green tea. The addition of lime and lemon juice make it nigh on impossible to fine crystal clear but the flavour more than justifies a slight haze when you need ultimate refreshment.
A malty RED ale originally brewed exclusively for The Hatch in Reigate, but now sneakily available at select beer festivals, like this one! – SPONSORED
A specially brewed fruity ale with Raspberries, Strawberries and Blackberries from Flower Farm!
Started in 2015 right here at Flower Farm in a 16th Century Oak Barn, Oxted Brewery now brew their fine, and very popular, fine ales in central Oxted.
Oxted’s beers first made an appearance in the Crown Inn, Old Oxted, but have since spread way beyond, and can be found at all the best Beer Festivals in the South East.
Hopped farther than most beers and… some say this has Columbus and Cascade hops in it and is brewed by a girl wearing high heel wellies…….! All we know is this is a hoppy, quaffable PALE ale brewed in the Heart of Surrey… SPONSORED
Some say we they 7 different hops, boiled for 90 minutes with 18 hop additions and its brewed by a girl who cannot smell the colour purple…..! All we know is, this is a complex and well balanced IPA, ENJOY!
Some say this beer is brewed with just Crystal hops and can only be made once the Mash Tun has been lassoed and led back to the brewery…! Light, fresh with a mild grapefruit taste. Mildly hopped, SESSION beer
Some say this has Challenger, Crystal and Cascade hops and is made by a brewer who leg-spins them into the Copper from 22 yards…..! All we know is this is a balanced, hoppy AMBER ale with a hint of caramel, very drinkable… SPONSORED
Another great beer in the making. Still deciding which one of several recipes to use… Will have to go back and do some more tasting we thinks…
Pilgrim Brewery was established in 1982 making it one of the oldest craft breweries in the South East of England. Reigate is on the old pilgrimage route to Canterbury and there are records of beer being brewed in the town for hundreds of years. A run business driven by the desire to brew the very best of beers, using only whole hops and a blend of heritage malts which gives the beers a consistent quality.
Rounded and well balanced flavoursome amber bitter SESSION Ale.
A richly coloured BEST bitter brewed with a blend of European and American hops which complement the dark malts. SPONSORED
A nicely rounded AMBER ale with a light soft body.
Pioneer uses only American hops grown in the state of Washington, which the brewery has imported. Its flavour is described as a having a grapefruit sharpness, which begins with a bit of fruitiness and has a mango finish.
Flower Farm are brewing up something special at Pilgrim. No idea what it will be called or what it will be, but sure to very drinkable! Details to follow!
Founded in 2012 High Weald are an independent brewery, forged in the heart of the High Weald, an ancient landscape in Sussex – rich in history and tradition.
. Honouring traditional brewing methods whilst giving them a modern, progressive twist.
Proudly crafting a small range of artisan beers full of flavour, creative & balanced.
Striving to make great beer for all to enjoy.
The latest beer addition to the range, this is a powerfully hopped, American-style session IPA. Big, juicy hop flavours with a bold tropical-fruit aroma.
Brewed using the classic combination of English Fuggles and Goldings hops, this Sussex BITTER has all the qualities of a fine session ale.
A light-bodied GOLDEN ale, packed full of English and American hops. Crisp and refreshing with citrus flavours and a fresh hoppy aroma.
Single hop Mosaic PALE ale Straw-pale ale, heavily hopped with just whole-leaf Mosaic. A showcase for the mango, passion fruit and citrus characteristics of this wonderful hop.
Nestled in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Tillingbourne Brewery has an enviable location well off the beaten track and close to the picturesque village of Shere. Its name was taken from the short river which starts as a spring on Leith Hill and meanders through the heart of the Surrey Hills villages. A river in steeped in history and famous for the production of Gunpowder.
A superb GOLDEN ale with a soft fruity nose. A bitter apricot front is followed by more soft fruits and a charming light hoppiness. It is brewed to be light, golden, slightly hopped session ale, with a taste appealing to everyone.
A full on 7 Hop IPA style monster with a citrusy rich sweetness followed by a powerful Hoppy bitterness – all perfectly balanced and extremely drinkable.
An extremely refreshing light GOLDEN ale that tastes well above its ABV thanks to being dry hopped with plenty of Citra hops. The perfect light ale to quench your thirst.
Smooth easy drinking TRADITIONAL English Ale which is chestnut in colour and light on the pallet. The sweetness comes from biscuit and caramel malts balanced with a selection of English Hops.
The Surrey Hills Brewery is located in the heart of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at the foot of Box Hill. The Brewery is in the rear part of the beautiful Denbies Winery Building which has been converted into a perfect brewing environment that is hygienic and safe. Significant investment in new purpose-built equipment enables the highest levels of quality control.
A straw coloured extremely moreish PALE session beer that has a surprisingly full flavour for its strength. A pleasant and distinctive aroma is followed by a moderate hop bitterness. The fresh finish leaves you wanting another…
Surrey Hills flagship beer is PALE in colour with a subtle hint of grapefruit and lemon in the aroma. The wonderful hop bitterness is complemented by a balanced malt flavour. The beer has a long finish, which is moderately dry.
A huge hop aroma introduces the “King of the Golden Beers”. There is a hint of spice in the fruity flavour and a long finish that completes this IPA classic beer.
This is Surrey Hill’s hop monster. Despite a relatively modest ABV for an IPA, this beer delivers an explosion of hops in every sense. A very special beer. SPONSORED
One of the most established and proven of the ‘modern’ microbreweries, based on the talent and innovation of its Head Brewer Lee and his brewing team. There’s something unique and special about Hammerpot: blending real ale tradition with a modern twist, Lee’s signature recipes respect the great British history of small scale brewing, partnered with many of the new hop flavours available from America and Australia, as well as traditional UK hops.
Golden to pale amber American PALE Ale. Fresh floral hops notes, spicy orange, crisp grapefruit and a hint of caramel.
A traditional pitch black porter with coffee, chocolate and rich roast malt flavours. Balanced with the bitterness of classic English Goldings hops. GOLD Porter.
A clean, fresh, session pale ale bursting with zesty citrus flavours and ripe exotic fruit balanced with sweet golden malt. SPONSORED
A light, refreshing session IPA combining simple sweet malt flavours with crisp citrus and airy floral notes.
Named as they are located right next to the Greenwich Meridian in Sheffield Park, East Sussex, which means we are at zero degrees longitude or 360 degrees longitude. This suited their approach to ask drinkers what they want to drink and involving them in creating the beers. Brewing since 2013 they have won many SIBA Regionals for London and the South East.
Brewed with a combination of Kentish and North American hops, this is a lighter-bodied, fully flavoured golden ale. A SIBA award winner. Light Hoppy Golden PALE. SPONSORED
A modern version of a traditional BEST Bitter, copper-coloured and brewed only with British hops to produce an aromatic ale with a clean bitterness. SPONSORED
An American PALE Ale, heavily hopped after the boil to produce intense citrus and tropical aromas and a long bitter finish. Another SIBA Award winner.
A variety of different malts creates the blood orange hue and sweetness to compliment the orange and citrus hop flavours. It is dry-hopped and Sicilian orange extract added to create a unique flavour and aroma. Juicy IPA.
Finely Crafted Real Ales brewed in the heart of Sussex in the small village of East Hoathly. near Lewes. Brewing since 2003 their original 1648 Ale has developed in to a huge range of very different and interesting beers, here’s just a few!
This new beer from 1648 combines citrus flavours into a dark beer leaving a light smooth chocolate taste in the mouth.
Double award winning ale. great help for local hay fever. Clear Honey coloured, Lightly flavoured with Sussex Downs Blossom Honey.
Named after 1648’s French brewer. Deep Gold, a full malty flavour lightly hopped with the aroma of French hedgerows.
Brewed on a beautiful 140 acre organic mixed farm in the Sussex Weald. The farm has a history of hop growing and some survive to this day in the hedgerows.
All Gun’s beers are unfined which means they are naturally hazy and suitable for vegetarians and in most cases vegans too. All the water used for brewing comes from their own spring source deep below the organically farmed land.
A classic American Pale Ale brewed using a combination of very pale malts and American hops. Vibrant, refreshing and zesty on the nose, with citrus notes and a dry finish on the palate. A beer for hop lovers. Unfined, naturally hazy, and suitable for vegans.
A refreshing extra pale session ale, brewed using Sussex spring water, extra pale malts and an indecent amount of zesty, floral, oh so delicious hops. Unfined, naturally hazy, suitable for vegans and gluten free.
Steeped in history; forgotten, then rediscovered and reinvigorated by Craft Brewers in America. Ours is a thoroughly modern take, where a rounded malt body meets an avalanche of hops. Mango, lychee, grapefruit. Love hops? Drink me.
Unfined, naturally hazy, and suitable for vegans
If a second beer doesn’t follow the first Reunion believe they have manifestly failed to meet their objective! Reunion beers are big on flavour, faithful to style but, above all, they are smooth, cleanly cut and eminently quaffable.
Flagship session beer of Reunion Ales. A lustrous gold in colour bringing mellow hop flavours, biscuit, husky and peel notes and a full hop and malt aroma. Truly session-able – 2017 Champion Beer of London Award.
Talwar is a light, crisp, very pale beer. Subtly infused with freshly ground coriander seeds Talwar is clean cut and refreshing at any time but particularly so during summer. With the appearance of sun-parched straw, the taste is very clean with a zingy, zesty finish; the aroma is resinous and spicy.
An aroma of dried berries and caramel is the precursor to a complex taste: some will speak of fruits, others mellow toffee with liquorice and coffee notes. The Northdown and English Cascade hops combine marvellously with the stronger, more kilned, malts. Pours a deep ruby red.
Described by some as “naughty” it takes time and will-power to force this many hops into the Copper. I.P.A. was awarded silver in the January 2017 London Brewery Beer Festival. Dry hopped as it conditions for extra oomph, a beautiful copper-straw colour with a herbaceous and fruity nose. The flavour is intense and lasting. SPONSORED
Handcrafting modern British styles of beer with a passion and love for every last drop. Proud to call Battersea home. Located between the mouth of the river Wandle and the Battersea Power Station, the borough is an exciting, vibrant part of London, perfect for a brewery founded at the start of London’s craft beer revolution.
Light well balanced Best Bitter with Maris Otter Pale Malt, Fuggles, Goldings and Boadicea hops. Myriad of awards including broze at the Great Britsh Beer Festival, not once, but twice!
A rich premium ale. Sweeter than Wandle it is brewed with a dose of crystal and roasted barley. Named after the nearby ‘Clapham Junction’, now a good reason to go up there!
Pale Ale that uses the addition of blossom honey to give it a delicate honeyed taste and a new hop variety from the Alsace region in France. A cross between Strisselspalt and Challenger, the hop has a delightful orange blossom aroma to perfectly match the sweetness of the honey.
Larkins Brewery is based in Chiddingstone, near Edenbridge in Kent and produces traditional Kentish-style real ales made using only hops grown on Larkins Farm. Founded in 1986 their experience in brewing consistently perfect ales is well established.
Our staple bitter and best seller. This smooth Kentish style tawny session bitter provides a pleasing balance of our own hops and malt, with a surprisingly plentiful character for a beer of such low ABV. An entirely sensible drink and a staple of the house beer pump in all the best local houses. SPONSORED
A full flavoured Kentish-style pale ale, packed with hops grown on Larkins Farm and with not a hint of grapefruit! This latest addition to the Larkins range is the colour of malt whisky, and is available year round. SPONSORED
This rich fruity ale is slightly darker and sweeter than the Traditional. Notes of summer fruits and caramel give way to a long bitter malt finish. SPONSORED
Downlands have been brewing in at Small Dole in Sussex since 2012. Passionate about experimenting, the team create a wide selection of ales, with intuitive branding, the best of which have been selected for the festival this year.
Session APA. A crisp modern pale ale that layers floral zesty aromas over grapefruit and citrus flavours.
Amber Best. A caramel and toffee nose leads into a rich fruity russet brown best bitter typical of the stylest.
American Amber. Punchy tropical notes give way to a rich malty base in this modern American amber ale.
Dorking Brewery is a 12 year old independent brewery based on the Surrey / Sussex border. 2017 saw the opening of a state of the art brew house, able to produce over 35,000 pints per week. The process of making beer is as natural and environmentally friendly as possible. This year the brewery will become carbon negative, further helping the environment we live in.
Latest is Dorking Gold Series. A Golden Ale with great aroma of passion fruit and refreshingly fruit flavour with balanced mild bitterness.
A modern pale ale with grapefruit and citrus flavours and a piney background. A new session beer of choice.
Dorking’s flagship bitter. An English pale ale with Bramling Cross hops and 100% British grain. The first beer they brewed and still going strong 10 years later.
Remake of an 18th Century Porter with smooth chocolate taste and hints of coffee.
Established by husband & wife Cliff and Jane Murphy who began as keen home brewers and then started brewing commercially in Erith in September 2014. After the closure of Reffells Bexley brewery in 1956, it was time for Bexley to have its very own brewery again! Proud to produce exceptional session, seasonal and occasional beers for locals and further afield. If you haven’t tried their beers yet – look out for the Green Ring Necked Parakeet on the bar.
IPA brewed with blend of two American whole leaf hops, Mosaic & Cascade. A deep golden beer with a fruity, citrus taste and a floral, spicy aroma.
A single malt golden ale made from Maris Otter barley and combined with US and Australian bittering hops to produce a refreshing ale with a zesty citrus flavour.
This ruby ale with crystal malt and English Goldings, has a rich malty flavour at a session strength.
Bexley’s Summer Ale is light and refreshing and brewed especially for those fine summer moments.
If what you’re looking for is “rock-bottom-cheap” and cold enough to freeze your tonsils this may be the wrong place for you, if you want taste and flavour and a genuinely delicious experience then welcome to Mad Cat Brewery and the craft beer revolution.
Mad Cat’s lightest coloured beer made with a single very pale malt.
Noticeably citrus hop aroma. Great alternative to Lager. Chills nicely.
Delicious peppery and spicy Ruby Rye ale, with a background of rich dried fruits.
Session Pale Ale with Wild West Cluster and Tomahawk hops produce a fruity balanced refreshingly light beer.
Dark and full bodied and balanced with Bramling Cross, East Kent Goldings and Cascade hops.
Originally a 6 British barrel brewery which brewed 24 firkins a week. In 2012 it had grown to a 12 barrel brewery and the production has risen dramatically to 140 firkins a week, using British barley and a variety of hops from around the world including, of course, the excellent hops from Kent.
Named to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation, launched from these very Kentish shores. A crisp, light golden ale, fruity and floral with an orange citrus twist.
The nickname given to Odo, Earl of Kent and half brother of William the Conqueror who was tried for defrauding the crown. A strong New Zealand Pale Ale. Toasted biscuit and rye malt flavours support a pine lemon hop crispness with a hint of vanilla.
Chestnut coloured bitter providing malt and roasted grains with fruit and floral hop bitterness with a hint of citrus. In 2018 the ABV changed from 3.4% to 3.5%
Brewing only the best craft beer with all the finest natural ingredients in Wandsworth, SW17 since 2011. They currently have 5 five and a half barrel fermenters and one eleven barrel fermenter. The brewery supplies their popular beer to around 200 outlets and only the best beer festivals!
A Golden Pale with a big character all to itself. A well balanced mellow malt gives the beer a clear and rich body whilst a myriad of well selected hops leaves the beer with a wonderfully crisp late bitter finish.
A tripped out psychedelic journey through the juicy delights of new world hops. Expect waves of tropical fruit flavours with notes of mango, peach and citrus to dance on your palate, a mixed up medley of taste travelling through time and space. Far out man! Far out!
A hoppy red ale with a touch of caramel sweetness to start, with smooth malt notes and a bold as brass hopped finish. A complex chap with flavour bursting from the seams, but don’t worry you’ll ‘ave an absolute blinding time ducking and diving with the Geezer.
A wonderfully amber bitter – Full of flavour but light on alcohol. Named after an olde world term to bit slightly the worse for wear.
Old Dairy passionately believe in brewing an exceptional range of very enjoyable and drinkable beers across a broad range of styles, using use only the best and freshest ingredients, many of which are available from local farms on our doorstep. CAMRA award winning beers!
Award winning classic English ale. Savour the delicious toffee flavours with a hint of coffee, perfectly balanced against the fruitiness, spice and hints of citrus from East Kent Golding, English Cascade and Challenger hops.
A superb golden pale ale which combines Maris Otter with Munich and Carapils malts, normally used in the finest continental lager. Add East Kent Goldings, Cascade and Fuggle hops and the result is a refreshing ‘anytime’ beer with good body, caramelised undertones and a distinctly gold colour.
Our rich dark premium bitter has a delicious toffee caramel body with chocolate undertones from the Maris Otter, Crystal and Chocolate malts. Balanced with a spicy and fruity bite from the Bramling Cross and Challenger hops, this is truly an ale to savour.
Pull up a deck chair and relax. Brewed with smooth Maris Otter malts balanced perfectly with distinctive Cascade hops for a delicious citrusy flavour, Summer Top is the perfect summer beer to refresh you on a warm summer’s day. Light, golden and very drinkable. SPONSORED
It was written in scriptures that towards the end of days, a brewery would be born in Herne and it will be named Goody Ales. From that day forth fine ales will be brewed using the god given fruits of the earth – barley, water, hops and a sprinkling of manna. Goody Ales use traditional methods to produce cask conditioned and bottled English beer.
WINNER of Best Kentish Beer 2015 in the Taste of Kent Awards – a golden ale with a fresh hoppy finish and undertone of zesty orange peel.
Fresh tasting pale ale, bursting with citrus flavours, a host of golden hops.
Deep amber ale with a warm vanilla twist on the palate and a soft feel on the tongue; a beer to guide you home.
India Pale Ale. Robust and citrus flavoured IPA evoking the taste of the Raj during this Indian summer.
Great beer comes from a combination of real brewing, passion and attention to detail and the best ingredients. Brewing since 1984, Hogs Back source the majority of hops within 5 miles of their brewery, and since 2014 have been souring from their own Hop Garden.
An enticing amber colour with a hoppy and slightly fruity aroma. We use the finest English malt carefully balanced with local Fuggles hops. This is gently fermented to leave some of the natural malt sugars, to give a full and satisfying flavour with a long, dry finish.
A drier, golden brew with Cascade, Centennial and local Surrey hops. Hoppy with strong citrus and floral notes on the nose. Light in body, with well-balanced hoppy and citrus flavours.
An easy drinking light amber bitter. A biscuity flavour with fragrant hops, leading to subtle malty citrus fruits with a long aromatic, hoppy finish and a light malty after-taste
At Hopdaemon the pursuit of the perfect pint of Real Ale has become a bit of an obsession. Traditional brewing methods are followed and quality is the name of the game. The purest ingredients are used at all times, and careful attention is paid to consistency throughout the brewing process.
An aromatic copper-coloured pale ale brewed from the finest malted barley and Kentish hops for a refreshing taste and a fruity finish. Deliciously fruity with spicy citrus hop aromas, SKRIMSHANDER goes well with good food and fine friends and has the clean fresh taste and dry hoppy finish of a great Kentish ale.
A golden ‘HELLES’ beer with luscious tropical fruit aromas and a crisp clean finish.
Brewed naturally from the purest ingredients and true zymurgy.
A refreshing golden session bitter, wickedly hopped with East Kent Goldings and Challenger. Citrus hoppy notes with hints of marmalade and a crisp clean finish.
A bronze-coloured special bitter brewed with Challenger and Kentish Cascade hops to give a superb aroma and a smooth malty finish.
Cronx Brewery was formed in 2012. Now under the successful stewardship of Mark Russell the brewery brews 5 core beers and 3 specials, with occasional seasonal beers thrown into the mix. ‘The Cronx’ is a portmanteau of Croydon (Or it’s postcode; CR0) and The Bronx, and has been used as an affectionate tongue in cheek reference to the often much maligned London Borough we call home.
To Kotch: London slang; To chill out, relax, enjoy doing nothing in particular. This is the perfect beer for that. A hoppy blonde ale brewed with Cascade hops to give it a citrus and peach aroma.
A pale ale brewed using Marynka hops from Poland. Hints of apricot on the nose combine with a hoppy, citrussy finish, to have you longing for more nektar.
Inspired by Croydon brewing heritage. Entire was a blend of ‘Three threads’ that were made by a Croydon brewery – Ale, hopped beer & tuppenny. Hints of chocolate, coffee and dark fruits on the palate.
New Zealand and US IPA with Comet, Waimea and Motueka hops.
Brewing a stunning range of modern beers using the highest quality of ingredients in the traditional artisan way. Farmhouse crafted in Birling, Kent. Paul Herbert and his team have come up with some exceptional beers. This special selection from their range includes a Barley Wine, and at 7.5% is the strongest brew on offer at the festival!
Dark and mysterious hoppy dark ale with easy-drinking qualities of a Golden Ale. SPONSORED
Kent Golding Bitter. A full-on dose of Golding and Fuggles hops for a taste of historic Kent.
American Pale Ale. Acitrusy pale ale highly hopped with some of the latest US hope varieties.
Strong Barley Wine. A luxurious aged barley wine with a rich fruity body. Might just want to stick to half pint of this one!
Located high in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and at the top of the North Downs Way, Titsey Brewing Co takes its inspiration from the history and heritage of the Titsey Estate where it is based.
While this microbrewery near Warlingham started small in 2017, head brewer Craig Vroom has big ambitions for its future.
This beer has got a nice traditional bitterness to it, with a touch of caramel flavour and aroma. It’s the perfect pint for enjoying with friends in a cosy pub.
Like sunshine in a pint glass. Delicious with a refreshing bitterness and a tropical citrus, mango and passion fruit aroma.
Leveson Buck is a feisty little fellow and a perfect refresher.
Real ale is a beer brewed from traditional ingredients (malted barley, hops water and yeast), matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide.
Brewers use ingredients which are fresh and natural, resulting in a drink which tastes natural and full of flavour. It is literally living as it continues to ferment in the cask in your local pub, developing its flavour as it matures ready to be poured into your glass.
Real ale is also known as ‘cask-conditioned beer’, ‘real cask ale’, real beer’ and ‘naturally conditioned beer.’
Real ale has a natural taste full of flavour with a light natural carbonation (i.e fizziness) produced by the secondary fermentation that has occurred in the cask. A real ale should be served at 11 – 13C so that the flavour of the beer can be best appreciated. You can recognise real ale in a pub as it is usually served using a handpump.
Real ale is produced by ‘top fermentation’ at temperatures up to 22°C which produces the rich variety of flavours in an ale. After primary fermentation the ale is allowed to mature at 11-13°C in a cask where a slow secondary fermentation occurs.
Lager is produced by bottom fermentation at temperatures 6-14°C and then it should be conditioned for several weeks at about 0 – 1°C during which time the lager matures. Traditionally lager style beers were brewed during the cooler winter months and then stored in cool cellars through the summer months. The German for store is lager – hence the name. However some UK lagers are matured for less than a week.
Real ale is a living product. It has not been pasteurised or filtered and has undergone a slow secondary fermentation in the vessel (i.e. cask) from which it is served. It is known in the brewing trade as cask conditioned.
Keg beer undergoes the same primary fermentation as real ale but after that stage it is filtered and/or pasteurised. No further conditioning can therefore take place. It is known in the brewing trade as ‘brewery-conditioned’ beer. The beer lacks any natural carbonation which would have been produced by the secondary fermentation and so carbon dioxide has to be added artificially. This leads to an over gassy product. Today some keg beers have a mixture of nitrogen and carbon dioxide added; these are known as nitro-keg beers.
Beer can be produced by either ale or lager style fermentation. Ale style beers can be broken down further into various styles.
Low in hop character these beers may be dark or light. Generally of a lower strength than (less than 4% abv) but may be stronger.
The most common beer style. Usually brown, tawny, copper or amber coloured with medium to strong bitterness, light to medium malt character may be present. Less than 4% abv in strength.
More robust than ordinary bitters. Brown, tawny, copper or amber coloured with medium to strong bitterness and a more evident maltiness. 4% – 4.6% abv in strength.
Complex in flavour and typically black or dark brown. The darkness comes from the use of dark malts. Full mouthfeel and a pronounced finish through bitter hopping. 4 – 6.5% abv in strength.
Typically black in colour. Initial malt and caramel flavour with a distinctive dry roast bitterness in the finish. The dry roast character is achieved by the use of roasted barley. 4- 8 % abv in strength.
Pale amber, gold, yellow or straw coloured beers with light to strong bitterness and a strong hop character which create a refreshing taste. Strength less than 5.3% abv.
Light bitters are defined as any bitter with an ABV of 3.4% or lower or an original gravity (OG) of 1034 or lower. By light bitters, we generally mean low gravity or low strength, but they do also tend to be lighter in colour than stronger bitters.
India Pale Ale changed the face of brewing early in the 19th century. The new technologies of the Industrial Revolution enabled brewers to use pale malts to fashion beers that were genuinely golden or pale bronze in colour.
First brewed in London and Burton-on-Trent for the colonial market, IPAs were strong in alcohol and high in hops: the preservative character of the hops helped keep the beers in good condition during long sea journeys. Beers with less alcohol and hops were developed for the domestic market and were known as Pale Ale. Look for juicy malt, citrus fruit and a big spicy, peppery bitter hop character, with strengths of 4% upwards.