Not only is St George’s Day a perfect time to celebrate English heritage and a bit of good ol’ fashioned dragon slaying, but it’s also (fingers crossed) possibly one of the first days of the year you’ll spend out in the garden clutching a cold beer and praying that the grey mass of cloud overhead will blow over. To celebrate the occasion, we’ve hand-picked a selection of brews that hail from locations spanning England’s green and pleasant land. Raise a glass to the patron saint and the many wonderful and diverse English breweries that are out there waiting to be discovered.
Buxton – Red Raspberry Rye Sour 4.9%
Buxtonis a craft micro-brewery, launched in 2008 and located in Buxton, UK (obviously). They brew tasty, aromatic, full flavoured, characterful beers, using hops from all over the world, and the finest speciality malts that they can get their hands on. This tart and refreshing Red Raspberry Rye is stuffed with raspberries in the kettle, while a few bushels of rye in the grist add complexity and body. Tart, fruity and spicy, this is a unconventional beer that’s rooted in brewing tradition and sure to give your taste buds a pleasant tickling.
Moor – Relentless Optimism – Modern ESB 5.5%
If you were faced with an enormous plague-bearing dragon and a kingdom willing to sacrifice its own children to the beast, then, much like St. George, you’d have to possess a bit of optimism when tackling the scourge – and the questionable parenting. Moor themselves have shown a fair bit of fighting spirit, as the close-knit team that took over in 2007 tirelessly strove to restore the Brewery’s reputation to its former glory following tough turn-of-the-century times (we think they’ve already surpassed their task!). This modern ESB (Extra Special Bitter) is a collaboration with Fuller’s and Cerveza Domus, using new British hops for a non-traditional twist on an old favourite.
Wild Beer Co – Somerset Wild 5%
Fermented with a locally harvested culture of yeasts and bacteria from the orchards that Somerset is famous for, Somerset Wild is a little bit of West England in a glass. The wet climate of the region is perfect for the orchards and pastures that are the lifeblood of the area, they are also perfect conditions for the yeasts, bugs and critters that are needed to make a unique sour beer. Sours are set to rule the summer, so why not get a head start with this complex Wild Beer Co. brew that possesses the acidity level of a white wine or farmhouse cider and is perfect for pairing with oily fish dishes.
Five Points – IPA 7.1%
When it comes to London-based breweries, you’re spoilt for choice. So, let’s not mess about. Here’s a straight-up IPA from The Capital’s The Five Points Brewing Company. Brewed with Galaxy hops from Australia and Cascade from the American Northwest, this India Pale Ale is overflowing with flavours of tropical fruits such as lychee and mango as well as boasting fresh citrus notes. A strong brew perfect for enjoying at home – whether it’s in the garden bathed in sunlight or sheltering inside for warmth during those chilly late-spring/early-summer months.
Mad Hatter – Stocky Stout – Sour 5.3%
Mad Hatter are the brewing world’s mad northern scientists. Responsible for wild and experimental takes on classic styles, the Liverpudlian brewery remain highly approachable despite their thirst for craft beer change – offering a crowd-pleasing yet unforgettable selection of brews. Their Stocky Stout is a contemporary take on classic sharp and dark stock ales. A roasty stout acts as a rich base for the addition of funky banana flavours that finish with a sour flourish. You’ve got a very important date with this Scouse brew. Don’t be late!