Green Duck Brewery Co Visit

On Saturday 21st February, I didn’t have any plans for the day, the weather was a bit meh, so I decided to hop on a train over to the Green Duck Brewery Co in Stourbridge. I’d tried a couple of nice beers from these guys at the Birmingham Beer Festival 2014 (The coconut porter was one of the top beers of the festival) and saw them on Twitter talking about their bar so thought I’d take the opportunity to check them out and sink a few beers.

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The Badelynge Bar is roughly about a 10minute walk from Stourbridge Junction train station. It wasn’t too difficult to find at all. (I hopped on a London Midland train, they depart every half hour to/from Birmingham Snow Hill on Saturdays). The bar entrance is on the main road on the side of the industrial estate.

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Entering through the green solid steel door off the main street you enter into a large industrial unit space. Quite a few rows of benches and tables were setup for seating, along with a small lounge area on the right hand side with two comfy looking sofas to relax on. The bar was also on this right hand side. At the end, blocked off by a clear wall was the brewing area. Visitors are welcome to sit back and watch the brewing action up close. There was a rather large selection of board games available for people and a TV was also available.

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The beer board on the wall next to the bar offered up a great selection of Green Duck beers. There were 5 cask offering, a keg IPA and a cider. The bar also offered an assortment of spirits and soft drinks, plus snacks like cobs and pork pies. Green Duck work on a token system. £10 buys 4 drink tokens, these don’t have to be used in one visit and can be shared between people.

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The place had just opened when I arrived so was fairly quiet. It soon started to fill up with couples and groups, people with dogs arrived, people with children and babies. Everyone felt welcome and all seemed to be having a good time.Chatting to the guy working at the bar/brewery he was very friendly, chatty and fabulous at describing and recommending their beers to me. He made me feel very welcome.

Apparently the night before they held a music night event which had gone down a storm and they’d been really busy. Hopefully these events are something they continue with, I’d love to attend one.

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The first beer I tried was a Duck Blonde, a 4.2% ABV pale ale (Picture at top). This was a very smooth light golden beer. It had a fantastic sweet fruity hoppy citrus aroma. The taste was lovely, very floral and tropical fruits with a lovely bitterness about it. A real easy drinking beer that I would have been happy drinking all day long. This is apparently their most popular beer and I can see why people enjoy it.

Next I tried the Dandelion and Burduck Stout (5.5%). A beer brewed with dandelion and burdock, this pours really lively but settles quickly to be a nice dark black colour. The aroma is very dandelion and burdock-esque. On tasting, you get a nice roast malt taste and then the D&B flavour really kicks in to give a lovely aftertaste. This was very smooth and easy to drink. It maybe needed a little more body to make it excellent, but it was still nice. To me, this felt more like a porter than a stout.

The final beer I tried was a Sitting Duck (4.5% ABV), another light pale ale similar to the Duck Blonde. This is a lovely floral citrus beer brewed with Amarillo hops. It poured a nice golden yellow that had a thick white head that stayed prominently. A  lovely floral sweet aroma with a nice bitterness to it. Very nice beer.

Overall, I enjoyed my short visit to Green Duck Brewery. They’ve got a nice setup there offering great beer. There’s certainly a nice consistency to their beers and all the drinks I’ve tried from these guys have been good. If I lived a little closer I’d certainly pop in more often. The music nights and showing sports events certainly seems to be working for them and I wish them the best of luck.

I’ve still got unused drinks tokens so I’ll be looking forward to returning next month for their beer festival :-)

Beer: Brew By Numbers 08|03 Chocolate & Orange Stout

BBNo 0803I messed up when I visited the Brew By Numbers brewery earlier this month. I meant to try this beer fresh on draft but I misread the beer board and thought they only had the 08|01 Export Stout available so instead I ordered the 15|01 Black IPA (Which was still a fantastic beer). I didn’t have time to stay for another so I grabbed a bottle to take away.

The BBNo 08|03 is a chocolate and orange stout. Coming in with an ABV of 6.4% this beer is brewed with lactose, cocoa nibs and Seville orange zest. Pouring a thick inky black colour. The smell was pure milk chocolate loveliness. As expected the taste was a smooth rich chocolate and deep roasted malt flavour followed by a lovely light zingy orange bitterness. Personally, I would have preferred the orange to be a little stronger but it still worked really well.

Overall, a really nice smooth drinkable stout. Very enjoyable.

Score: 4/5

Source: Bottle from Brew By Numbers Brewery

Beer: Beavertown Gamma Ray

Gamma RayWOWZA! How had I never tried this beer before. It’s bloody fabulous.

The Beavertown Gamma Ray is a 5.4% ABV American Pale Ale. It poured out of the can a lovely clear golden amber colour. The sweet hoppy citrus aroma that hits you is amazing, already you can tell this isn’t a beer that’s going to hold anything back. On tasting, there was a great smack in the face from the juicy hops. Loads of tropical fruit, mango, resin flavours came through. It was also quite sweet and very fresh. This is a beer that has such a lingering sweet bitter after taste your taste buds are just begging for another drop.

I’ve been a fan of the Beavertown beers for a while now, but I’d never managed to get my hands on Gamma Ray before. Neck Oil and 8-Ball are two of my favourite go-to beers, but now I have a third to add to that collection.

Gamma Ray is a big bold aggressive beer. It wants to hit you with strong fresh juicy flavours and it succeeds. As an admitted hop head this beer is right up my street. This will go down as one of my top beers and my top pale ale.

I need to grab some more cans ASAP.

Score: 5/5

Source: The Bottle Shop, Bermondsey

Beer: Thornbridge Cocoa Wonderland

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I really enjoy a good chocolate beer, but before I try a new one there’s always a fear that it will be too gloopy or too sickly. Thankfully, this Thornbridge Cocoa Wonderland is neither. Coming in at a fairly strong 6.8% this Chocolate Porter has been brewed in Collaboration with Cocoa Wonderland in Sheffield to celebrate their 10th birthday (Read about how this beer was conceived here).

This beer pours a lovely deep dark black colour and produces a nice large frothy head. There’s a fabulous aroma of chocolate. On tasting, as you’d expect there is a lovely big hit of milky chocolate. This beer tastes superb, very rich and chocolatey, but also very smooth, and surprising light bodied. There is a fair bit of bitterness in the after taste that I liked.

I’d certainly recommend sitting back and enjoying this slowly, the range of flavours really build as it warms up. Very enjoyable as an after dinner treat or on a cold evening.

Score: 4/5

Sourced from: Cellar Door Drinks, Four Oaks

Beer: Thornbridge Jaipur X

IMG_7997Thornbridge Jaipur X is a 10% Imperial IPA, brewed to celebrate the 10 year anniversary since Jaipur was first brewed. As far as I can remember I’d never actually tried Jaipur until a little over two years ago (Obviously I was late to the party), and it was the first Thornbridge beer I’d actually tried. I knew of its reputation, and how highly regarded it was but I’d never actually grabbed a bottle or caught it on draught until that point. I remember being very impressed (Rated it 5 stars on Untappd). I’ve had it several times since then and always enjoyed it.

After seeing the wonderful Cellar Door Drinks by my work tweet that they had some bottles in, I shot round there after work and grabbed one.

This strong Imperial IPA pours a lovely light golden colour, almost oil like in colour and texture. A small frothy head quickly dissipated.The aroma was fresh and hoppy. It was a lovely beer to taste, very smooth and silky with a lovely strong bitter alcohol backbite that tasted beautiful. Certainly very deceptive for it’s strength but it tasted so good. I’d easily grab another.

Score: 4/5

Sourced from: Cellar Door Drinks, Four Oaks

Bermondsey Beer Mile – Feb 2015

We visited Bermondsey on 7th Feb 2015 to visit some of the breweries on the Bermondsey Beer Mile.

First stop was the fantastic The Kernal Brewery. It was fairly early so the place was a little quiet. I started with a superb glass of Pale Ale Nelson Sauvin Centennial Apollo (This was probably my beer of the day), a hoppy masterpiece. This was followed up with an IPA Centennial Rakau Ella Apollo Mosaic, a lovely strong fresh juicy IPA.

I purchased a bottle of the IPA to takeaway, as well as a London Sour Cherry and an Export Stout London 1890.
Kernal Brewery

Next we took the short walk up to Enid Street to visit Brew By Numbers. I’m always impressed with the quality beers these guys keep producing, and on this occasion the 15|01 Black IPA did not disappoint. A very lively beer with a thick tan head it soon settled to a great tasting BIPA.

Brew By Numbers

I purchased a bottle of 08|03 Chocolate and Orange Stout that I’m excited to try soon.

Next stop was The Bottle Shop. As always a good selection of UK and international beers for sale here. They also have draught beers for sale. Luckily, on this day Weird Beard Brew Co were there with a tap takeover on the mezzanine floor. They had 5/6 different beers available. I tried a superbly fresh glass of Mariana Trench. The fruity hops smack you in the face on first taste and I could have sat drinking that all day. Alas, it was time to move on again. I purchased a couple of cans of Beavertown Gamma Ray and Holy Cowbell India Stout before we left.

The final stop was a few steps up the road to Anspach & Hobday. Here I enjoyed The Stout Porter. A really interesting dark roasty beer. It was incredibly drinkable and I wish I’d seen it for sale in bottles to bring home but it didn’t seem available that day.

Anspach & Hobday

After this is was on away from the railway arches, and on to get some food (The glorious Byron Burger), and then off to watch Book of Mormon. Great day.

Cheers.

New home of MarkPovey.com

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Hi.

This is the new home of MarkPovey.com

I decided to move the site away from Tumblr and relaunch on WordPress.com. I’m still a fan of tumblr and all my previous posts can still be found over there at povester.tumblr.com. I’m using WordPress.com rather than self-hosting mainly because I don’t have time to keep on top of the maintenance required and I can live without the extra plugins for now.

I’m looking forward to trying out WordPress, I like that it’s more tailored to longer posts. I’m certainly not abandoning tumblr, I expect my foursquare checkin posts will still be appearing over there.

Expect to see more beer reviews and trip reports on here than in the past.

Enjoy reading.

Mark.