BeerCast #41 – Pic n Mix (Pt 2)

Hello again! This time it’s the London office’s turn to  fire up the ole garageband and get recording another instalment of the never ending story of wonder and intrigue  that is The BeerCast. We reunited the dreamteam of Andrew Hayes (Key keyboard and bitter consultant), Nick Fraenkel (Chief Japanese and Sanchen adviser) and old stalwarts Andy and Jess of Andy and Jess.

It’s another rollercoaster mystery pic n mix surprise episode with none of the usual theme guidelines to keep us on course. As a result we do off-road a fair bit but it’s all in the pursuit of beery excellence. Oh and garageband stopped twice during recording so look out for special sound effects during the episode – Enjoy! Andy


1. Peter Scholey’s Organic English Beer (4.1%abv)
Ridgeway Brewing, South Stoke, Oxfordshire.
500ml glass bottle

Ridgeway Brewing was formed by a former head brewer from Brakspear. Described as a cuckoo brewer because this organisation does not own a brewery but contracts brews, primarily bottled beers for other breweries on other people’s plants mainly at Hepworth. A few beers have also appeared under the name Ridgeway Brewery.

What They Say“The English Target hops, coupled with its unpasteurised condition, help give this great ale outstanding clarity of aroma and intensity of flavour.” [Vintage Roots]

What We Say
Andrew – I’d drink significant amounts of it in any kind of garden 7.5
Nick – Elderflowers and honey, i’d like it with some burnt bread 7
Andy – Smells flowery but it’s not too sweet 7
Jess – Lots of honey and lemon, lovely 7


2. Riggwelter Black Sheep Ale (5.7%abv)
Black Sheep Brewery, Masham, North Yorkshire.
500ml glass bottle

Established in the early nineties by Paul Theakston, 6th generation of Masham’s famous brewing family, the brewery has grown from strength to strength and in early 2007 it was proudly awarded ‘Brewery of the Year’ by The Good Pub Guide for the second year running. In addition, Black Sheep Bitter was chosen as the North East’s favourite cask ale in the 2007 Best of British Beer Awards hosted by Cask Marque and the Daily Telegraph.

What They Say“Brewed with many generous handfuls of choice Golding hops, it is full flavoured premium ale with a rich fruity aroma. The bittersweet malty taste is followed by Black Sheep’s uncompromising long, dry and bitter finish” [Official Website]

What We Say
Andrew – Surprisingly clean, hits you in the eyes a bit though 6
Nick – Bitter foretaste, not much of an aftertaste, not as complex as it should be 5
Andy – I would struggle to drink a bottle of it 5
Jess – Quite interesting, I’m getting Riggy with it 4


3. Little Creatures Pale Ale (5.1%abv)
Little Creatures Brewery, Fremantle, Western Australia
330ml glass bottle

Andrew picked this little gem up in from a wine shop in west London no-less. Beer websites tend to be bobbins but Little Creature’s website is a pleasure to visit, I’d really recommend it – (link). The brewery looks to be run very much in the spirit of the Innocent smoothie brand, with happy looking employees all having a say in the company’s progress and not a one of them sitting doing accounts on the computer. The result? Lovely beers. There’s a lesson there i think..

What They Say“Bag loads of whole Chinook and Cascade hop flowers that we source from Washington and Oregon in the US as well as some local flowers from Tasmania are thrown at this beer, creating an intense citrus and grapefruit aroma and flavour that we balance with a careful selection of specialty malts and a local pale malt made to our own specifications.” [Official Website]

What We Say
Andrew – Lychees, pineapples, I’ll open the second bottle 8
Andy – Smells like a bag of pot pour at your aunties 8
Jess – It’s downright floral, but a nice bitter grapefruit edge 8
Nick – Tastes like lychees and lollies (Chupa Chups) 5.5


4. Gale’s Seafarers Ale (3.6%abv)
Fullers, The Griffin Brewery, London.
500ml glass bottle

Fullers say they donate 5 for every barrel of Seafarers ale sold to Seafarers UK, the leading martime charity. The ale was only released in the bottle on Sep 10th 2009. The press release from Fuller’s says “Seafarers Ale is an extraordinary cask ale, developed as a tribute to Gales’ close association with all who sail the seas. Launched as a year-round beer in April 2009, Seafarers Ale has already sailed past the 1,000 barrels sold mark, resulting in a donation to Seafarers UK, the leading maritime charity, of £5,000” That’s pretty good, but do good intentions translate to good beer tastes?..

What They Say“Seafarers is brewed to 3.6% abv and is a delicious, thirst quenching ale. The secret of the hugely satisfying, refreshing taste of this light, amber beer is in the blend of finest quality English malt, Admiral hops and the unique Gales yeast.” [Official Website]

What We Say
Andrew – It’s not slapping me in the face like the sea, but it has an edge of sulphur i quite like  5
Andy – A little bit watery (pun intended) 5
Jess – Disappointing, thought it would be more robust like a sailor 5
Nick – Smells like sea air, couldn’t tell the difference with Fosters 4.5

No then.


Panellists – (from top left) Andy&Jess, Andrew, Nick

  • Listen to the episode here: BeerCast #41 London Pic N Mix (Pt 2)
  • Subscribe to the podcasts in iTunes or our site feed
  • BeerCast panel verdict
    Little Creatures (29½/40)
    Organic English Ale (28½/40)
    Riggwelter Black Sheep (20/40)
    Seafarers Ale (19½/40)

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