Beer blog: Enlightenment on a Binghams tourBy Ginger Beerd
March 06, 2013
Hello dear readers, I bet you thought I had forgotten you!
Not a chance, Ginger Beerd just had a little week off to research for future blogs. And boy have I been busy.
On Saturday I took a little trip over to Binghams Brewery – a personal favourite – for a brewery tour.
Now I like to think I am a reasonably intelligent man but I confess I had absolutely no idea how beer was made. I still don’t really, apart from there is a lot more vegetation involved than I realised.
But I came away with a far greater respect for the job those brewers do.
The brewery at Binghams is on a pretty unremarkable industrial estate in Ruscombe, surrounded by engineering firms and plumbers – I wasn’t really paying attention so I am generalising intensely.
Internally, the brewery is as unremarkable as the outside, but then they don’t build these places to look good, they build them to produce fantastic beer.
The tour itself was excellent, lots of knowledge and experience, and particularly the process of brewing the beer was very well explained, to an audience of ten or so.
I haven’t mentioned yet that throughout the tour, we were plied with half a pint of each of Binghams' finest – Twyford Tipple, Brickworks Bitter, Space Hoppy and the seasonal special Total Eclipse – this is worth a try while it lasts – a deliciously contradictory dark pale ale.
And I have to say despite my previous blog praising the Space Hoppy, Twyford Tipple (3.7 per cent) was superb, a very easy drinking malty ale. I can see why they sell so much. It was unanimously the group favourite of the four we were served.
We picked up some of Bingham’s bottled Vanilla Stout and Chilli Hot Dog stout out of curiosity – but that is for another blog..
On to the weekly recommendations:
Favourite ale of the week: Fat Cat 4.2% – Rebellion Brewery. One of Rebellion’s fantastic specials. I was fortunate enough to try Figure Head and Abandon Ship from their 2012 Nautical series and I am pleased to say this latest one lived up to expectation – a red ale that went down pleasantly with a bag of Jalapeno Pepper crisps. Unfortunately the Rebellion website doesn’t have their 2013 specials listed, but they are worth a few shiny coins if you see one.
Most recent pub visited: Shurlock Inn pub, Shurlock Row – This West Berkshire pub isn’t far from Bingham’s, and is a wonderful example of how a community banded together to form a co-op and takeover their local.
The Shurlock Inn is owned by 17 locals who all have shares, and the put itself offers a warm welcome and a very warm fire. The food menu was great and they had a good range of ales on tap, including Fat Cat above and Twyford Tipple.
Beerd news: The CAMRA North London ‘London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival’ is coming up this weekend (Friday 6th to Sunday 8th) at Camden Centre on Bidborough Street. 80 ales as well as ciders and perries. Visit www.camranorthlondon.org.uk/viewnode.php?id=772
See you next time beerdies!