Craft beer advent calendar 17: Holden’s Golden Pale Ale

Another day where I’m doing two in one night to catch up, and another offering from Holden’s today, and this one is a pale ale. Immediately it looks as it should, being rather pale in the glass. In fact, it’s so pale that I wonder whether it will taste of much – it has not much body to it. And the aroma is very, very faint – there really doesn’t seem to be anything to this beer (it’s 3.9%).

On tasting it has something really unusual that I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it’s…caramel? It has a sugary feel to it that you get from sweets. But there really isn’t much to this beer. It would be fine for an opener at a pub, but I wouldn’t want to have more than one. 6 out of 10.

Craft beer advent calendar 11: Yardbird Pale Ale

Tonight’s ale is again from Greene King, and it looks like a pretty balanced one, with a golden colour. In fact. it almost looks rather like a lager. On the nose, interestingly, is a hint of white wine-type aromas – maybe grass and citrus fruit? – and a gentle feel.

On tasting it is really subtle but in a good way, not a watery way. It’s a 4% pale ale with a bit of character, but not in a bold way (which is contrary to how it describes itself.And I have no idea what a Yardbird is, or why there is a treble clef on the label. It gets a 7.

Kat’s thoughts

Not very fizzy; it’s light in colour but has quite a strong taste that I don’t like. It’s quite bitter and not fruity.

Craft beer advent calendar 5: Andwell King John

I hate to say this, but ‘King John’ makes me thing about the gangly lion character in the Disney cartoon version of Robin Hood, who flounces around in a rather camp fashion obsessed with his false power and whose crown doesn’t quite fit. (Yes, I know technically he was Prince John in Robin Hood, but my vague historical knowledge seems to have me thinking he did eventually become King, even temporarily, and even if not as a lion.)


So if Disney has taught us anything, it’s that this beer will be rather weak and weedy, which is probably totally unfair.

We have another offering from the Andwell Brewery in Hampshire, and this is a ‘rich amber ale’, although further up the label it is a pale ale. So, pale amber. It comes in at 4.2%.


It certainly is amber – there’s no doubt about it. So maybe Pale Ale is more to do with the brewing style than colour. On the nose it’s slightly peachy, but on first taste it’s a pretty mellow ale with a nice bit of subtle flavour to it. I did ask for subtlety a couple of posts back, and this is a beer I could mull over all evening. I like it, although perhaps with a touch more depth to it. Ultimately very drinkable and would earn a 6.5.

Kat is away this evening.

Craft beer advent calendar 1: Meantime London Pale Ale

So I was given a lovely (and slightly daunting) present for my birthday – a craft beer advent calendar. My aim isn’t to make a big deal with long posts, or I won’t do it, but it was a fun idea and so I’m going to record my thoughts for the blog.


As a bit of background, I do like craft beer, and I have tried a good few, but I don’t consider myself to be particularly knowledgeable. I like the taste of a decently strong ale, but I don’t consider myself to have been exposed to a lot of variety.

So today’s advent calendar ale is Meantime London Pale Ale. I’ve had this one before (I think in rather trendy bars and restaurants). It describes itself as ‘brewed with Cascade, Centennial and Kentish Golding’, which are apparently hops. I like that the bottle doesn’t do anything else in a self-aggrandising way.img_20161201_200118-copy Read More