14 May 2011

Badger’s Spring / Summer Ales [Golden Glory & Hopping Hare] (Tesco) [By SpectreUK]

Badgers have been brewing ales in Dorset since 1777. Personally I never knew they had it in them. Badgers are black and white dog sized mammals that live underground and feed at night on bugs and grubs. The last time I saw a badger was a rather dazed one in the middle of a country lane that had been hit by a car. I barricaded the road with my car and called the RSPCA, but after half an hour or so the badger got up, shook its head and wondered off into the bushes. Badgers are tough creatures and the thought that they’ve been running a brewery in Dorset for over two hundred years astounds me.

Golden Glory

The bottle label states that there is a delicate floral, peach and melon aroma to this beer and that it should go well with duck pate or cheesecake. Badgers are omnivores, so would probably drink it with either or both at the same time. I have no idea. This ale really does smell powerfully of sweet peaches. The first taste is of sweet peaches, and then there is a decent bite from the beer as it hits the back of your throat, perfectly balancing the sweetness of the fruit with the hoppy bitterness. The ale has a golden amber colour to it and at 4.5% volume this ale should get any badger a little tipsy after a while. Just mind the traffic and no driving. Drunk badger’s driving over people is almost as alien as badgers running a brewery.

Hopping Hare

Badgers outsourcing to bunnies sounds completely absurd. All bunnies do is eat, sleep and play with other bunnies all day. What do bunnies know about beer? My first thought would be carrot flavoured beer, but the bunnies would eat all the carrots before they could brew with them. Instead the bunnies decided to use three different hops to make this thrice hopped countryside ale. “Goldings” and “Cascade” hops give this beer a citrus grapefruit aroma and a decent floral taste, “Firstgold” hops adds the bitterness. This ale definitely has a strong floral and hoppy smell to it. It has a pale ale copper colour and a crisp, sweet and slightly spicy taste. Hopping Hare has a warm sharp bitterness that makes your tongue tingle when drinking. The label recommends that roast lamb or spicy Thai dishes would go well with this ale, which is probably a good thing as there wouldn’t be any carrots left to drink it with. At 4.4% volume, this is a lovely strong pale ale, easily on a par with Marston’s Old Empire, and possibly one of my all time favourites.

It is my conclusion that badgers clearly know how to make excellent beer. We should make friends with badgers whenever we see them. Drink toasts to them using their beer, whilst singing “Badgers, badgers, badgers…” Be polite and always… always ask for more!
By Spectre

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