12 September 2020

Hop & Stagger Golden Wander Beer (Co-op) By @SpectreUK

Golden Wander Beer

No, this blog isn't for a packet of crisps and unfortunately I don't have any of that famous brand to hand to eat with this Golden Wander golden ale. This beer is produced by the Hop & Stagger Brewery, in Shropshire, which is just down the road (almost) from where we live. I do like the name of the brewery. It makes me want to start up a brewery myself and call it the One Step Forwards, Two Steps Back Brewery! Although maybe that's a bit long…

I am getting used to my Friday beer and blog after working out all morning. I guess once I finally get a start date at my new place of work after wrangling with HR, I'll have to change things around a little. Although probably not a lot, as I've paused my gym membership again until January this time due to the dreaded bug and so many restrictions on the place. I understand the 'why', but I don't half miss this sauna and steam room, and the company there. It'd be difficult to mingle with all those people though, what with all the visors and masks, and wipes, and temperature checks. Last time I was at the gym back in early March if you cleared your throat you felt like you'd be pounced on by people in Hazmat suits!

This 4.1% volume Golden Wander golden ale is low enough in ABV to be a session ale and I'm sure it would be a treat for anyone in-between work and gym sessions. It states on the front of the bottle that it has a citrus fruity bitterness and a slightly spicy finish. That sounds pretty good to me. So after chilling the bottle in the fridge as recommended, but not too much as to hide the malted barley and hoppy flavours, I retrieved one of my beer glasses from the cupboard and popped open the bottle.

There was a good deal of sweetness in the aroma of this Golden Wander, and it was packed full of malted barley and wheat. The mixture of malted barley and wheat overpowered any hope of smelling the hops though. This is not a bad thing, I guess, but I'm used to smelling a range of aromas on opening a beer and I found it a little unnerving. A break from the norm is as good as a holiday, so they say, and besides this beer is called Golden Wander after all.

On taste I found the wheat seemed to be fighting against the malted barley rather than working with it somehow. This created a bit of an odd flavour, not bad, but not wholly pleasant either. This made me think I may have left this bottle a little late to drink it, although the 'Best Before' date had another month on it. There was a slight herbal lightly spiced bitterness towards the finish, but I couldn't detect much citrus in the flavour. I must admit and this is definitely rare… I got a little lost in the battle between the malted barley and wheat with this Golden Wander beer. I think I'd rather stay at home!

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