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Published 17th November 2016
To mark International Stout Day (3 November), we’ve been sipping and slurping our way through the BBC Good Food Show craft beer and real ale exhibitors to come up with the ultimate Top 10 for Real Ale connoisseurs. If you’ve got an ale drinker in your life, check out some of the gift pack and subscription offers available and be confident that you’re giving the star pressie this Christmas!
The clue’s in the name – Hiver Beers proudly source all their honey from
independent British beekeepers. For this brown ale they ferment raw blossom and heather honeys to complement and add depth to darker roasted malts. A light hop bitterness finishes a flavoursome and unpasteurised brown ale.
Don’t just take our word for it, BBC Good Food Show regular Tom Kerridge is also a fan “The entire Hiver product, from taste to packaging, has been carefully crafted.”
Taking the hassle out of home brewing – just add water and the yeast supplied and hey presto – you’ve got 20 pints of deliciously dark ale in just 10 days.
And if that wasn’t easy enough, Victor’s Drinks is stocked by a number of online stores including Tesco and Amazon, so just add to your online order and away you go!
Full-bodied and highly hopped, this award-winning ale is packed with rich flavours and marmalade zestiness.
Howling Hops are relatively new to the scene, with their brewery established in 2011 in the heart of Hackney. Their range of craft flavours are available via Honest Brew – who take creativity to the extremes with music and artist collaboration infiltrating their products too.
(They do a beer club too BTW, with plans at time of writing from £20/month, Xmas present anyone?)
In their own words, “a cracking best bitter” and we couldn’t agree more. Using traditional methods, Gower Brewery is spreading the word of Craft Ales and proudly states that they’re one of the fastest growing breweries in Wales, established in just 2011.
If you’re in the Gower area, you can even go on a brewery tour, followed by a tasting session!
We completely love the spicy berry tones that come through in this amber ale, Peacock. It’s an easy drinker, so don’t hold back on your order!
The ultimate gift for the ale drinker in your life! This good looking pack contains everything you need (well, apart from the 23 pints of water) that you need to make 25 pints! Yes, 25 pins of beer!
What’s more, you can buy Moonshine Drinks in Lakeland - win win!
Fisbock is a stunning little bottle of supercharged Aventinus that was created by accident while regular Aventinus was shipped across chilly Bavaria in containers lacking temperature control. Occasionally the beer partially froze and this concentrated the brew as water turned to ice leaving a stronger, more complex liquid behind.
Twice awarded CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Scotland, this authentic ale is the flagship beer of Orkney Brewery and will not disappoint. Dark Island is balanced by flavours of dark Chocolate, dried fruit, figs and nuts from the combination of roasted malts and rich hops.
Check out the Reserve Gift Pack, for an extra special treat.
One of the most established breweries on this list, Wadworth Brewery has been brewing in Devises since 1875. It feels like all of their heritage is infiltrating their bottled Espresso Stout - a deep, black velvet stout brewed with the Kenyan Nyeri coffee beans and muscovado sugar to give a richly bitter coffee flavour and smooth sweet finish.
It’s delicious with a chocolate pud, or try it in place of your after-meal coffee.
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