Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Midweek Special Craft Beer Review: Sorachi Ace from Whitstable Brewery and Rock A Hula from Rockin Robin Brewery

Welcome to the Shed. This is a mid-week double bill special edition of The Beer in Review. Today we have reviews for Sorachi Ace from Whitstable Brewery, Rock A Hula from Rockin Robin Brewery, and an even-star Adventure Story from even-star.

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I got to try these two great beers at the most amazing pub on Sunday. We were hiking in Kent and both of these breweries are new-to- me Kentish beer makers. But more on that AFTER THE BEER.

Sorachi Ace
First up there is Sorachi Ace from Whitstable Brewery. This is a single hopped beer. That is to say a beer flavoured with a single variety of hops. There are lots of different kinds of hops and they all have different flavours that they can add to beer. Some people find single hopped beers too simple. Sorachi Ace is a kind of hop. A crazy hybrid multicultural hop. Awesome.

This beer did indeed have a simple flavour profile but a quite interesting one. It tasted more like apple cider than beer. It was pale gold, dry, astringent, and tasted strongly of apples! So thirst quenching after our hike.

BTW: Whitstable is a gorgeous little town on the Kent coast. If you are ever in the vicinity I recommend going. There is cheap parking on weekends in the middle of town at the primary school. Make sure you take a stroll down to the harbour and up the hill to the "castle".

Rock A Hula
The second beer I tried (and there were like SIX guests on at this pub) was Rock A Hula from Rockin Robin. And just let me say I LOVE their branding. For a young microbrew they have a solid brand image and the little guitar playing Robin (presumably a reference to the founder) is a great mascot.

It was hoppy, pale gold, dry, with flavours of lemon peel and grapefruit. It wasn't dissimilar to Bo'Ho from Tiny Rebel. The pump clip says it is a new world pale ale and Rock A Hula does indeed have that American style craft beer taste. It is so hard to define but when you taste it you say to yourself: Yup that is American hops or something there.

So how did I come by SUCH exotic fare this weekend? Well, that would take a little...

even-star Adventure Story

So one thing that Bear and I like to do, besides sailing, is tramp around the British countryside. On Sunday we went for a hike in the lovely rolling hills of Kent around Sevenoaks. We parked up in a little village called Weald Village and proceeded to brave the perils of the Kent wilderness including beligerant sheep, vicious cows, nettles, brambles, and soaking mist. We loved it!

The village, where we started and ended the hike, had but one pub and it was called The Windmill. As you can see it has some rather impeccable credentials.

This was truly an exceptional pub. One of the best I have ever been in not just for the sheer amount of products they had available but also for the atmosphere. They don't have a website or anything but trust me, as of June 2015, this was a lovely establishment. The food looked amazing.

There were six guest ales on pump, Belgian fruit beers, craft lagers on tap, gluten free beers, and the regular gamut of keg bitters and lagers for the less adventurous. The pub itself was ancient and loaded with old carved furniture and pub memorabilia from the ages. The dark wood bar, rather than being littered with the usual pump clips, was draped romantically with boughs of hops.

It was warm. It was friendly. And after an 8 mile hike in the drizzle of English June it was bliss!

The Beer in Review is a blog about beer. Mostly British beer because that is where I live. I post a review every week day. Make sure you check in on Friday which is when I reveal BEER. OF THE. WEEK! You can contact me with comments and questions on twitter or facebook.