Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Oxfordshire Craft Beer Review: Hooky from Hook Norton

Oxfordshire Craft Beer Review: Hooky from Hook Norton real ale pump clip
Welcome to the Shed. I am even-star and this is The Beer in Review. Today's Oxfordshire craft beer review is for Hooky from Hook Norton.

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Hooky is a light amber beer. A light medium bitter. Some fennel hoppyness with a light malty sweetness. A fairly uninteresting but drinkable pint.

Hook Norton has been around for over 100 years and they have weathered the ups and downs of real ale (or craft beer) over that time.

They are a ubiquitous pint in the Stratford-upon-Avon area, which is where I had this, being Cotswolds based. They make definitely drinkable beers for their core range, if a bit old fashioned.

Those are easy to identify. The clips are all this sort of tapered shaped with the curly-kew at the top. Their other ranges look quite different to this but are consistent in the range. Some of the seasonal ones are in the style of this one while others are in the more modern style of their "crafty range". It was interesting to see when I was doing my bit of research that they are moving with the times.

Perhaps their longevity in the face of so many brewery closures and buy outs during the 1970s and 1980s is a testament to this commitment to pivot with their market. They are putting out what they call their crafty range of beers which look more modern and experimental than their core bitters. And they now have three keg offerings and bottled in addition to their cask operation.

This kind of thing in a macro or big brewer seems to get some people kind of angry. I guess because they are a big business capitalizing on a trend and if they do craft then they are going to put smaller brewers out of business blah blah blah.

But that is business... If it is going to sell, make it and sell it.

This was going to be an episode of Cask Ale Quicky Craft Beer Review on my YouTube channel but I have decided to rethink the format. There have been too many beers for me to realistically keep up with video reviews for them all. In the meantime check out my latest live beer review!




The Beer in Review is a blog about craft beer and real ale. Keep up with new posts and contact me with comments and questions on twitter or YouTube. I'd love to hear about your craft beer adventures and recommendations from your home town.