A Delivery from The Old Dairy

074New Beer’s Resolutions; what are yours? Mine is simply to drink from regions I’m not too familiar with; and I’m not talking about globally – i’m talking about the UK. It occurred to me just before Christmas that there were whole regions in the UK that I generally had little awareness of, from pubs to beer. I probably knew more about certain parts of the US, which is disgusting, really.

So, online we go to buy more beer, I guess. The first brewery to pop up on my radar was The Old Dairy – about as bucolic-sounding as you can get. Brewed by Ed Wray (who also blogs regularly at Eds Beer Site), the labels catch the eye with a trio of leaning, slightly drunk-looking cows and has beers named with word ‘Top’ after them – something readers of a certain age who remember daily milk deliveries at dawn will crack a little smile at.

I first tasted Fresh Hop in Autumn last year, a pleasant surprise in a box of mixed beer I was bought as a present. As the name suggests, it certainly is about the hops here; that sharp, bold, brassy Kentish hop profile giving the beer a sharp finish. The beer only weighed in at 4% abv but left you in no doubt in the flavour stakes; that boldness carries onto the body which abounded with cereals and biscuit.  Crisp, clean and well-balanced, it’s a supremely refreshing pint.

IMG_3429Flipping the style guide over, I opted for a bottle of Silver Top (love these names), a Cream Stout. If a brewery called The Old Dairy can’t nail a ‘Cream Stout’ then they need to pack up and go home; but Ed won’t need to get the suitcase out yet. Enjoyed as the temperatures dipped and over the course of a massively entertaining cup game betwixt Bradford and Aston Villa, it certainly hit the spot. The condition was excellent; the brimming pint glass topped off with a frothy, tan head that invited you to stick your face in and drink deep. Chocolate buttons and smooth, sweet roasted malt dominate the body, and, as the sip goes on, a welcome wave of bubbles lifts it all up into a subtly crisp finish, stopping this sweet stout being cloying and finishing it off cleanly instead.

I enjoyed both beers immensely, and will be getting my hands on the rest of The Old Dairy’s range as the year goes on. Good work, guys.

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About leighgoodstuff

Blog: http://goodfoodgoodbeer.wordpress.com/ I'm Leigh Linley; born and bred in Leeds, and writing about it since 2005. TGS exists solely to highlight the great beers that are out there; brewed with passion by Craft Brewers around the World. I also edit the 'Tavern Tales' section of Culture Vulture, which looks at Pubs and Pub Life rather than the beer in the glass. If you'd like to submit a piece for Tavern Tales, or contact me about any Freelance writing you think I would be suited to, then don't hesitate to contact me via email here.

Posted on 09/01/2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’ve had similar thoughts myself for this year, not so much about exploring regions although that still applies, but more about finding some fresh but tasty low abv “drinking beers”, beers that won’t sit in my fridge or beer cupboard for months. I bagged a Fresh Hop from Beermerchants late last year, fits the bill. Cheers

  2. Cheers Leigh, glad you liked them. With the way the footie’s going it looks like I need to brew the beer to a 1911 recipe again next: http://edsbeer.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/1911.html

  3. Good review Leigh. Just got a Tsar Top (IRS) generously given to me by Ed and will be giving my thoughts on it soon, they all look really cool!

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