Well, that’s the sunny weather pretty much done for, it seems. Still, it gave me the opportunity to crack open some of those summer beers that we all know and love – pale, zingy, crisp and refreshing, and perfect for al fresco drinking.

One surprise entry amongst last weekend’s usual suspects – Thornbridge’s Jaipur, Wensleydale’s Coverdale Poacher, Copper Dragon’s Golden Pippin and Ilkey’s Mary Jane to name but a few – was Marks & Spencer’s Essex Summer Ale, bought purely on a whim whilst buying food because (in a childish voice) it had a pwetty label.

Closer inspection reveals this little treat to be brewed by Crouch Vale, brewers of such fine beers as Brewer’s Gold and Amarillo. Essex Summer Ale follows much in the same path, although more complex than Brewer’s Gold – straw in colour, but with a real tropical/Juicy fruit aroma, and a real C-Hop hit on the tongue. A slightly grainy body is lifted with an ever-so-slight hint of minty grassiness at the end of the sip. I enjoyed it immensely, and would happily drink it again. So there you go. Moonlighting occasionally works.

About leighgoodstuff

Blog: https://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.

Posted on 29/05/2010, in Beer Review, Copper Dragon, Crouch Vale Brewery, Ilkley Brewery, Thornbridge Jaipur IPA. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. >alfresco drinking…love it. I'm so glad the weather is getting warmer here in MI! These beers sound great. I must start trying some new ones! Thanks for visiting my blog! I've got to pass along yours to my husband…will love it!

  2. >Please do – thanks for commenting!

  3. >Pretty labels are a valid choosing method, one that I have been guilty of using many a time. Surprisingly it often pays off with a nice beer!

  4. >You know, I was thinking about this after I posted this; nonwithstanding being into design and particualry branding and poster art, i really do think that a good label, with thought and care and a bit of vision, can say a lot for the minds behind the beer. Possibly a future post in that; although it has been done before.

  5. >Tried Crouch Vale beers at the Saltaire Beer Festival last summer. They really are cracking beers and as a Yorkshire man that is a really hard thing to write!

  6. >Thanks for dropping by, Rob, and thanks for the heads-up RE: Ilkley's relocation.

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