Cumbrian Crackers from Booths
I spent some time last night on Twitter doing one of those ‘virtual tastings’ that are proving quite popular at the moment. It was for Booths, the northern food outlet, and they’ll be stocking Great Yorkshire Beer in their Ilkley Store if you’re local. The main reason behind it was to launch their Beer and Cider festival, which is running right now until the end of May.
Up here, Booths have a somewhat cult following for those who like beer. Their range is excellent, and more importantly, local to that specific store, which means that no matter where you are it’s always worth popping in and seeing what treats you can find. Doing virtual tastings and the like is helped immensely by the fact that the beer’s so damn good; especially the two corkers from Cumbria that were sent along to comment on.
Festival Ale is brewed by Hawkshead – who have had a long-standing relationship with Booths – and weighs in at a lithe 4%abv. Fresh, zippy, incredibly light of body but finishing with huge mouthfuls of lemon and grapefruit pith, it’s a Pale Ale that you really want to try to get your hands on if you are a fan of Windermere Pale and NZPA (and who isn’t?). It’s a limited edition brew, but I start the move here and now for Booths to stock it permanently. Wonderful.
Stringer’s Delta V (6.5%abv) is a big, bold, brutish UK IPA. Burnished Amber, the nose was incredibly vibrant with fresh, peppery hops – with more than the usual citrus default going on. On the sip it’s thick with boiled-sweet sugar and a big, boozy warmth appears at the end; just before a long, long, long bitterness kicks in, reminding you that this is a beer to respect. It’s lovely; another home run from Stringers.
Anyway, check out the festival for northern treats and don’t miss these two. You can also check out Baron Orm’s (who took part, too) ratings here. Also, in a stroke of coincidence, Dave Bailey has recently blogged about getting Hardknott listed in Booths – and it’s worth a read.