Vale Brewery: Checkmate

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Had a beautifully kept pint of this on Friday lunchtime at The Black Prince in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

A bright straw colour with a good retained head that hung around to the end of the glass.

The first sip had a hugely refreshing bitterness that was on a par with beers such as Jaipur or Proper Job, but as it’s a pale ale rather than an India Pale Ale it didn’t have that massive hop flavour and aroma that I crave these days…that’s not to denigrate it at all – it’s a fine tasty beer and I could easily sink a few pints of Checkmate as it’s a perfect thirst-slaker for this time of year…

PS: A request for the head brewer at Vale: please brew a version of this  recipe and hop it up mentally, post-boil, with a big American hop variety – something like Cascade – and I think you’d have some very happy drinkers! (Especially me!)

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