Skinner’s: Cornish Knocker


(Yes, yes, I know it’s on the piss.  My photography really is going to pot lately)

Now you know that I’m not a fan of cartoony, goofy labels – but in this case, because the beer’s so good, I’m going to let it pass.  I still don’t like them, though…

One more thought before I get into the review proper…what is it with the English and their love of Cornish beers?  Do I only notice this because Cornish brewers are the only ones who say where their beer’s brewed?  Or is it because the Cornish are particularly good at brewing?  Or are Cornish(wo)men prouder of their birthplace?  Who knows…

To prove the point, think about Proper Job, Tribute, Doom Bar and now Cornish Knocker.  All decent, drinkable, volume selling beers – all from Cornwall.  Funny isn’t it?

Anyhow:  Knocker arrives in a glass a very nice bright harvest gold colour, with a thinnish, but persistent white head.

With a very generous nose of biscuity malt, cereals and honeyed sweetness, this is a attractive looking and alluring pint.

Upon first sup you get a really lovely mouth full of sweetly soft, “beery” beer; a beer that’s not particularly bitter, but does have a sustaining aftertaste that just goes on and on, a very refreshing drop indeed…floral, honeyed and quite possibly one of the best beers that you could hope for on a summer’s day (it’s pissing it down again as I write this…)

Knocker is dangerously drinkable…really. I’m not just saying that: I only had one bottle to taste and as soon as it was gone (and by crikey it was gone quickly) I wanted another.

Don’t look at it on the shelf, take it off of the shelf and buy it…

(that’s the other bit I enjoy…writing all that above and then going off to get the hyperlink from the brewer’s web site; very often there’s also the brewer’s tasting notes on the page – and it’s always fun to see if my tasting agrees with theirs…it did this time, well and truly…)

Adnams getting all “crafted up”…


Ok, ok, I know.  “crafted up” is such a wanky turn of phrase, but on a pub-less Friday lunchtime I couldn’t help myself.

Anyway; It seems Adnams are producing some very exciting beers, either in partnership with other brewers or all by themselves.  Folks, this is precisely the sort of thing that all brewers should be doing: keep a good solid range that’ll always get drunk and give yourself license to experiment..and when you do, shout it from the rooftops.

Look at these last couple of press releases from the Adnams site:

A double IPA in collabortaion with Mitch Steele from Stone Brewing:

Jack Brand Mosaic Pale Ale:  (I’m first in line for this when I go to visit the in-laws in Suffolk)

A red Ale with Camden Town Brewery:  (Red ale doesn’t sound that exciting, but look at the hop bill: Topaz, Summer, Ella and Galaxy – it’ll be a fruit salad of a beer!)

Well done, Adnams,  I look forward to trying these beers and putting my thoughts into print.

Partizan: IPA


WARNING: piss-poor photography alert

An English-made US-Style IPA is the sort of thing that gets me all excited and hot under the collar…it’s that feeling of drinking at the bleeding edge of English brewing that does it, I think.  I get the same sort of thrill from The Kernel, Siren and Magic Rock’s beers.

This bottle of Partizan IPA is another of my purchases from Westholme stores in Goring (I’m quite sure I couldn’t lay my hands on a bottle of it anywhere else outside of London for love ‘nor money.  That’s the trouble with the leading/bleeding edge, it’s just so non-provincial)

Partizan IPA has to be poured carefully as it’s bottle-conditioned and in doing so, produced a very large and lovely-looking snow-white head.

Appearance-wise, a very light straw colour with spritzery, ample effervescence and just the vaguest of haze…which I hoped very much was from dry-hopping.

The nose is gloriously honeyish malt and heady hops – which contribute summery, floral and spiky pine needle notes.  A teasing little resinous hint appears just a little later and helps to brings the whole together.

The taste is mouth-filling ethereal hops and light tasty malt that exactly echo the notes found in the aroma.

As Partizan IPA is not as bitter or as hefty in the mouth-feel as the traditional US IPA style dictates, you get to appreciate the sheer craft that went into brewing this beer…this is powerful, expert hopping – delivered with a velvet glove…

(…and just the like the folks at The Kernel brewery, it seems as if Partizan aren’t afraid to mix it up a bit hops-wise.  Study the bottle it’ll tell you what hops it’s got.  Shame I forgot to take note of what I had in mine…I think I was enjoying it too much…)

St. Peter’s: Best Bitter


The kids are asleep, it must be time for a beer…

Dontcha just love St. Peter’s and their crazy bottles?  It’s a sure-fire way of standing out from the crowd…and you know how I can go on about making beers stand out…

I’m not overly familiar with St Peter’s output – but hope to be in future, based on my experience of this particular beer*.

(*Obviously the St. Peter’s folks – or any other brewers – are more than welcome to send me beers for review; all you have to do is email…I mean, the site is now getting between 200-300 hits per week, so it wouldn’t be completely wasted…)

St. Peter’s best bitter arrives in the glass without ceremony – but certainly looks the part with a suitably best bitter brown demeanour about it and a tasty looking head.   There’s not a vast amount of aroma – just a little maltiness, but hey, it’s a bitter – big aromas just aren’t in the style.

The taste is refreshing with a well-judged light fruity maltiness and a very respectable bitterness that just goes on and on.

This is text book best bitter styling from St Peter’s: mouth-wateringly drinkable, satisfying to the last – with just enough complexity to keep you interested – and just low enough in alcohol (3.7%) to keep you quaffing.