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Nothing quite like a good pint

LOCALLY we couldn`t be luckier for Real Ale. I was reminded of this on a minibreak, back in October. On the way to Mersea Island we stopped at The Whale Bone in Fingringhoe for a bite and a pint. The sun came out, and the chestnut colour of my pint glowed an alluring bright copper-red. A small but distinct creamy head sat atop, and it smelled malty, maybe even honeyed, and floral. As it turned out, the aromas were Golding hop, said to be England`s quintessential hop, together with Boadicea hop, an environmentally friendly hedgerow variety. The Boadicea adds its own blossom, spice, and grassy notes. Its bittering characteristics are light and rounded. I took a long draught, only slightly creaming my moustache – par the course as a bearded man – and during the next seconds I was in Heaven. The liquid was silky-rich, coating my palate, while stimulating every taste bud with malt, dried fruit, honey, and a gorgeous bittersweet note. The beer was Colchester Brewery`s No 1 Copper Best Bitter (4.1% ABV). An excellent achievement. It was certainly going to be a hard act to follow, but never one to give up on a chase, the next day we went for lunch at The Coast Inn, West Mersea.  With Sunday Roast Beef I occasionally choose ale, over a red wine, but in a gastropub known for their good ales, it is a must! Today it was the turn of Captain Bob, an amber ale from The MIGHTY Oak Brewing Company in Maldon (3.8% ABV). This one has a twist of New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops, named for its aromatics which resemble that of the white wine Sauvignon Blanc, of gooseberry and elderflower fruitiness. They add a freshness to beer, which is why the variety is widely used in American style Pale Ales.  It was smooth and hoppy with a lovely balance between light malt and mild bitterness. Two fine beers I have now added to the selection we offer here in Gt Horkesley. Cheers everyone!

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