Brewery: First and Last Brewery
Sorry for the silence, folks. I’m alive and well and still enjoying my beer.
I have to say, the blogathon took it out of me a bit, in terms of wanting to sit down with a beer and write. That and a very busy non-beer-related schedule, which really took over, right through until Christmas.
I hope you all had a chance to try out a few new beers over the festive period.
Personally, I’m feeling refreshed and ready to tackle Dry January – head on. That’s right. I’m staring right down the barrel of the much better Try January and tonight I’m having my first beer of 2019.
Those who know me outside of the Poets Day Pint will know that, as well as beer, I have a real love for my native North East of England, and a particular fondness for the Kielder area of Northumberland.
Over the last couple of years, the area has seen the reintroduction of water voles. Having previously been a common site in the area, they have had a serious decline over the last 30 years, and Northumberland Wildlife Trust, through its Restoring Ratty project, has been at the forefront of the species’ return.
All cute, cuddly, heart-warming stuff, you say. But what does this have to do with beer?
Well, imagine my surprise, when perusing the fridge in the shop at Kielder Waterside, to find bottles of Ratty – a collaboration between the Northumberland Wildlife Trust and the First and Last Brewery, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (yes, when you bought that Lotto ticket, you were contributing to the brewing industry – well done, you!).
Of course, I brought one home, hoping very much that it would not be as furry as its namesake.
And finally, tonight, I’m getting to try it. So, what’s it like?
It’s got a very fresh, fruity aroma, probably very unlike what you get if you hold a real live water vole up to your nose, but I don’t intend to test that theory.
And, in terms of flavour, it’s very light. Unlike many pale ales, it’s also not too sharp – personally, I prefer them this way.
It’s not a beer that gives your mouth a pounding when it comes to flavour, but it’s certainly a very enjoyable beer and, because of this mildness of flavour, it’s probably one you could call “sessionable”, which is no bad thing.
If you like beers like Ilkley Brewery’s Pale Ale, then you’ll love this, knowing you’re supporting a great cause, because a donation from every bottle goes towards the Restoring Ratty project.
I’m 44, I don’t (always) have a beard (partly because when I try it is patchy, has gaps, with ginger and grey bits) and don’t take a clipboard to the pub. So, I’m not the stereotypical real ale fan of old, in the style that I was always told to look out for...read more