Saturday, 13 August 2016

Brum Real Ale Stroll 2016

The Brum Real Ale Stroll was organised by three of the Real Ale stalwarts of Birmingham City Centre: the Wellington on Bennett’s Hill, the Post Office Vaults on New Street and the Woodman on New Canal Street.

The Real Ale Stroll is still on offer at the time of writing, so customers who want to take part are provided with cards on which to collect stamps, two from each venue, for each pint of real ale purchased, with the sixth pint being provided free at the Woodman.
We didn’t fancy our chances of making it through six pints each, so we decided instead to make it a joint venture spread out across a sunny Wednesday afternoon.

The Wellington
Our first call was at the Wellington, the largest of the three venues, having bars on two floors and a roof terrace and function room.  Birmingham Whisky Club often host events at the ‘Welly’, one of which we reviewed herebut this time it was all about the beer.

Beer #1:  BFG (Bradley’s Finest Golden)
Brewery:  Black Country Ales
Tasting Notes said:  A straw coloured quaffing beer, with an impressive bold citrus hop aroma, fruity balanced sweetness and a lingering refreshing after-taste.
Dee said:  Light gold colour with a light yet bitter taste.  Good first choice for our sunny afternoon’s beer tasting.

Beer #2:  Piffle Snonker
Brewery:  Froth Blowers
Tasting Notes said:  A light-blonde beer with a floral nose and sweet start but with a bitter finish, 3.8 % ABV
Jay said:  Another light gold in colour.  Nice session ale at 3.8%.  Fruity first taste which didn’t linger.  Good ale.

The Post Office Vaults
The smallest of the three venues, the Post Office Vaults is located behind a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ doorway at the top of New Street.  Its small size means that it fills up quickly, and its book-style bottled beer menu makes it a particular draw for beer connoisseurs.  For our visit this time though, we chose beers on the pumps.

Beer #3:  Black Moss Stout
Brewery:  River Head
Tasting Notes said:  none available
Dee said:  I decided to visit the other end of the beer scale for my second pint.  This full bodied jet black stout greeted me with an enticing aroma of dark chocolate and toasted chestnuts.  Taste wise, it was rich, velvety and smooth, with a pronounced black cherry flavour which lingered right to the finish.

Beer #4:  Schnappy Blonde
Brewery:  Fernandes Wakefield
Tasting Notes said:  none available
Jay said:  Another light gold session ale.  Fruity on the nose, with a big blast of peach on the first taste.  Then a good helping of hops.  Yum!

The Woodman
The final venue, the Woodman, is located on the outskirts of Birmingham City Centre, near Think Tank at Millennium Point.  It is the only one of the three venues that served food, but unfortunately a kitchen fire thwarted our plan to have tea there with our final drinks.
They took the card away before we had chance to photograph it

Beer #5:  The Outlaw
Brewery:  Urban Huntsman
Tasting Notes said:  none available
Dee said:  Bronze coloured.  Quite a strong hoppy/fruity aroma.  Nice flavour reminiscent of the classic American Pale Ale style.  The sharpness and bitterness of the hops in an IPA was replaced here by citrusy notes.

Beer #6:  White Star
Brewery:  Titanic
Tasting Notes said:  A light refreshing distinctively hoppy beer with a freshness that belies its strength, so easy to drink it will fool all but the crustiest of sea dogs.
Jay said:  I am a big Titanic fan.  Their Plum Porter is my current favourite and their Cherry Mild is pretty good too.  This one is a malty, hoppy, slightly-more-than-a-session-ale ale, and a tasty end to our real ale stroll.

Dee’s Favourite Beer:  Black Moss Stout
Jay’s Favourite Beer:  Piffle Snonker