Us Steel City citizens do proudly like to think of Sheffield as Britain`s beer capital and never has this been more pointedly true than this past week. The world famous Sierra Nevada brewery took over DaDa`s on Thursday whilst our Hudd heroes Magic Rock did similar over on Division Street at the newly opened Brew Dog. Meanwhile, out-of-town SIBA based their BeerX festival at Ice Sheffield, of all places, and charged enthusiasts err enthusiastic prices. The launch of Beerkeepers, Thornbridge`s latest ale, was far less publicised but free and held in a much more amenable venue than the other three events, The Coach and Horses, Dronfield.
Amongst other collaborations, Thornbridge have invited staff from their multiple pubs to visit the Bakewell brewery to concoct their very own beer with mixed results. We disagreed about Baize, enjoyed Kacho and rejected Rattlesnake but how would Beerkeepers fair?
Hot-footing it from work to procure one of the first pints, I did not hold out much hope as honey and beer work together as well as a er, um, a Con-Dem coalition. However, Beerkeepers hits the spot. A slightly cloudy golden-blonde body with an unexpected creamy top presents itself and the first taste is a pleasant lemony / fruity mix which cannot help but remind you that it is no longer Winter! The honey only appears in the aftertaste and it is subtle enough to balance well with the fruit sweetness. At 5.3% this brew is hoppy and citrusy but far subtler than most Bakewell brews. It could possess a sting but it certainly does float like a butterfly and you could easily go a few rounds with this Coach special. Very moreish and very quaffable, fair do`s this is the first honey beer I have ever enjoyed! I only wish the fish `n` chip Friday we had planned had been in operation because we`d probably have still been there now with a host of other ale goodies to go at (cask St Petersburg, Otto, Biere de Garde). This Coach creation is a keeper!
Mike`s Score - 7 / 10
Danny`s Score 6 /10
Danny`s Score 6 /10
NB - Having re-sampled the Beerkeepers, it is fair to say that the taste develops further down the barrel. Trying the ale 4 days later, the honey really came through resulting in sweeter supping. Danny tried Beerkeepers at The Cross Scythes but preferred the Endcliffe ale. I also had the chance to try the Biere de Garde which is 7.4%, I think, and is a very nice Spring / Summer beer.