The watchword at Stringer’s Brewery in Ulverston in Lancashire is “renewable”. The microbrewery (which they helpfully define as “like a big brewery but much smaller” on their bottle labels) is powered entirely by renewable energy. They’ve been around for about four years now, and are starting to have a real impact. All their beers are based on Maris Otter malt, whole flower hops and Lakeland water. Personally, I have had eight of their beers from the cask and three from bottles. I’m going to concentrate on these last three. None of these is bottle conditioned.
I’ll start with Stringer’s XB (4.2%), which as you would expect from its name is a best bitter. In fact, although the bottle is labelled XB, this is called Stringer’s Best Bitter when it comes from the cask. It’s a mid-orange in colour and the bottle produces a thin head. The smell combines a warm maltiness with nice flowery hops. The overriding taste is of the bittering hops – there is a real abundance of hop flavour which grows and grows through the taste. At the finish it almost tastes like quinine. The malt is detectable as a small undertaste. The cask version produces a more flowery dry finish, but either way, this is a beautiful beer.
Next, Stringer’s Dry Stout (no picture of this one, sorry). This has a respectable ABV of 4.5% and pours black. It is dark and deeply malty with delghtful hints of toffee, coffee and chocolate. The dryness becomes most apparent in the finish. Lovely.
Finally, we move on to the strongest of the three. Stringer’s IPA has an ABV of 5.5%, and packs a huge wallop of taste. It starts spicy and peppery, growing through a real orange marmalade middle and finishing with very strong floral hops at the end. A whole array of fantastic flavours in one mouthful. I love a complex beer, and I love this.
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