Monday, 18 May 2015

Nightfall - Cross Bay Brewery

Not only is Cross Bay Morecambe's only brewery but it proudly boasts over twenty beer styles produced by their twenty eight barrel plant, that notwithstanding Nightfall is my first Cross Bay ale. On the low ABV side of the session ales this well balanced bitter shows their brewing pedigree superbly.

Smooth and well rounded Nightfall sits nicely in the mouth and has a gentle fruity taste with a hint of spice and a slightly resinous undertone. An easy drinking bitter with sweet fruit and woody notes which proves to be extremely moreish and the perfect accompaniment to a roast ham sandwich or a handful of pork scratchings. Nightfall is clear amber to the eye and has a hint of tropical fruit on the nose, it laces in concentric rings and its that pleasant symmetry which sums up this ale's character perfectly.

For more info from Cross Bay follow their blog.

"Inspired by...nightfall across the bay, illuminated by a full moon." Cross Bay

ABV 3.8%
Nightfall - Silver Award - Standard Bitters - SIBA North West Beer Competition 2013 (October)

Going Coco Loco Down In Erm Barrow Hill - Grafton Brewing

Okay so the title doesn't quite ring...

I was dragging myself round the Barrow Hill Roundhouse on Rail Ale trade night after a long shift at work looking for the kind of dark oblivion I adore in an ale when the bar tender pointed me to Coco Loco.

Ah rich chocolaty malty goodness I thought but no not that kind of coco greeted my lips. Then I realised this is my old nemesis Grafton Brewery they of the scathing Pint of Pernod review remember? Paper thin pump clips and the promise of a magical gem from a small brewer with big imagination.

On first look Coco Loco is dark and inviting, poured straight from the cask the head was barely existent and the ale itself a little warm but hey its a worn in glass at a festival, you know how it goes.

First sip and a massive coconut hit shocks me out of my complacency, its like drinking a half pint of Malibu but this time in a really good way. Smooth liquid silkiness with a full mouth feel meets fresh and full of hidden malty notes fighting to the front of my palate rounding this ale off beautifully and making it exceptional from start to finish. However this will not be an ale for everyone, it is very sweet and has a lot of vanilla, the cola is there too with a spike of lemon but personally I love it. Hats off to John, Richard and Danny at Grafton Brewing for creating my personal ale of the festival.

COCO LOCO - 5.0% abv 
Doncaster CAMRA Beer Festival - Best Speciality Beer 2013
South Notts Beer Festival - Best Beer Overall 2013
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