Saturday, 17 August 2013

Hog's Back - Hop Garden Gold

Hogs Back is pretty much my local brewery - our local sells TEA as its token real ale, and its ales are in every supermarket for miles around. People round here are proud of Hogs Back - they feel a sense of ownership, and its brewery tours - which I haven't done - are legion.

I've drunk a lot of TEA - it's nothing special - but I hadn't tried the Garden Gold (4.4%), which I found in Sainsbury's this morning. Part of the problem of beer tasting (by "tasting" I mean, "having a few bottles in front of the telly") is that your palate is very much influenced by what you've had before. So I moved straight from the Kipling to the Garden Gold, and they're very different beasts indeed - that may influence what follows.

Garden Gold isn't particularly pleasant. I found it very malty and barely carbonated, and after the (relative) delight of the Kipling that was just lumpen and unpleasant. Trying hard for flavour it is slightly flowery (maybe this is the "Garden" part of the name), but it has that long, dry, malty finish that really isn't that pleasant.

I wish it was better; I'd like to live somewhere with decent beers (I shall try and dig out something from Ascot Ales, our other brewery), but beer, like any localised foodstuff, is ruggedly geographic, and I have a feeling I live somewhere with poor beer-making facilities. I might be wrong, mind...I'll just have to try more.

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