“ Brand: Brakspear / Type: Ale „
Bluebird Bitter Coniston Brewing Co "Bottle conditioned award winning English ale" Overview Coniston is a Cumbrian village on the edge of Coniston Water. It is an ancient mining village, dating back from roman times back to the bronze age. This ale originally comes from the micro-brewery of a 400 year old inn, the Black Bull. Update: 27/08/2004 - Grahamt has kindly offered an addition here and tells me that the bottled version is brewed in Horsham by ex-King & Barnes Head Brewer, Andy Hepworth. Thanks Graham! From the side of the bottle: "Bluebird is a fine session ale with a light golden colour. The intense resinous and spicy hop character which is the beer's hallmark is derived from the use of unusual quantities of English Challenger hops, each bale being individually and personally selected by the brewer. The malt is, of course, Maris Otter fermented slightly warm to give a soft fruitiness with a faint hint of scented geranium." One thing that particularly struck me about this beer was the fine layer of yeast inside the bottle. This apparently "cask conditions" the beer, and I have to say, it does taste as though it were pulled from a cask. And don't think I'll be spoiling the review too much to say that it tastes incredible. Appearance/Taste: Pours an orangy gold with a quickly diminishing head. Distinct aroma of geranium, becoming stronger as it warms up. Something of a floral, grassy taste, again becoming more pronounced as it warms. The water tastes particularly pure. Slightly carbonated. Slight bitterness, but the malt really takes the edge off it. This is a very tasty beer, although the flavour is not as strong as the aroma would suggest. So this ale is also something
of a tease and will keep you wanting more! And dear me, did that paragraph sound like the sort of thing a 'real ale ****' would write or what?? At least I didn't mention fruity mouths or hoppy noses... Sessionability: 4.2%. As this ale tastes so good, half the battle of sessionability is already won. As it also goes down so well and isn't too strong and isn't too weak, that's the battle and entire war won in my opinion. After I finished the bottle I instantly found myself wanting more -- not through urgency of wanting to get drunk or thirst -- but due to the fact that it tastes so good! Conclusion The award mentioned above and on the front of the bottle is when in 1998, it won the U.K.'s most prestigious award; Supreme Champion Beer at the Great British Beer Festival. From the first sip to the last, it was clear to me why. I'll be buying some more of these for the barbeque this weekend, and I'll be mounting an armed guard on the fridge. If only I had a pub to go with this beer! Fantastic beer, an easy 9.5/10. Their website is located below, but please put on your beer goggles to fully appreciate the site design. http://www.conistonbrewery.com/
Coniston bitter has recently started appearing in the supermarket near to me, and I’m a sucker for trying out all those bottled ‘real ales’, so it didn’t take much for me to give it a go! It’s produced by a micro brewery, Coniston Brewing Company, based up in the Lake District – in actual fact this is the work of two men, Ian Bradley and Rob Irwin. Bluebird bitter is what’s known as a “single varietal” hop beer, and a “session” beer. The taste is distinctly light and hoppy, and very clean. There is a faint tinge of fruitiness, perhaps citrus. It won the “Champion Beer of Britain award 1998” award, at the Great British Beer festival, so plenty of people like it – a lot. Here are some of the more technical details, for those CAMRA members: ABV = 3.6% (4.4% bottled) Gravity = 1036 The malts used are Maris Otter pale malt and crystal malt, and Challenger hops. Further information about the beer, and the brewery is available at their website, at www.conistonbrewery.com Here, a CAMRA expert describes Bluebird Bitter as having a “substantial 36 – 38 bitter rating.” Me, I don’t know what that means, but I’ll tell you my opinion: It’s very pale, and light, in colour and in taste, and in many ways I found it quite similar to beers such as Speckled Hen and Sainsbury’s Firecrest. There's a slight fruitiness to it, if I had to describe it - maybe apples or pears. Now I have to say, that this, lighter, type of ale, isn’t usually my favourite – it tends to taste very weak. There's a slight fruitiness to it, if I had to describe it - maybe apples or pears. In comparison with more full-bodied beers such as Ruddles or Newcastle Brown, that is. And I would honestly describe Bluebird as more of a pale ale than a bitter. In fact it has a pretty stand
ard taste – a fair enough pint, but nothing extra to make go yummm… or, for that matter, buy any more bottles in future. Another thing – I know the “Bluebird” name is no doubt intended as a sincere homage to Campbell’s accident, but for me it’s only ever going to bring to mind sad thoughts – and I don’t want a beer to make me feel depressed! That said, I love trying out the small breweries’ wares, and it’s great there’s a much greater variety available across the country nowadays. I’ve only tried the bottled beer – I am sure the draught option is wonderful when sampled from the Black Bull Inn, right next to the brewery itself. I'll definitely like to try the draught out whenever I'm next up in that region, and report back!
A fine session ale with a light golden colour. The intense resinous and spicy hop character, which is the beer's hallmark, is derived from the use of unusual quantities of English Challenger hops each bale being individually and personally selected by the brewer. The malt is of course, Maris Otter fermented slightly warm to give a soft fruitiness with a faint hint of scented geranium.