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What do the Magic Roundabout and Real Ale have in common? No...As far as I know, Brian the Snail wasn’t done for being drunk and disorderly! Not too sure about Ermintrude though…sure I remember some sort of scandal a few years ago. But, I digress...do you give in yet? The connection is…drum roll…BEER! Zebedee is the spring offering from the Rebellion Beer Company. I discovered it by accident one Friday night in The Market Hotel, Chesterfield; one of my local pubs that stocks a wide and varied selection of Guest Cask Ales. I was about to order my drink (a pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord, as it happens) when my friend Yvonne (werewolf on Ciao) spotted the pump for Zebedee. Once I’d seen the lovely picture of The Magic Roundabout character springing into action I just HAD to sample it! The Rebellion Brewery opened up in 1993, by two school friends, in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. It’s not an old traditional institution like some breweries, but they have managed to expand up to a brewing capacity of around 200 barrels a week, from a previous maximum of only 50 barrels. With continued support from the beer drinking public they aim to spread further and get bigger premises. They opened up to fill the gap in the market left by the closure of Wethered's brewery in 1988. They now supply around 160 outlets and are always welcome as a guest beer in my area. The Brewery produces a good range of seasonal and regular beers and also brew for Scanlon’s Brewery (a firm that stopped brewing in its own right in 1997). Seasonal beers include: • Blonde Bombshell (4.3% ABV) • Red Oktober (4.7% ABV) • Roasted Nuts (4.6% ABV) Regular beers include: • IPA (3.7% ABV) • Smuggler (4.1% ABV) • Mutiny (4.5% ABV) I have tried, and thoroughly enjoyed, a few pints of Roasted Nuts last Christmas – my husband declined;
he thought they sounded far too painful! Zebedee weighs in at 4.7% ABV and is pretty strong for a spring ale. Looks wise is a very light, pale golden colour. It has quite a creamy head and is quite bubbly. Once settled (which it did quickly) it was clear and crisp looking. The colour was almost like honey; a very light brown indeed. In fact, at first glance it didn’t look like a bitter at all…it resembled lager! Panic over though because the look was where the similarities ended. The aroma was quite delicate and quite flowery; a little on the sweet side perhaps, but pleasant all the same. Taste wise, Zebedee is very refreshing and light. It also tastes slightly floral, but this isn’t unpleasant and actually adds to its refreshing delicate flavour. It is a perfect brew for a spring or summer evening and would be very thirst quenching on a warm afternoon. I didn’t find the beer to be overly hoppy in flavour and it had a nice full-bodied texture leading to a lovely fresh aftertaste. It feels quite rich and smooth in your mouth and is slightly sweet; a good tasty beer. It is easy to drink and very easy to forget that it is a reasonably strong brew: Be cautious and bear that in mind! Price wise, I paid £2.00 a pint for mine (I also paid the same price for my glass of Roasted Nuts), but as always, prices vary from place to place. It’s well worth the price and I would gladly buy it again! It’s a shame that I have only seen it in the one pub in Chesterfield and only as a weekly “guest” to the pumps. It may be next spring before I get the chance to try it again! It’s one that I recommend you to keep your eyes open for and try it if you get the chance. In case you hadn’t guessed, I’m recommending Zebedee as a good and tasty choice of beer. It has enough flavour to be interesting and is light enough to refresh you. Zebedee is an ideal combination of flavour and texture! Dr
ink too much though and you may hear Zebedee……. “Boing” said Zebedee “Time for bed!” Zebedee is right; it’s time for a lie down now I think. It could be worse...could have been those pink elephants again! Sorry, I seem to have gone a little strange on this opinion; it’s either too much beer or the fact that spring has sprung! ~~~Brewery Information Rebellion Beer Company Bencombe Farm Marlow Bottom Buckinghamshire SL7 3LT
A Spring Ale. OG 1048, ABV 4.7%.