The pick of the very best new British ales to seek out…
If you like beer, there has never been a better time to drink it in the UK. Like Marvel films, the number of breweries is seemingly on an unstoppable rise, with 2,372 in 2017. The days of having to choose from five indistinct, insipid lagers on tap are long gone, thank God.
But where do you start when seeking out a newer brewery on the block? Well fret no more! We have picked five to keep an eye on. And you never know, you might see one of them in an upcoming Book + Beer subscription box…
BREWERY: LOKA POLLY
Location: Mold, North Wales
Beer to try: Chinook Mosaic India Pale Ale
Wales already has an award-winning craft brewery in the south – Tiny Rebel – but the north is a little short on brewers. Loka Polly is aiming to change that. Launching early last year, the brewers set up business in a former stable (the horse inhabitant was called Polly), brewing straightforward beers named simply after the ingredients used to brew them. Their motto is ‘Never stop improving’, so following that modus operandi, the beers should get better and better.
BREWERY: DURATION BREWING
Location: West Acre, Norfolk
Beer to try: Bet The Farm Hoppy Continental Pale Ale
Duration’s ambitious aim is to build the first true farmhouse brewery in the UK, meaning it’ll be doing something different to most craft breweries across the country once it’s up and running. In the meantime, it began with collaboration-only releases with other breweries, before brewing its first two beers in Norway last autumn. Building work is now underway on the impressive-looking farmhouse, with an expected finish date of next August. Keep an eye on this one.
BREWERY: WYLDE SKY BREWING
Location: Linton, Cambridge
Beer to try: Saison V.1
Wylde Skye’s beers started to come off the canning line last September, and they instantly began garnering praise by all who supped them. They brew in small batches, and tweak the recipe and ingredients as they brew, so each version is marked on the can, and they have their own tap room open to the public so you can visit and try their constantly rotating brew experiments.
BREWERY: WANDER BEYOND
Beer to try: Mango Manatee, its new Milkshake IPA
Put down that pale ale and pick up Wander Beyond’s Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Imperial Black IPA. Refreshingly different, right? That’s the kind of brews Wander Beyond is rustling up in its Manchester mash tuns after it began brewing in late 2017. Already the beers are turning heads and picking up awards, and this year can only see them head on to new and innovative areas. We’re big fans of the packaging, too.
BREWERY: MOUNT SAINT BERNARD ABBEY
Location: Coalville, Leicestershire
Beer to try: Tynt Meadow
A historic new UK brewery launched last year with little fanfare. Mount Saint Bernard Abbey became only the world’s 12th Trappist brewery, with monks brewing and bottling the Tynt Meadow Trappist ale. The monks had to get permission from the Pope himself to start brewing, and since then have learned the process from the other 11 European and US breweries. The first batch of their monastic brew – a strong, dark, fruity Trappist ale – began to be bottled and sold last summer.