Bexley Brewery is a new, independent operation that has only been up and running since September 2014. So it’s not surprising to hear this is the first of their beers we’ve tried. But before even opening the bottle there was something remarkably familiar about their Redhouse Premium Ale – the ingredients are ones we use regularly in our own home brews.
The main body of the booze is provided by malted barley, in this case a favourite variety of English ale traditionalists – Maris Otter. To this they’ve added some crystal malts – more malted barley that has been stewed in a fancy piece of kit before being lightly roasted. This process creates sugary malt crystals (hence the name), which bring a malty sweetness to beers and are often used by home brewers as an easy way of lending a bit more flavour to their more amateurish efforts. The third malt in the Redhouse mix is chocolate malt, a well-roasted grain that gives beer a dark, chocolate colour and a deeper, toasty flavours.
The hops used are Goldings, our ‘go to’ variety that we use for most styles of beer and are present in many classic English ales.
So, is it any good, and does it taste like our home brew? The answer to both questions is a resounding ‘yes’. And before you hurl your mouldiest tomatoes in our direction, accusing us of a lack of modesty, why wouldn’t it taste like our home brew? It contains the same ingredients and will have followed a very similar brewing process, albeit a professional brewer will be able to attain a little more control and consistency with their output than our bucket and bottle approach. Indeed, a quick twitter exchange with Bexley’s owners (@BexleyBrewery) reveals that their recipe developed on a similarly small scale to ours “We’re big fans of home brew, that’s how we started! The recipe developed from our home brew”.
Just as with our basic kitchen brews, Redhouse has no funky hipster flavours, is a very modest 4.2% and is unlikely to get the new craft beer cognoscente twitching with excitement. It’s not a surprising beer in any way. But it is a good, solid bitter that’s very drinkable and we’re sure it goes down well among the residents of Bexley and beyond. Most of all, it’s great that a new brewery has decided to create a very traditional, unfussy English style beer for its core range. With a brew-it-yourself revolution well and truly under way, isn’t it time you started brewing your own?
Brewery: Bexley Brewery, Kent
Beer name: Redhouse Premium Ale
Hops used: Goldings
Beer supplied by The Other Brew