It’s time for a break from funky hipster tropically hoppy saisony spicy yeasty foreign canned craft beer. We’re due a good old fashioned English bitter. So how about we dip our beaks into this one? A brown bottle of booze fermented in a shire town with a little help from the hardworking local bee population.
For starters, there’s nothing hipster about the label. It’s a Lymestone lime green scattered with hand-drawn-by-computers fonts, awards logos and some daftly grinning bees. If the beer doesn’t give you a hangover, the label will. But we like it. Makes drinking beer made by bees look like fun.
Adding honey to beer is a very English thing. But it doesn’t mean the beer tastes of honey. This form of sugary goodness ferments out and tends to lend beers an extra level of dryness, while subtly adjusting the characteristics of the other beery flavours.
Stone Brood smells like a pub. A rural pub with the back door open, allowing the fresh country air to drift past the bar. And if that doesn’t tempt you to drink, nothing will. The taste is immediately of rich malts. Very English. There are hedgerow flavours of fruits and herbs with a bit of grassiness, which follow through to a booming earthy bitterness – with just a touch of floral sweetness kicking in at the finish. And it’s drier than a bee basking on sun-drenched petal on a hot summers day (I imagine – we’re more used to seeing soggy bees in recent English summers).
This is a properly good English style beer, like your dad drank when he were a lad, but with the post-craft-ale confidence to whack up the flavours a notch. Thanks to the Lymestone brewers and special thanks to the bees. If I had more I would definitely be on my way to a hangover, regardless of the label.
This bottle of beer was plundered from a case supplied by Best of British Beer
Brewery: Lymestone Brewery, Stone, Staffordshire
Beer name: Stone Brood