Bonfire Night isn’t just about going out to watch fireworks and eat food on a cold and chilly evening, it’s about choosing the right beers to go along with all that! While someone else is sorting out whether you should go to an organised display, what food you should be eating, if it’s a finger buffet or something hot and tasty, you can be figuring out what beers and ales you should be buying! After all, whether you are going to be in charge of the fireworks or not, there’s no reason you can’t have a cheeky ale or two when the rockets have all been despatched to the skies above? To tantalise your alcoholic tastebuds, we have selected some nice fruity, hearty and warming ales that will sit just right besides your fireworks.
Old Speckled Hen – £1.69
Old Speckled Hen is a great tasting beer with an unusual name and a quirky character that’s unlike anything else. Old Speckled Hen has a full, smooth flavour and is very easy to drink. Its rich amber colour and superb fruity aromas are complemented by a delicious blend of malty tastes. Toffee and malt combine with bitterness on the back of the tongue to give a balanced sweetness. This is followed by a refreshingly dry finish. Old Speckled Hen continues to be appreciated by more and more fans, who are discovering that this crafted English beer is perfect with friends, during a quiet moment of relaxation or as a complement to a meal. Available from Tescos and Waitrose.
Hobgoblin – £1.39
Hobgoblin is the best-known and most popular beer brewed at Wychwood Brewery and was created by Chris Moss. It is 5.2% abv in bottles and cans, 4.5% (previously 5.0%, and before that 5.6%) on cask and is described by Wychwood as a “Ruby ale”. Jeremy Moss, Wychwood’s head brewer, describes the drink as “full-bodied and well-balanced with a chocolate toffee malt flavour, moderate bitterness and a distinctive fruity character with a ruby-red glow”. It was the first bottled beer in the UK to feature an illustrated label, as opposed to a simple text-based one, and it is currently the 5th best-selling bottled ale in the UK. Available from Aldi.
Bishops Finger – £1.87
Bishops Finger Kentish Strong Ale is brewed by Britain’s oldest brewer – Shepherd Neame, an independent family brewery founded in the heart of East Kent’s hop country at Faversham in 1698. Bishops Finger is Britain’s most distinctive premium ale, with an intense taste that is more challenging than other brands. Bishop’s Finger is full-bodied with complex fruit flavours. A cask-conditioned ale brewed to a traditional Kentish recipe, it is also exported in bottles to more than 30 countries worldwide, and is particularly popular in Sweden. Available from Tescos and Waitrose.
Tanglefoot – £1.90
Many years ago the Head Brewer, John Woodhouse – invited his team to sample his latest creation. On rising to go, his mischievous companion, believing a walk was imminent, tangled his owner up with the lead and Woodhouse fell upon the perfect name for this new beer. Tanglefoot is a golden ale with hints of melon and pear developed from fermentation. Ideal for steak and ale pies. Full bodied with a medium bitterness and a rounded smooth hoppy flavour. Hints of light fruitiness. Available from Waitrose and Asda.
St Peters Ruby Red Ale – £1.94
Sweetness balanced by bitter chocolate malt to produce a rare but much sought after taste. A rich, red ale with subtle malt undertones and a distinctive spicy hop aroma from Styrian Goldings Brewed with skill and patience in one of Britain’s finest small breweries. St Peter’s Brewery is in a medieval hall in a remote and beautiful corner of Suffolk. There our beers begin their loves deep below the brewery with water drawn from the purest source- as it has been for over 700 years, essential for the full flavour and pure character of all St. Peter’s beers. Available from Waitrose and Asda.