Brewer toasts beer accolade

WHEN it comes to which real ale to sup the choices may seem endless to anyone but connoisseurs.But now an expert has revealed his top 10 "must-try" beers – and the list is great news for Essex brewery Crouch Vale because their Brewers Gold has been selected as one of the best.

WHEN it comes to which real ale to sup the choices may seem endless to anyone but connoisseurs.

But now an expert has revealed his top 10 "must-try" beers – and the list is great news for Essex brewery Crouch Vale because their Brewers Gold has been selected as one of the best.

Award winning beer writer Roger Protz, whittled down the final 10 from a selection of 300 beers he suggests everyone should try before they die.

The South Woodham Ferrers company only started in 1981, but after Greene King bought Essex brewer Ridleys last month, Crouch Vale found itself as the oldest brewery in the county.


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James Partridge, a spokesman for the company, said Brewers Gold was launched in 2000 but was so popular it now accounted for just over half of the 82,000 gallons it produced each year.

He said: "It is a very pale looking ale, so much so that it is almost as clear as lager.

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"It has a strong aroma because of the hops which are used, which are actually called brewers gold, and it gets its name from that."

The company sources the hops from as far a field as Oregon, USA, and Germany with all the other ingredients coming from the UK.

With production of about eight ales at any one time, the company's operation is very busy but it regards itself at the larger end of the microbrewery scale with pubs in Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and North London on its books.

But reciprocal arrangements with other breweries across the country means Essex's finest has also been supped in pubs further afield across country.

Mr Protz, twice winner of the Glendfiddich drink writer of the year award, said: "You can't beat the conviviality of a good pub serving good beer.

"There's never been a greater choice for beer drinkers in Britain, with milds, bitters, porters, stouts, golden ales, old ales and barley wines."

Roger Protz's Top Ten Beers to Drink in British Pubs in alphabetical order are -

1- Brakspear Bitter, Oxfordshire

2- B&T Edwin Taylor's Stout, Bedfordshire

3- Cains Dark Mild, Liverpool

4- Crouch Vale Brewers Gold, Essex

5- Fullers ESB, London

6- Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter, Sussex

7- Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted, Scotland

8- Marston's Pedigree, Burton upon Trent

9- Taylor's Landlord, Keighley, Yorkshire

10- Young's Bitter, London

n 300 Beers To Try Before You Die! is published by CAMRA Books and can be found at the Great British Beer Festival which runs this week at London Olympia.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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