I am sure many have spent more time going down internet rabbit holes during this enforced time at home than they might have liked. My weakness has been ordering beers to try and replicate the pub.
The result of one of these little lapses arrived this week with a box of Adnams on my doorstep. I’d ordered a box of Ghost Ship, but stock issues resulted in being sent an Adnam’s selection box. Not exactly what I had ordered, but a selection suits me fine. Like many, I consider Adnams dependable traditional brewery, with excellent bottled beers at a good price.
So, what beers arrived? The box contained 2 each of Explorer, Lighthouse, Ease Up IPA, Ghost Ship, Broadside and Southwold Bitter.
I often go for Adnams if I see it at the pub – their ales are usually on form and interesting, with Ghost Ship always being a worthy choice on cask. There’s also a pub nearby, Westerham’s The Grasshopper Inn which often has Adnams Old Ale on. Unfortunately. a huge stalled renovation means I have’t paid a visit in quite a while.
One beer in the box is an altogether different beast in the bottle and that’s Broadside. One of Adnam’s classics, it’s stronger, at 6.3% with lots of fruitcake-like depth. A great winter warmer, it is chock full of fruitcake flavours. I enjoyed it on a rainy Friday night.
Luckily, the lockdown weather on the whole has been excellent. VE Day was a scorcher – so the lighter session beers like Easy IPA, Lighthouse and Explorer were perfect to enjoy while social distancing with the neighbours.
Ghost Ship needs no introduction; it’s a fantastic showcase of the Citra hop, and very well balanced. The dry, bitter finish means it is a superb session beer.
With an Adnams Lighthouse in hand, an old article by beer bloggers Boak & Bailey was interesting – and so were the comments. There was discussion regarding Adnams house yeast strain involving the head brewer. Apparently in the 80s there were a few issues with the house yeast, causing Adnams to be less dependable for a time. What’s unusual is that this yeast, which makes Adnams Beer Adnams, is actually a blend of two strains, and the team has to work hard to keep it in check.
Before we were told to stay at home, I had a few days holiday in Norfolk arranged, and was planning to take the scenic route through Southwold so I could visit the Adnams brewery and take the tour. One to look forward to in the months ahead.