Holden’s Black Country Bitter won Silver in the Bitter category in 2005 and is described as “A medium-bodied, golden ale; a light, well-balanced bitter with a subtle, dry, hoppy finish.” The data I have for this beer is: OG: 1.039. Malt bill: 85–95% Maris Otter pale malt, 0–10% crystal malt, 0–5% torrefied wheat, 0–2% brewing sugar. Hops: Fuggles, optional Goldings. Dry hops: Fuggles. EBC: 24–26.
Rudgate Viking won Silver in the Bitter category in 2002 and is described as “An initially warming and malty, full-bodied beer, with hops and fruit lingering into the aftertaste.” The data I have for this beer is OG: 1.039. Malt bill: 90% Halcyon pale malt, 10% crystal malt. Hops: Fuggles, Northdown or Challenger, Goldings. Late hops: Goldings. IBU: 24. EBC: 24–30.
Bateman’s XXXB Bitter won Gold in the Premium Bitter/Special Bitter/Strong Bitter category in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1997. It is described as “A brilliant blend of malt, hops and fruit on the nose with a bitter bite over the top of a faintly banana maltiness that stays the course. A russet-tan brown classic.” From this I would suggest a yeast that provides a fruity character. The data I have for this beer is: OG: 1.048–1.049. Malt bill: 72–87% Pipkin or Maris Otter pale malt, 7.5–12% crystal malt, 0–3% wheat flour, 15–18% invert sugar. Hops: Challenger, Goldings. IBU: 37. EBC: 40–42.
In 1971, four British journalists, on holiday in Dunquin, Ireland, sat in Kruger’s Bar and hatched a plan. Reacting to the decline of traditional, cask-conditioned ales in British pubs, they formed the
A dark bitter stout. Roast and nut aromas with a fruity balance of hops and dark malt provide an excellent lingering finish.
Formerly known as Best Bitter, this classic English bitter was renamed in 2012 but retains its classic copper/amber color, citrus and fruity hop character, and a roasted, malty bitter finish.
Archers Golden is a superb ale that has won a number of awards. Sadly, at the time of writing, Archers is under administration so the future of their Swindon brewery is in some doubt. We can only hope that a buyer is found for the brewery so that brewing of their fine ales may continue.
Sadly, Merriman’s Brewery in Leeds is apparently no longer brewing. The information that I have for this beer is: OG: 1.050. Malt bill: Halcyon pale malt, crystal malt, wheat malt, pale chocolate malt, roast barley. Hops: Liberty, Progress. IBU: 32. When one has no information about malt bill proportions, the only option is to guess. However, we are aware of the usual style guideline ranges for using specialty grains, so we can use these as a starting point.
The Oakhill Brewery in Somerset closed down when the owner retired. This beer has obviously been renamed during its history and the information that I have for it is: OG: 1.049–1.050. Malt bill: 91.5% Triumph or Halcyon pale malt, 8.5% crystal malt. Hops: Bramling Cross, Challenger, Fuggles, Goldings. In this case, we have malt bill proportions, but no IBU, so again we have to guess. However, style guidelines are a good guide to expected ballpark IBU.