Tag Archives: Arbor Ales

  • Tristan Darby gets crafty with local beers

    Beer drinking culture in the UK has changed dramatically over the last ten years. Since 2007 the number of breweries in London has grown from ten to one hundred, and the overall number of breweries across the UK is at an eighty year high, with an 8% rise in the last year alone.

    We're fortunate to have some awesome breweries on our doorstep here in the south-west, and it's great to see numerous local pubs, restaurants, and shops supporting them by offering a wide range of local brews. This month I had the arduous task of tasting the brand new beer portfolio at Great Western Wine to seek out my favourites... It's a hard life.

    Bristol's Lost & Grounded have only been brewing since July of last year, but are already making waves. My pick is the quirkily-titled NO REST FOR DANCERS. A deeply coloured red ale that has an enticing hoppy/malty nose and a berry-like fruitiness with a touch of spice on the palate. Bestowed with just the right amount of sweetness and light malty caramel flavour to balance the underlying hoppy bitterness, before delivering a clean refreshing finish.


    Founded in 2007, Bristol's Arbor Ales are a busy forward-thinking outfit who have brewed over three hundred different beers to date. Their SHANGRI-LA is a generously hopped session IPA with crisp bright citrus notes complementing a well-judged touch of sweetness. Exotic tropical fruit flavours lead to a dry and slightly chalky finish. Gentle carbonation adds a lovely texture and helps underline the soft appeal of this rather brilliant and highly quaffable brew.


    Kettlesmith is a small independent micro-brewery based in Bradford on Avon. I'm a big fan of their beers for sheer quality, but an added pull is that they highlight food pairing options. RIDGELINE is a rich American Rye IPA with nutty peppery hints. It's a pretty full bodied beer, but superbly smooth, well balanced and utterly delicious. Kettlesmith suggests this beer 'plays nicely' with beef bourguignon, cassoulet, spicy bean burgers and firm, tangy cheese. I can't wait to get into the kitchen to investigate.


    Wiper & True started from humble beginnings as home brewers experimenting with raw ingredients on the kitchen stove. Based in the St Werburgh's area of Bristol, the operation has grown somewhat, picking up many followers along the way, whilst keeping innovation and the spirit of experimentation as a core principle. The excellent MILKSHAKE is a milk stout which includes a generous dollop of chocolate malts and vanilla pods to add an extra depth of flavour, along with a wonderful aroma. Milk stouts use lactose, which is the sugar made from cow's milk, to add sweetness and creaminess to the beer. As you would imagine, this is pretty rich, full and jam packed with seducing notes of toasty vanilla, chocolate, and coffee. However, there's a surprisingly refreshing balance here. If you drink this lightly chilled you'll retain the lovely rich notes and get enough mouth-watering lift to quaff it in the sun with smoky barbecued meats.

    Taste these beers for free at Great Western Wines "Best of the West Beer Tasting" on Saturday 19th August. Click here for more information >

    Happy supping!

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