We at Vada love to show the love to local retailers and producers. There’s nothing quite like supporting the little guy – especially when he lives next door and when helping him helps your local economy too.
There’s been a meme going around that if we each spent £100 more per year on locally produced goods and food, rather than in supermarkets and chains, we’d be putting £3 billion per year back into the UK economy. That – to me – is the perfect excuse to shop local. Except, of course, when great companies like Chorlton Brewing Co. offer fantastic products too – then no excuse is needed.
I headed to the Chorlton Brewing Co. HQ in Ardwick, not far from Piccadilly Station, Manchester. I’d been invited by assistant brewer Alexx O’Shea to try their wares. Meeting founder and former fine artist Mike Marcus, Alexx and Mike encouraged me to try their very original brews – and what a tasty bunch they were!
Chorlton Brewing Co. focuses on sour, unfiltered, unfined and unpasteurised beers with experiments in flavour that include the use of woodruff, myrrh and sarsaparilla. In a unique twist, local pubs can even get their beer winged over on tricycle. In short: CBC is full of quality and class.
The Woodruff Weisse is a 4.2% light beer inspired by Bradenburg, where Berlinerweisse-style beers are drunk with woodruff syrup that has been artifically flavoured and is both brilliantly coloured and wincingly sweet. By cutting out the artificial stuff, and adding the woodruff direct to the beer, the Woodruff Weisse is a tasteful ode to German beer. It’s dry and sharp with grassy, vanilla tones. There’s a slight hint of something medicinal, but this adds depth and rounds off the softer notes.
The Amarillo Sour is a 5.2% sour ale with a very hoppy taste. It’s pale and cloudy, has a fragrant aroma, and has an acidic fruitiness without bitterness. Another Germanic-style beer, this ale has been updated with hops to give it a more contemporary hybrid flavour. Serve this with fish and chips or fried chicken and you’re onto a winner. Alternatively, for a more continental pairing, serve it with a thick slice of Compte cheese, grapes and crackers.
Dark Matter – rich, dark, sweet, slightly bitter – is like a fusion of dark chocolate and coffee. It’s a black wheat Imperial Black Gose-style beer that comes in at a whopping 6.8% ABV. It’s been spiced up with a tiny dash of coriander seed and rock salt that updates this Leipzig-inspired wheat beer to make a sour and salty treat that goes wonderfully with blue cheese or Tiramisu.
The Sandalwood IPA beats even the Dark Matter with a 7.4% ABV. This glowing amber IPA has a very hoppy flavour but without the overpowering bitterness of similar IPAs. Finished with sandalwood, it has a spicy fragrance and works well with tamarind or spicy foods, such as tangy chutneys served with creamy cheeses.
Find them online at chorltonbrewingcompany.com and @chorltonbrew. Chorlton Brewing Co. beers are available at BarBeerian, Beagle, Beermoth , Browton’s, The Epicurean, The Font, Chorlton, High Peak Beer Co, The Hope, Carshalton, and many more.