Beer – Direction South-West

Shifting south-west on the beer tour brings us to Yeovil Ales. This is another relatively new brewery which began in 2006. They have a web shop that sells a wide range of different ales in various forms – bottles, minikegs, minipins and polypins. At the time of writing, ordering four kegs or two pins incurs a delivery charge of nine pounds, unless you live in the immediate area. However, signing up to their newsletter is worthwhile if you like their beer, as there are frequent promotions and discounts that usually cover most of the delivery charge.

We cannot claim to have tried all of their beers – they often do seasonal and occasional brews – but here are a few that have been tested out.

Star Gazer (4.0%)

This is a brownish bitter, although a little short on bitterness. The predominant flavour is malt, with a toffee sweetness. There is a gentle bitterness to balance things out, but this is a drink more suited to those with a sweet tooth.

Summerset (4.1%)

A pale, golden ale with a pleasing fruity tang. There is a good hop feel to this beer, much more to the liking of this correspondent. While it’s a refreshing ale for summer days, there’s nothing wrong with it in winter, either. Indeed, the mythical Mallard Tavern has just acquired some for the Christmas period.

Hopkandi (3.8%)

Despite the appalling name, this is a splendid session bitter. It’s a very pale beer and has a good citrus hop kick for its relatively low strength. There is a good, dry bitterness. A very more-ish ale.

Stout Hearted (4.3%)

We were most disappointed that this excellent stout was not on the menu for the Christmas period, as it is another Mallard favourite. One hopes this is merely a temporary omission, as it would be sad if such an excellent brew were to be discontinued. There is a lovely, deep-roasted taste and a smooth bitterness.