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We thought we would start looking at a few breweries and check out the beers they brew, and rather than picking random brews to try, we thought now and again we would get in a selection from a brewery and go through them, so this is the first instalment of that idea!
As the title suggests, the beers are all Badger beers, brewed under Hall and Woodhouse. Now before I get on to the beers, I’m going rattle on about this brewery, so your forewarned!
Turns out Hall and Woodhouse, a family brewer started in 1777, is now huge. They have a main range of Badger beers, and over 250 pubs located in the south of England. And even from 1777 there is still even a Woodhouse as managing director now. Two in fact. So it certainly has run in the family. The Badger brand wasn’t coined until later at around 1875, and then when the the new brewery was opened in 1900 it was aptly named the Badger brewery. Now they pump out great beers from Dorset, and even a couple of ciders.
Odd piece of pointless trivia, but Hall and Woodhouse also for a while, up until 2005, produced the panda pops that I’m sure we all remember. In fact they still produce the soft drink ‘Rio’ as well as brewing under the Badger name.
They have a good selection of beers, and also a couple of ciders. They have recently re-designed all their bottle labels, and they actually now stand out in the shelf. You can easily pick out a Badger beer, with the Badger logo and distinct labelling. They also have a quirky description on the back, with a slight bit of history to the naming of the beer, always good to have a label that’s not dull and just basic info. They have done well on the marketing! The beers look appealing before you even taste them.
Ok I will bore you no more! On to the beers. Unfortunately I couldn’t find all of them to try, though I will keep a lookout and update this post if I come across another. Also for the couple of beers they have either on cask or in bottle, I should probably try a pint of both… just to be thorough.
Golden Champion 5.0% – It definitely was golden! Not what I expected to taste when I supped it, it was very floral, but not overly flowery. It had a great body to back up the hints of elderflower, I found it also very complex for a golden ale. Had real flavour to it. Named after a golden stallion seen roaming a field, apparently.
Tangle Foot 5.0% – Mischiefs Afoot! Coined Legendary, a great tasting beer. Refreshing golden bitter, subtle fruity flavours come through, followed buy a slight smooth bitterness. A great beer and one of my favourites. The name apparently comes after the head brewer, John Woodhouse, was sampling the new beer with his team. When getting up to leave, his canine companion tangled his legs with his lead, and from the succeeding fall, the beer was named.
Fursty Ferret 4.4% – A nice crisp copper ale. Very refreshing, good malt body to it, slight hopped and not overly bitter. Has a hint of fruit that I cant put my finger on as its so slight, but definitely there. Its definitely as it says ‘furst quenching’. This particular brew is named from a rumour of inquisitive ferrets, that at one time sneaked into the back of an Inn to sample the ale.
Blandford flyer 5.2% – A nice ginger ale! Not to be confused with ginger beer. This is an ale, flavoured with ginger. Not fizzy ginger beer. And it certainly is ginger, you can smell the ginger over anything else, and its the prominent taste throughout the beer. However, its not hot ginger, there’s not the usual burn and spice that you find in ginger beers, its literally the fragrant ginger taste, without it burning, which makes this beer, again, very refreshing and drinkable. Named after the fly fisherman of the Dorset Stour.
Poachers Choice 5.7% – A darker ale than most badgers beers. Full bodied, fruity, and malty beer. Complex flavours come through, however, it is not for me. there is a definite liquorice flavour coming over the top of everything, and I cant stand liquorice. which is a shame as this beer has so much more to it, I’m just put off from the liquorice! However I must say the liquorice is slight, and the main flavour that comes over is the fruitiness, not sure which fruit. Its a light floral fruit.
Golden Glory 4.5% – Finally found this one in a Morrisons in Somerset! A very refreshing beer. Not what I expected at all! Great rich golden colour. Very fruity aroma, can pick out a great peach smell to it. The peach flavour follows through in the taste, its light, fruity, and if you like peach you will love this. And sitting in the sun with a slightly chilled Golden Glory, I can think of nothing better!
Hopping Hare 4.4% – Stumbled across this in Morrisons! Another to tick off the list. very light golden beer, its quite bitter, with a lovely hoppy taste. They use three types of hops, two for the aroma and one for the bitterness. The aroma hops give it a great citrus taste. Yet another very refreshing beer!
First Gold 4.0% – This is a single hopped refreshing ale! Finally got hold of this in the Co-op near me. The hop used is funnily enough, First Gold! A dwarf breed of hop. Its a nice ruby colour, and a nice spicy taste, with a slight orange tang to it. Very nice!
Englands Own 4.6% – A lovely pale ale, with great light fruit flavours. Lovely aroma, great beer!
Unfortunately this is all I could find at the time! I still need to try the rest of the Badger beers. They also have -.
Apple Wood 6.0% – Cider aged in oak barrels.
Pear Wood 5.0 % – A pear cider. Not perry!
Pickled Partridge 4.6% – A seasonal brewed cask ale, for the Winter.
They also have an organic beer brewed with the help of The River Cottage called Stinger, and also produce the King and Barnes Bitter but for no Ill found on specifically branded Badger beers.
I would definitely recommend trying a couple of beers from Badger. There wasn’t a single beer, with the exception of The Poachers choice, that I didn’t like, and that was only my preference towards liquorice. They were all full of flavour, and all so different! I found each one surprisingly refreshing, and I even really enjoyed the lighter beers which makes a change for me. Anyway next time your around buying a couple of beers, try one or two Badgers. They have a great range in Tesco and Morrisons, and I’m sure they are sold everywhere to be honest.
Also look out for the Tanglfoot, First Gold, and Pickled Partridge on tap, as they are the ales they produce in cask.
Anyway its been a hard task tasting these beers, I now have to try and track down the ones I have yet to try. For a look at their range yourself, check out the website at Badger Beers.
Also if you spot one of the ones I haven’t tried yet, post a comment below to let me know which shop it was in, so I can try and find them all!
Check back soon!