The first of many beer and food evenings in Lincoln from Oakham took place at the West End Tap last night. Matthew Ashford, National Sales Manager and Elizabeth Louch, National Sales Executive brought five cask and two keg beers to the bar along with their extensive knowledge.
Rather than featuring the core range of Oakham Beers they brought a sample of seasonal brews that you’re less likely to see in Lincoln. Being a seasoned Oakham drinker I thought i’d try something a bit new.
First up was a new beer for January 2016, Bird Brain. The 4.1% golden ale was packed full of New Zealand hops; Pacific Jade, Pacific Gem, Waimea and Rakau. I was expecting a complex fruity flavour but what I got was grapefruity water. The lack of body left a bit to be desired but as session beers go, it was a tasty one.
Next up I went for my old faithful: Bishop’s Farewell. When you’ve got Oakham’s multi award-winning Citra to contend with other beers can be forgotten about. Bishops remains my favourite Oakham ales alongside Green Devil IPA with it’s floral, grassy flavour from US Cascade hops.
Along with my next beer, burgers appeared from The West End Tap’s sister venue, the Lincoln Taphouse and Kitchen. Time for something with a bit of punch. I had the brilliantly fruity Dreamcatcher. The 6.9% copper coloured beer reeked of blackberries, blackcurrants and black cherry, those fruits continued in the taste with a heavy treacly malt flavour. This went perfectly with my juicy burger and brioche bun.
My final beer of the evening was the soon-to-be-gone Spring Heeled Jack. A black IPA with a robust coffee and chocolate flavour and sharp pungent hops. Even though Oakham are known for their extraordinary pale ales I’m a big fan of their dark beers and I’m looking forward to the Export Stout and Robust Porter featured in their new keg range for 2016.
Oakham are doing similar tastings at the Lincoln Taphouse and Kitchen (11th February) and The Cardinal’s Hat (3rd March) and The West End Tap will be featuring their Oakademy of Excellence range throughout the year.