Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nautical, nautical!

The third Kentish brewery whose beers I found in Ashford was the Nelson Brewing Company from Chatham, which is whether my brother used to live - back in the dark and distant days when I thought Gambrinus was the mutts nuts of beer.

As you would expect from a brewer in Chatham, once home a major Royal Navy dockyard, their beer have a nautical theme, with names such as Friggin in the Riggin and Purser's Pussy Porter - which are the beers I picked up in Macknade Fine Foods.

To be honest I have a somewhat limited memory of the Friggin in the Riggin, I drank it on Christmas Day itself and was already fairly well on my way to it being a merry Christmas, and my notes bare more than a passing resemblance to Sumerian. One think I noted quite strong was that it was somewhat sour and tart in the finish, and being a bit fizzy had me puckering up - and not for a kiss under the mistletoe.

Infinitely more legible are my notes about the Purser's Pussy Porter, although this time the picture was pretty dreadful, hence I have left it off here. The beer is a very dark red colour and has a head like you would expect on an espresso, and it vanished rather quickly. The nose made me think of stout more than anything, with lots of coffee and subtle hints of cocoa. The chocolate really came through in the drinking, though I was suprised that it tasted similar to a Hershy bar, again with a tart soutness, which while not unpleasant wasn't something I really relished.

I am not sure if the sourness of both beers was intended, but it didn't make me want to pour the beers down the plug, so I guess it isn't a bad thing.

The brewery, in keeping with the nautical heritage of the area, as well as their own moniker, have a fun way with branding and quite broad range of brews with names such as Nelson's Blood and Shiver M'Timbers. As with the Hopdaemon and Ramsgate Brewery beers I enjoyed over the holiday, I hope to try the full range at some point in the future, and if anyone can help me on the sour front, please do so.


  1. On a recent pub research trip, which I have not posted about yet, later in the evening I started to taste sour tart flavour in every dark beer I had. I eventually put it down to my palate being shot at as the effect spread over two pubs and three breweries.

  2. I could understand that if I had tried the beers close together - but I had them about a week apart.

  3. This is my local brewery and I have some affection for it for those reasons, but in their bottled beers I always get that sourness. I think it is something to do with the bottle conditioning, I'm not sure.

    I've never been massively impressed with what they brew, this may have something to do with the owner being a lager drinker rather than an ale man?

  4. I've just had a Nelsons Blood (spelt without the apostrophe on the bottle) from the Nelson Brewery and it was incredibly tangy and sour, like cider. Disappointing actually because I've had this off cask in a nearby pub and it is a very good strong ale.


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