The third in our series of features about British breweries brings us to Dorset and Badger beer.
You may already know the brand of Badger ales. They’re incredibly popular and have been very successful in getting their wares into shops & supermarkets across the UK. Hall & Woodhouse, who brew under the name Badger Brewery, are clearly very proud of their heritage. Every bottle notes that the brewery traces it’s roots back to 1777, which is no mean feat.
The Countryside Sett is a collection of twelve 500ml bottles of Badger ales. It contains a selection of their most well known beers and is presented in a durable and sturdy cardboard crate.
The beers, layered into two well packaged rows, have a wildlife / countryside theme. From Firkin Fox to Wild Wader, and Fursty Ferret to Hopping Hare, the labels and stories convey humour, brewing knowledge and a love of their natural surroundings.
Aesthetically, it’s a wonderful collection of bottles and labels. The naming theme across the board is obvious and the logos all of a similar, high quality. You picture that every bottle has a story behind it of gamekeepers, poachers, fisherman and farmers. It’s a collection straight out of Roald Dahl’s Danny, the Champion of the World.
Before I go on to the beer itself, here’s a little context for you. When I first got into ale, I was all about the New World hops. I still love them but, in recent years, I’ve started to develop more of an appreciation of the body of the ale. I’ve expanded my tastes to enjoy IPAs and ruby ales as well as pale ales, APAs, blondes. Not as far as stouts or porters, though, although that may come with age!
The selection here perfectly suits these tastes. Prior to receiving these, my wife bought me a bottle of Daring Diver. It was a revelation. Citrusy but not overly bitter and with a biscuity taste. Perfect. I was therefore delighted to find a bottle in the box, along with beers of a similar high quality. The thrice-hopped, light and bitter Hopping Hare. Golden Glory is the peachiest, most rounded tasting beer I’ve ever had. Another medium-bodied brew which is suiting my expanding tastes is Blandford Flyer.
Fursty Ferret is slightly nutty, looks wonderfully golden and has a slight bitterness to it. Very refreshing. Darker than Daring Diver but with a similar taste is Firkin Fox. Another new favourite for me, with it’s American hops is Leaping Legend, the grasshopper beer.
Tangle Foot is a fruit golden ale with a lovely body. Poacher’s Choice has a deeper taste, plum, liquorish, berries. Golden Champion has one of my favourite beer aromas to it – elderflower. A lovely summer beer. Finally, the complex and refreshing Wild Wader which is just lovely.
I knew I liked Badger ales before, but having tasted these, my taste buds have fallen in love. I recommend them, and with Father’s Day coming up next month, this box would make a wonderful gift!