Saturday, 21 October 2006

The Malt Shovel, Horsham 20th October 2006

Went down to Horsham to buy some beer from the beer shop (The Beer Essentials on East Street). I discovered when I got there it was closed.

I wasn’t going to return to London without beer so I felt my only option was to go to the Malt Shovel for a pint or two. This had the added benefit I could continue work towards the festival fleece (see previous post ‘The Malt Shovel’).

Over the course of the evening there were eight ales on and without the distraction of Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby at 6.0%, I was able to be very sensible and start with the weaker beers.

Rebellion Mild (3.5%): Immensely drinkable, could have happily stayed on this all evening. Beginning to think I’m a bit of a mild fan. And Rebellion is fast becoming one of my favourite brewers.
Triple fff Alton's Pride (3.8%): Tasty bitter but nothing too special, with a pleasant nutty flavour.
Dark Star Espresso (4.2%): Had this a couple of times before (GBBF05 and my local Wetherspoon’s) so I know it’s very bitter and takes a bit of getting used to, but I was amazed to find that right from the first sip this was a delicious, smooth, coffee flavoured beer.
Dark Star Golden Gate (4.5%): Wow! The second beer of four I could happily drink all night, beautiful golden bitter with an interesting complex taste.
Robinson’s Unicorn (4.2%): Note from the out-of-sequence strengths that I wasn’t looking forward to this one – the Robinson’s Old Stockport at the Horsham Beer Festival at the beginning of the month was undrinkable – and I was not wrong. I bought a half, took three sips and moved on. Revolting, vinegary taste. Someone likened it to ‘gone off oranges’.
Salopian Shropshire Gold (3.8%): This came on during the evening. Had a nice, rounded flavour and was very clear for a beer just tapped. Good, standard bitter.
Hop Back Entire Stout (4.5%): Rich, pleasant stout.
Archer's Crystal Clear (5.0%): Good bitter with a sharp, flowery flavour. Someone likened it to Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, which I would agree with, Landlord when it’s kept properly.

Not only was there a beer festival on, the Malt Shovel also provided entertainment in the form of a singer, Martyn Rapley. He sang mainly rock covers and in spite of filling the end of the pub with a PA, wasn’t unpleasantly loud, as well as being an excellent singer.

A pint of the Rebellion Mild finished off the evening (well I had to check how good it was in case I’d been mistaken) and I managed, in spite of drinking four and a half pints, to get back to London without incident.


  1. Anonymous10:45 pm

    Hi Ruth, glad you enjoyed your visit to the sticks. It was a pleasure to meet you.

    Let me know when you are visiting again =

    p.s. @ tea time Tuesday, number 42/100 had appeared.

    best wishes

  2. Thanks for the info on the beer numbers. Might be down tomorrow...