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Rare Breed - abv 4.2%; £2.20/50cl
Simon Whitmore was very much in the vanguard of the new brewery movement when he opened Butcombe Brewery in 1978 in the Mendip village of the same name.
For its first 25 years or so, it brewed just one beer, the highly successful Butcombe Bitter.
With a change of ownership when Simon retired, and a change of location to nearby Wrington a few years ago, new beers have been introduced including this week’s feature, Rare Breed.
It has been brewed in association with perhaps the first celebrity farmer since Ted Moult, Countryfile presenter Adam Henson, champion of rare breeds at the Cotswold Farm Park in Gloucestershire.
The beer is golden in colour, with not much in the way of a head but plenty of bubbles. The aroma is on the sweetish side, with light barley sugar and buttermint. There is a complete contrast in the mouth with a grainy and very dry flavour, and an immediate hoppy bitterness. A more malty taste asserts itself in the mid palate, but that dry, hoppiness wins through, leading to a long, nettley, herbal, bitter finish.
A straightforward, light-bodied, uncomplicated and very pure tasting beer that cries out for a second pint.
As recommended by Jim Helsby, York Beer and Wine Shop, Sandringham Street, York