BREWERS are an experimental breed and we should be endlessly grateful for that.

Behind the glitz and gloss of the 'craft beer' movement, Britain's beer revolution has been driven by an army of inquisitive people with exacting standards, who keep asking "What would happen..." and keep answering: "Let's find out."

I felt this pang of renewed respect last week, when in the course of a few days I tried three brilliant but bizarre beers, all from local brewers.

All three would once have drawn sneering derision in most Yorkshire pubs, but not anymore.

So, without further ado, let's introduce them:

York Brewery turned 20 years old this week, and its output has changed enormously. The admirable but reliable beers it began with are still going strong, but they also now boast an impressive range of quirky experimental brews.

It was the latest of those, Black & Weiss, that caught my eye in The Last Drop Inn in Colliergate last week.

York Press:

This is part of the brewery's Off The Wall series. It's a wheat beer brewed with blackberries, which give a subtle richness. The promotional posters for the beer claim the beer has a "light purple hue," which was rather wishful marketing, but the beer was excellent - pale, intentionally-hazy, well-rounded and mildly bitter. It was ideal for a swift lunchtime half.

A few days later, at Beertown in Malton, the fruit theme continued.

York Press:

Brass Castle's new Brass Monkey beer is a pale ale brewed with bananas. I've never been hugely-enamoured with the few banana-flavoured beers I've tried before, but the punter in front of me at the bar was raving about this, so I gave it a go and was glad to have done so.

The flavour here is unmistakeable but not overpowering.

That should be available around the region over the coming days and weeks, including at The Falcon Tap in Micklegate in York, and The Mended Drum in Huby.

If I was appreciating local brewers' talents already though, I was well and truly feeling the love over the weekend.

The highlight of my tastings came courtesy of Hop Studio in Elvington, where Dave Shaw has created not just one but two exquisite beers.

York Press:

The dark and white Chocolat beers by Hop Studio

Chocolat comes in two versions: a dark chocolate stout aged in brandy casks for eight months, and a white chocolate stout aged in Bourbon casks for six months.

The dark version is a rich, chewy, oily and pitch black beer, with a bitter cocoa taste with a long-lasting aftertaste. It's excellent, but is surpassed by the white version.

This is golden in colour, and choc-full of creamy, vanilla flavours. It's sweet and strong and beautiful. At 8.5 per cent ABV, it's a beer to savour rather than swill.

Where did the beer come from? Dave says they bounce ideas around the brewery all the time and says: "Some of them stick."

He says he liked "the Yin and Yang" idea of a pair of contrasting beers, and wanted to try something totally new. He also enjoyed the challenge of making a beer reminiscent of Milky Bars, he says.

He's done a lot better than that!

A few shops are selling the bottled, as is The Deramore Arms in Heslington.