Camerons Brewery - LongLeg

Camerons Brewery - LongLeg

Beer Club featured in U.S. & International Variety Beer Club International Beer Club

Country:

England

Alcohol by Volume:

4.80%

Camerons Brewery - LongLeg

  • Alcohol by Volume: 4.80%
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
  • Suggested Glassware: English Pint Glass
We're on a bit of a kick it seems; this is our second English "session ale" in as many months. Like the Ridgeway Bitter featured last month, this beer is well-balanced and particularly easy to drink. However, this beer is not a bitter, per se; it's more of an English Pale Ale—the distinction lying mostly in the aromatic hoppiness present in this brew. So why feature another English session ale? The first reason: timing. It's May—summer's here, and having an easy-going beer to share with friends at summertime gatherings is, well, just plain necessary in our humble opinions. The second reason: education and exposure. These days, many of the microbrewed beers available domestically are demonstrating a trend toward bigger, higher ABV, massively hopped beers. Some brewers and drinkers have felt that these beers focus on novelty and intoxicating power, drifting away from being "real ales" with flavor. They comment that it's easy to make a high ABV beer that's flavorful, but a lower alcohol beer that is sumptuous, flavorful and well-balanced is a true challenge. LongLeg English Fuggles Hop Ale is an example of an easy-drinking, well-balanced, lower ABV beer (truthfully, 4.8% ABV isn't all that low, but in the context of the big beer trend, and an ale that proudly announces its hop content (see label image and text), this beer might surprise you in its mild-mannered nature). Here's what to expect: caramel and fresh doughy malt sourness accentuated by the citrusy fuggles hops' notes, with a note of ripened apricot. The flavor is rather creamy, with caramel notes and bread flavors, finishing with dough, tangerine & a tinge of apple on the palate. Bitterness is light-to-moderate as it warms, and develops a bit late—beyond the swallow—on the sides of the tongue. Pair with mild cheddar and sourdough bread.

Label note: In 19th century England, "Long-leg" was a term used to describe a hop-picker who used stilts to reach the very top of the vines, where the most flavorful hops could be found.
In most nations of the world, it is lager beer that is king. The reverse is true in England, though it should be said that there too, lagers have experienced a steady rise in popularity, in part kicked off by the warm summers of the 1970s. Admirably, the palate of the British beer drinker remained largely unsatisfied by the bland tastes of many "watered down" lager beers, and the ales prevailed. Incidentally, the craft brewing revolution of the U.S. shares this ale-savoring spirit, as the majority of microbreweries specialize in the brewing of a variety of ales rather than lagers. The British brewery we are featuring this month is located along the northeastern coast of the country, in a portside town called Hartlepool, which holds the unfortunate distinction as the first British town to be bombed by the Germans in 1914 during WWI. The Lion Brewery has been established in Hartlepool for over 150 years and has been the home to the famous Camerons' brews since 1865. Prior to 1865 it was owned by William Waldon, who purchased it in 1852 for its pure water, drawn from an artesian well. This same well supplies the modern brewery today, and has been integral to producing beer at the site since the first brewery, Nimmo's, was established there way back in 1826. All told, we're talking nearly 180 years of brewing at this site! The present Lion Brewery was constructed in 1892, and by 1894, Camerons became a limited company owning no less than 50 pubs. For the next 91 years, Camerons Lion Brewery roared amidst growing popularity. Sadly, in 1985, the economy of Hartlepool experienced a major decline, and the brewery changed hands between various corporate owners, ultimately ending up under the control of one of the UK's largest brewing conglomerates (the craft brewery-swallowing beast known as Witbread—less affectionately referred to as Twitbread by some—which itself was ultimately cannibalized by the larger than life mega-conglomerate Interbrew). In April 2002 The Lion Brewery was purchased by Castle Eden Brewery and a new company was formed—Camerons Brewery Limited. Castle Eden mustered the motivation for the purchase upon discovering that Witbread had plans to close and demolish the historic brewery. This prompted a move of self-sacrifice on the part of Castle Eden, as they brokered a deal to sell off one of their breweries to a housing development corporation, using the money from the sale to help fund the purchase of Hartlepool's Camerons brewery, gallantly safeguarding the future of brewing at the site, and releasing the Lion Brewery from the death grip of corporate ownership. Proudly, the Lion roars again, as a small craft brewery that produces the smallest batches produced by Northeastern England's only independent regional brewing operation. For more information about the Lion Brewery, check out the following web site: http://www.cameronsbrewery.com.
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