Bands On The Bank @ Bateman’s Brewery, Wainfleet, Lincs
Is there a better way to spend a sunny afternoon than sitting in the beer garden of a traditional English Brewery, listening to bands playing live on the back of a truck and sampling brews fresh from the barrel? If you answered “No Hophead there is not” then you’d be damned right.
Bateman’s is not at the cutting edge of brewing even though it has been known to experiment from time to time. You know pretty much what you’re going to get - but when it’s done well (like Batemans) then it just makes you proud to be a Brit. It’s one of the things we just seem to do effortlessly well – like marmalade, inventing games and taxation.
So let’s raise a few glasses to Bateman’s – still an independent family run brewery. Cheers!
Summer Swallow (3.9% ABV)
A light golden ale that was OK but needed some extra aroma from the hops to give it a more refreshing zing. It has the basis of a great beer but hophead found that taste a bit flat. One swallow does not a summer make – but it was enough to know to try something else.
XB (3.7% ABV)
Ah this is more like it – a perfectly rounded and balanced English bitter. They don’t get more traditional or more delicious. XB varies greatly in taste and this is due to the publicans because when it’s in good condition it’s a corker of a bitter.
Combine Harvest (4.7% ABV)
Bateman’s win many awards especially for their flagship brew XXXB and their Dark Mild but Hophead thinks that this is their best brew. It’s bready and hoppy and thoroughly moreish.
To round off the afternoon why waste time having pudding when you can combine it with your last pint? This is brewed with coffee and chocolate and tastes of tiramisu – which can never be a bad thing. Hophead got to reading the many languages on the side of the bottle and most countries of the world would give a 6% beer some decent respect. But not the Poles. Oh no – they are in a different league my friend. The bottle says “Klasse D PIWO” – class D beer. Only class D! What the hell is class A? This sounds like a job for Hophead!