I've had some bad experiences with Cornish beer, so perhaps unfairly, I tend to regard them with more than a bit of suspicion. I have a mental vision of them as mostly brown, with lots of odd tastes. Still, I do try them when I see them, as deep down I believe it can't really always be so, even if unfamiliar beer is sometimes enjoyed more in the journey than the arrival.
Last night at our CAMRA committee meeting in the Good Beer Guide listed Flying Horse in Rochdale, there was a reasonable choice, though it turned out later that TT Landlord was really rather poor. Bland, lacklustre and a big disappointment, which I'll come back to. I felt adventurous, so no taster, no halves, straight in with a pint from a brewery I'd never heard of. Based near Bodmin Moor, Penpont Pale Ale from the brewery of the same name was golden, 4.2%, clear as a bell and had a good malt base, some light fruitiness and lots of leafy and resinous hops. The brewery notes say "subtle oak and vanilla" - but (thankfully) not in the samples I had. Instead it was a lovely drinkable beer, with enough hops to keep me going without becoming overwhelming. Most of us switched to it.
Looking at their website, Penpont brew an interesting enough range and I'll certainly try them again if I come across them.
Inevitably the beer ran out, so I had a pint of Taylor's Landlord. Looked great, had great condition, but just seemed green and dull. I reckon that's one you need to keep in the cellar for quite a while before serving no matter how bright it is.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer author, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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