Coffee Stout and its Vanilla variant, but all the beers I've tried have been extremely solid. Binghams beers are mainly available in pubs in and around Reading but they have recently started bottling their beers, which can be bought from their on-site shop, or online from their website.
Phoenix Gold made good use of American hops, as did their Urban Red. Both were well-balanced and exceedingly drinkable. Coventry Bitter, a more traditionally styled session bitter seems to have made a good impression too but I haven't come across that one yet. I have to admit that Coventry is not a place that is high on my list of places to visit but I hope to see more of Byatt's beers in the year ahead.
CANTERBURY BREWERS / THE FOUNDRY
Foundry Red Rye and Street Light Porter. Some barrel-aged beers are on the way. Time for a visit to Canterbury methinks.
LONDON BREWING CO / THE BULL
I've written about this outfit before so won't say too much more here. Just that Steve Gray, the brewer, is producing some very decent beers from a small brew kit located in the pub kitchen and that the Bull is a very convivial setting in which to enjoy them. I've particularly enjoyed their Nervous Energy, an American influenced pale ale using plenty of Cascade and US Brewers Gold hops but retaining a high level of easygoing drinkability.
Curious as much as any. Not least because it was one of a number of sub 4.0% beers appearing during the year demonstrating that relatively low ABV does not necessarily equate to low flavour and impact. And, for me, it was strong contender for being the best of them.
Ageless, a 7.2% IPA, was my pick of the beers I've tried up to now and I liked Smokeless a lot too. But I've not had one that I did not enjoy.
Solo Quintessential and Pioneer Stout.
Cascale - was a real corker. The people behind Wilson Potter are two women - Kathryn Harrison and Amanda Seddon - and I see from their website that they visited Tara Mallinson to get some tips before they started the brewery. That does not surprise me one bit as the Cascale - pale and hop driven with lots of juicy, tangy citrus - exhibited many of the characteristics I've typically come to expect from a Mallinsons beer, and I mean that as a compliment. I'm very much looking forward to trying more from Wilson Potter in future.
So, that's the newcomers dealt with. In the next couple of days I'll put together my Ten To Watch For 2012 list. Not necessarily that new, not necessarily too obscure - just those that I expect to kick on to better (and bigger?) things in 2012. In the meantime, happy new year to one and all.