The North Yorkshire Brewing Co. have been in production since 1989. They are a brewery that were popular with farm and/or fine food shops due to proudly stating themselves as entirely organic all over their labels. Also, coming from Guisborough, they were a brewery I saw a lot of in shops and supermarkets when I lived in the north-east.
There somewhat whimsical labels and cartoon characters make this brewery a favourite with people who know nothing of beer for present giving. I'm sure the majority of North Yorkshire's beers I've drunk have been from presents bought by others, I've not exactly been bowled over.
Still, I believe Christmas Flying Herbert - a 4.4% premium ale - deserves a stage and is behind Window eleven in this Advent Calendar.
"Snow Dad's better than No Dad"
North Yorkshire Brewing Co. - Christmas Flying Herbert premium ale 4.4%
This chestnut amber ale is perfectly clear and perfectly conditioned, with continual light carbonation. The scent is rather nutty, woody with a hints of wet wheat and a little peatiness. It's traditional. It's British. That is all I can think of with a wooden chewiness, fruity maltiness and roasted nut flavour throughout. It's well balanced, deliciously drinkable and not complex. Yet, it doesn't need to be. It's a beer that defines tradition and part of my post-craft feeling, because I'm really enjoying this. It's very well put together and is the sort of beer that I would have thoroughly enjoyed ten years ago in my early drinking passages.
There's nothing festive about this beer. There's nothing to excite; barely enough in the flavour to write a blog about. What this beer is, though, is a representation of balance and solid brewing that has been missing from some of the newer beers in this Advent Calendar.
Mince Pie Pairing Rating: 7/10 - as the beer doesn't have any of those mince pie flavours, a swig of the beer after a bite of pie brings out extra nuts and fruits in the glass.
Best paired with: a Christmas Eve in a traditional pub with good folk.