Skip to main content

Beer Advent Calendar Window 9 - O-Ho-Ho


 

Here I am, urging myself to like a beer by Otley Brewing Co., under the most post-craft reasons anybody has ever conceived.

Otley Brewing Co were conceived in a pub and have been trading for ten years. For those unfamiliar with the area - or moreso for those familiar with Yorkshire - this is not a Leeds based brewery despite the name, but one from Wales. They are pratically grandparents in this age of new breweries and their simple but cool branding has become distinctive.

Yet they are not a brewery revered or spoken about often by the kids. They are not regularly seen in my North-West England home. Their beers are almost unfamiliar though their branding is not. Is it possible that their beer style and ABV simply doesn't attract me? If so, I am a terrible person.

In Window Nine of this Advent Calendar lies O-Ho-Ho - a 5% blueberry flavourd golden ale.


The Otley Brewing Company - O-Ho-Ho A blueberry laced seasonal ale  5%

This orange sunburst colour flat beer has plenty of crystal malt on the nose, a little lemon rind and a touch of clove chunked tangerine. The flavour is... it's almost non-descript. I pick my glass up, taste, swill, smack-my lips, put it down, think of something-to-say, pick it up, taste, swill, smack my lips, put it down, think of something to say, repeat...

It takes no fewer than ten sips of the beer - and a big chunk of mince pie - to start to get some flavour. The food brings out a little orange bitterness, a reasonable allspice malty flavour and something akin to hedgerow berries. The body is medium and the finish is a little woody. However, as a stand alone beer I've so little to say or comment about this beer. It's not even a bad beer. It's not so tasteless that I hate it; I'd quite happily have 4 or 5. But once this calendar is done I won't quite remember it. Food does help to bring out something though. 

Mince Pie Pairing Rating: 5/10 - no doubt that the food brings flavour to the beer. Not sure it works reciprocally.

Best Paired With: A packet of crisps and a large Christmas work's do, where the taste of the beer isn't important 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Children and Dogs in Pubs and Bars

  I once took my niece to the pub. She was either 1 or 2 years of age. I often looked after her on Saturdays and on one of our weekly walks, for the first time, I stopped by the local pub, mainly because my friend was there with his daughter of similar age. The two kids got on well together and it was a lovely couple of hours; a perfect showcase of adult friends and their children existing in public houses. But my sister was furious. She didn’t rant or rave but her lips were purser than a 90s children’s show teacher. It was here that I learned of the effect that our childhood had had upon her. She recalls many an afternoon being bored in the corner of pubs that our Dad had dragged us to, arms folded in the corner with nothing to do, and she doesn’t want the same for her children. The idea of her first born being taken to pubs infuriates her; fearful that they would be subjected to the same unhappy experiences that she was.  I don’t recall those times in the same way as my s

My Life in Guinness - Drink What You Like

      I first obtained my booze “bragging rights” drinking 4 cans of the black stuff at a house party in my mid-teens. Teenage masculinity was judged on one’s ability to put away alcohol in the early noughties. It appears trite and toxic now but, as a 15-year-old, to hear my older brother’s friends say “Well played mate, I couldn’t down that stuff” was the kind of social praise we devoured.   It didn’t occur to me then that twenty years on the same drink would be causing an industry existential crisis. I wasn’t pondering the reasoning behind my drink choice 20 years ago. It was fairly simple: I drank Guinness because I liked the taste. I differed from my friends in that sense, who chose crates of Fosters and Bacardi Breezers for house parties as it was the done thing. At least two of those present at those gatherings would go on to use the common phrase “Let’s be honest – nobody really likes the taste of beer” in their adult life and expect universal agreement.   It

The Ten Pubs That Made Me - Part 3: Dr Okell's / My Foley's Tap House and Leeds

A pint in Mr Foley's Tap House from December 2022     This is Part 3 (the fourth post) of an ongoing project. Please see the beginning of Part 0 for details.    Come the end of this journey, there may be a lesson in procrastination that I am unlikely to heed. These posts stem from a list that I made three years ago and a series that I embarked on 18 months ago. We’ve only now reached a 30% completion rate and with this post we are back to fail for the second time.   This odyssey began with a trip to Mr Foley’s Tap House in February 2022 – named Dr Okell’s bar on my first visits in 2005 – only to discover that it was closed. It did reopen by the time that the post was coming out and I managed a brief visit in December 2022. However, my July 1 st 2023 trip to Leeds, on which this post is based, is met with this sign at the door of the bar:      A quick check of social media shows an Instagram post from the day before (June 30 th ) announcing the closure of the