Once again, I am drawn to the bar at The Rose and Crown - many of the bar-flies have flown and I have immediate access to Woodforde's Wherry 3.8%. This I am told, is a clear favourite with the locals, and hasn't traveled/sailed far, perhaps under an hour from Norwich. A CAMRA Champion Beer of Britain in 1996. My new friend the scruffy terrier has been joined by a much larger version. This time I may well lose some valuable ale - a tongue has appeared that many an Ox would die for! It is possible that this hound is familiar with the Wherry as spicy floral notes pervade. There are subtle hints of caramel, toasty malts and sweet biscuit. I am enjoying this light flavoured fresh and zesty ale. This is fully deserving of a brewery that has been brewing for over thirty years, using Norfolk barley and water sourced deep beneath the brewery.
I am looking out again at the cricket field and wondering if the renowned cricketer WG Grace had ever played on this ground. He used to holiday in Snettisham in the early 1900's, staying with his friend the headmaster of a grammar school named The Halls. Information gleaned from St Mary's church, above the village, reveals that in the 11th century, Snettisham was the third largest town in Norfolk with seven mills, three fisheries, salthouses and 440 sheep! History has it that in 1886 the sheep were knee deep in snow and it is Knee Deep 4.5% from Caledonian that offers a seasonal reminder.
Those that have sampled this deep chocolate coloured ale, will have been pleasantly surprised by the immense fruit and spice aromas. Rich in malt and fruit there is tangerine and hints of ginger to create a warming malty finish. A useful ale for any Scottish or Norfolk farmer at this time. Taking us conveniently up to Christmas, The Hogs Back Brewery provided their Christmas Advent Ale 4.4%.