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The PMA rounds-up the best of January's seasonal beers

By Robyn Black , 30-Jan-2013
Last updated on 30-Jan-2013 at 11:20 GMT2013-01-30T11:20:46Z

St Austell kicks off its 2013 seasonal offer with a rugby themed ale

St Austell kicks off its 2013 seasonal offer with a rugby themed ale

Space rockets, a wedding and six nations rugby are among the inspiration for brewers this January.

First up, Cornish brewer St Austell has revealed its line-up of seasonal ales for 2013. The six-strong list kicks off with Ruck and Roll, a 4% ABV English style pale ale, this month, and Spring Brew, a 4.3% ABV golden al, which will follow in March. The Royal Albert ale, Phoenix Ale, Bucket of Blood and Tribute Extra make up the rest. “The new brews complement our permanent range of award-winning ales” said head brewer Roger Ryman.

Bath Ales is making its popular Golden Hare brew available in cask for the first time. The 4.4% ABV ale, which is brewed with floor malted Maris Barley and Goldings hops, is said to be a “smooth yet dry, wonderfully fresh and delightfully zesty tasting light ale.” It will be available from now until April in pubs and bars around the South West, including the Graze Bars in Bristol, Cirencester and Bath.

Thwaites will re-release its four most popular limited edition ales from 2012 this year, under the Quarterly Favourites banner. The beers comprise: Big Ben, a 4.5% ABV strong dark ale; T.B.C. (Thwaites Best Cask) a 3.8% ABV amber ale; Little Bewdy, an Australian hopped 4.2% ABV pale ale and Crafty Devil, a 4.3% ABV ruby premium ale. “The Quarterly Favourite seasonal ales have played a significant role in driving growth of our cask ales,” said marketing manager Lee Williams,

A rocket engineer has launched his brewing career with a brew called Galaxy Golden Ale. Dr Brian Spencer has set up Spencer’s Brewery in Kent and has also released Copper Bronze Bitter, made from Australian hops, and a Blonde, a light golden ale made from traditional Kent hops.

The Otley brewery is making two of its most popular ales available in keg as well as cask, to enable restaurants and bars to stock its beers. 07 Weissen, a cloudy German style beer, will be available along with the brewery’s Motley Brew ale. “2013 is going to be a big year for us and launching our keg portfolio is just the beginning,” said MD Nick Otley. “Our aim has always been to be ahead of the game in terms of creativity and innovation and so we hope to push this even further in 2013.”

Spanish lager Estrella Galicia is to be made available on draught for the first time. The beer is distributed in the UK by PLB which imports the 4.7% ABV beer from Galicia in northwest Spain where it is made with Spanish hops. Three fonts are available for stockists to choose from including a limited number of ceramic fonts from the region’s famous pottery house, Sargadelos.   

The head brewer at Arkell’s Brewery has created a bespoke ale for his own wedding called Ball and Chain Ale. Alex Arkell has used four different varieties of malt in the beer and added three different hops, Celeia, Willamette and Columbus, at different stages during the brewing process.  He assures us his future wife gave permission for the name.

Wadworth will be allowing its brewing team to “run amok” this year to create a new range of craft beers called Brewers Creations. The beers will be launched every month and the first beer to emerge is a 7.1% stout for January called Brewers Creations No 1 made with Challenger and American Summit hops. Next month’s beer will be a “highly hopped” 5% pale ale.

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