Kingstone Brewery’s Tewdric’s Tipple is reviewed by Craig Heap
I love discovering new breweries – not necessarily breweries which opened their doors five minutes ago, but one’s that I’ve simply never heard of. I can drink their wares without being biased or sullied or hyped up by any preconceptions. The Kingstone Brewery is just such a brewery, partly because it’s a pocket-sized microbrewery in Tintern, Wales. Their beers haven’t penetrated West Yorkshire; instead I managed to wrestle a selection pack of their bottles from The Gentleman Drinker after one his random sojourns around a food fair in north Wales. I lost an eye, but gained three beers.
Named after a chap who quit his day job of being a hermit to take up the post of King and beat the Anglo-Saxons in a fight, Tewdric’s Tipple has a ruddy glow to it, like the old phosphorous street lamps on a misty night. In the glass it has a light but steady carbonation, and a thin head which lasts to the end.
The nose gives out a sharp, fruity aroma of grapefruit and oranges tempered by the marginally sweeter marmalade and green apples, and the occasional whiff of cantaloupe and malt. The predominant factor here is citrus, and it comes through strong in the taste like the man from Del Monte’s aftershave.
The first mouthful presents a lemony, grapefruit tartness which borders on a sour note. It then lifts itself up into apple crumble – the kind made without a liberal sprinkling Demerara sugar or cinnamon – before ending on a dry, prickly finish not unlike dried orange peel.
The sour note made me pause for thought. By the end of the pint, I figured it wasn’t the result of poor craftsmanship or spoilage but an element of pushing the citrus theme for those who enjoy a sharp taste, sort of like how sourdough bread works.
The other possibility is the hint of a sour edge could arise from the bottle conditioning. These things have a habit of changing with time and I can’t vouch for how or when The Gentleman Drinker obtained the pack. Kingstone Brewery make several proud statements of their hand-made, hand-bottled, unfiltered, uncompromising approach and there is a wholesome earthiness to the experience. It reminded me of a really good homebrew beer, the sort made by a guy who is on the verge of being divorced because he spends every weekend in the shed making beers.
Tewdric’s Tipple is of a sessionable strength but I personally wouldn’t look to drink more than one in a sitting. The sharp taste and comfortable strength would set this up to make an ideal lunchtime pint, perfect for cutting through a Ploughman’s or a sandwich with chips on the side.