Local drinks makers Nick Moyle and Rich Hood, aka the Two Thirsty Gardeners, will be providing a cider making demonstration during the Great Bath Feast. Here they reveal their favourite local beers and ciders – and show you where in Bath to get them…
It may be the case that folk once flocked to Bath for the quality of its water, but having lived in and around the city for over 20 years we’ve become much more interested in the quality of local booze. In that time we’ve guzzled our fair share of local beer from established breweries such as Bellringer and Bath Ales (actually based 10 miles away in Warmley) and are eagerly waiting for our first tasting from new brewery Electric Bear. Over this time we’ve spent far too many hours in the city’s pubs, from long lost and lamented boozers such as The Beehive and Broadleys, to relative newcomers Colonna & Hunter and Bath Brewhouse, while not forgetting our all time favourite, never-changing pub, The Star.
Picking our favourite drinks is no easy task but, if you were to pin us up against the nearest bar and force us each to reveal our top three, we might just splutter the following…
Nick’s three favourite local pints:
1. RCH Brewery, Pitchfork
Brewed near Weston Super Mare, Pitchfork has been a golden, hop-packed bitter long before golden, hop-packed bitters became all the rage. Perfect to while away an evening in the Old Green Tree or The Bell, you can also pick up a bottle from larger branches of Sainsburys.
2. Wild Beer Co, Fresh
Evercreech brewery Wild Beer Co have been causing beery ripples of success throughout the UK with their adventurous flavours created from unusual ingredients and wild yeasts. Fresh is a pale ale brewed with a different combination of hops every six months. Keep your eyes open for it in Colonna & Hunter, Marks & Spencer and the excellent booze shop Independent Spirit.
3. Worley’s Cider
Neil Worley is an award winning cider maker, gently persuading apples to metamorphose to booze in the traditional way, from his home in Shepton Mallet. He has recently started exporting to America but you can still get your hands on his cider at Bath Brewhouse, the King William, Stable Bath and occasionally in the Raven and Royal Oak. For take home supplies head out to The Shed, Bathford.
Rich’s three favourite local pints:
1. Bath Ales, Barnsey
You can find this fruity beauty in many Bath boozers. Dark, full-bodied and complex, best enjoyed in its natural habitat in a Bath Ales owned pub; both the Salamander and the Hop Pole have it on tap, or you can sup it from the lofty outdoor terrace of Graze, one of Bath Ales newest, swankiest pubs.
2. Plain Ales, Inncognito
A crow-black, velvet stout, brewed by the Warminster-based microbrewery. There’s nothing plain about this ale – it recently won Best in Show at this year’s prestigious Tuckers Maltings Beer Festival. Get the rounds in at Gascoyne Place, the Pultney Arms and our favorite Twerton hangout, The Royal Oak.
3. Honeys Cider
You can’t get more local than this cider, and it just so happens to be one of the best around. Picked, squeezed and fermented on the family farm in Midford, Honeys have developed a cult following amongst those who know their ciders. Look out for their distinctive beacon-like barrels in bars and pubs across the city – the Garricks Head, The Griffin and The Wheelrights Arms being amongst our favourite cider-swigging haunts.
Fancy yourself as a budding local brewer or cider maker? Get yourself started booze making with the Two Thirsty Gardeners book ‘Brew it Yourself’, out now.