With Mr JibberJabber being a fan of real ale we like to have occasional themed posts here on JibberJabberUK. After our recent trip to the Isle of Wight he took the opportunity to stock on some of his favourite island brews and search out some new ones. Considering the size of the Isle of Wight it has an impressive number of breweries and range of beers. The islanders are rightly proud of their produce and you can easily find these beers in supermarkets, farm shops and pubs. Let's have a look at what's brewing on the Isle of Wight.
Fuggle-Dee-Dum – Goddard's Brewery, 500ml 4.8% ABV
Back in 1987 a number of wealthy Isle of Wight residents suffered through losses made as being part of a Lloyd's Insurance syndicate. One of those 'Names' was Anthony Goodard. He was the owner of Barton Manor and Vineyard near Whippingham on the Isle of Wight. Forced to sell his home and business he ended up living in a caravan on a farm in Ryde. As Goddard was unable to replicate the vineyard he decided to go into brewing beer and thus in 1993 Goddard's Brewery was born. Today it is still located at Barnsley Farm and remains the oldest brewery on the island but is currently up for sale. Anthony Goddard has decided to retire from the business and wants to see it sold on as a going concern.
The most famous of the Goddard's beers is Fuggle-Dee-Dum. The name is a play on words but points to the English Fuggles hops used in the brewing process. Known for its intensely flavoured malty taste it is a chestnut, tawny red full-bodied ale.
Ale of Wight – Goddard's Brewery, 500ml 4.0% ABV
One for drinking when the sun is shining as so often it does on the Isle of Wight. It is a refreshing blonde ale with a citrus taste coming from flavours of lemongrass and grapefruit. It is brewed with a combination of Cascade, First Gold and Challenger hops.
Inspiration – Goddard's Brewery, 500ml 5% ABV
A strong ale but surprisingly refreshing ale. It is available during the summer where its zingy, citrus notes hit the mark.
Quarr Abbey Ale – Goddard's Brewery, 330ml 6.5% ABV
A true island ale as the community of Quarr Abbey have teamed up with Goddard's Brewery for this strong ale. Quarr Abbey has been home since 1132 to an order of Benedictine monks. Today this heritage continues and the monks welcome visitors to their monastery, grounds, tea room and farm shop. The Quarr Abbey Ale uses coriander and sweet-gale from the ground's allotments. Sweet-gale is a shrub that is often used as an alternative to hops in brewing. This ale is brewed in the traditional Benedictine style when monks brewed something known as 'liquid bread'.
Garlic Beer – Yates Brewery, 500ml 4.1% ABV
Each year in August the Isle of Wight plays hosts to the Garlic Festival. A celebration of all things garlic, including ice cream, the event has become a homage to the many varieties of Isle of Wight garlic. One of those varieties is Black Garlic and it is this what is used in this ale. Brewed by Newchurch based Yates Brewery on behalf of near neighbours The Garlic Farm it is definitely one for the garlic lovers!
Wight Gold – Island Brewery, 500ml 4.0%
Although the Isle of Wight today has a number of thriving breweries it wasn't always the case. Out of the ashes of Burt's and then Ventnor Brewery came Island Brewery. Owner Tom Minshull already had the drinks distribution company Island Ales so a brewery complimented it perfectly. The Wight Gold beer is as its name suggests a golden brown ale with a cereal, butter and malty finish. The image on the bottle label is the giant pirate that stands proudly at the entrance of Blackgang Chine.
Have you ever been to the Isle of Wight? What's your tipple of choice?