Published on March 3rd, 2016 | by Alastair Gilmour


More tea, vicar?

Camerons Brewery has been hard at work producing a range of craft cask ales to complement its permanent stalwarts Strongarm and Gold Bullion. Northern Line Stout (4.4% abv) and A-Hop-Alypse Now (4.3% abv) have also earned their permanent stripes after being part of the Hartlepool brewer’s seasonal range and now promoted to its permanent portfolio.

A full year of newly-developed guest ales and proven favourites has also been announced, while the all-new Tontine Milk Stout (4.1% abv) is set to cause a stir with its “unconventional darkness”.

Camerons’ head brewer Martin Dutoy says: “It’s really stimulating doing new beers. There are a lot of interesting things going on at the moment.

“We obviously listen to sales and marketing but the best way of developing new styles is by going to pubs to listen to what people are saying and to see what they’re drinking.”

Another one to look forward to teasing the tastebuds is Sleeping BrewTea (4.4% abv), developed in association with an award-winning tea ad cake shop.

Carli McNaught helped develop Sleeping BrewTea from The Olde Young Teahouse in Middlesbrough – voted the nation’s independent shop of the year in 2014.

She says: “The raspberry and rose petal flavours from Sleeping Beauty Green Tea – one of our most popular teas – go well in beer. I’m passionate about pale ale and love that the tea is brewed with something that I really like.”

Carli had been working as a tailor in Savile Row and was smitten by the teashops and small cafes on London street corners. So, on her return to the North East she thought she’d do something like that for a living – and been so successful she has already expanded the business.

“We’ve built a community here and we’ve built friendships,” she says.

More than 60 tea blends in The Olde Young Teahouse include Spiced Chai, Earl Grey Blue Flower, Wendy Tea and Lavender Tea – all of which come with encouragement to open the canisters and breathe in the aromas.

The March guest ale from Camerons’ craft cask range is Press Gang (4.0% abv) which has been brewed with an experimental British hop and the Chinook variety to give a light, crisp, gentle citrus flavour.

April’s “special” sees the return of Fridge Magnet (4.5% abv) which has proved an extremely popular beer with its assertive hop crispness – and interactive pumpclip.

We’ll have to wait until May for Sleeping BrewTea (4.4% abv), an amber-coloured pale ale infused with gentle raspberry and rose petal flavours and aromas. It’s a sensational combination.

Another one to look forward to is June’s release of Haze (4.1% abv), a wheat beer that emerged from a Camerons’ employees competition (won by Simon Whittington and Ryan Shore) in tribute to Jimi Hendrix. The cloudy, straw-coloured (not purple..) beer gives off fantastic banana and spice aromas on its way to a full-bodied fruity experience.

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Alastair Gilmour

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