1. “Last Wolf”, Unsworth’s Yard, Cartmel, Cumbria.
Run by two brothers in the foodie village of Cartmel, Unsworth’s Yard is small but mighty. Last Wolf is a “red, mellow but definitely bitter with blackcurrant and raisin flavours.” The beers are stocked around Cartmel Village, and in Simon Rogan’s restaurants in the village. You can also mail order through their website.
2. “Kill Your Darlings”, Thornbridge Brewery, Derbyshire.
A relatively young brewery, Thornbridge sold its first beers in 2005. Kill Your Darlings is worth drinking for the name alone (which references this quote). It’s a medium-bodied Vienna-style lager with toffee undertones that comes both in bottle and keg. Their Jaipur IPA is also very good. You can buy bottles here.
3. “Revelation”, Dark Star Brewery, Sussex.
From humble beginnings in the cellar of a Brighton pub, Dark Star has grown to own their own brewery in West Sussex. Revelation is a light but hoppy pale ale. Very drinkable. If you’d prefer a bitter, their Festival is very good. You can buy kegs and bottles here.
4. “Best”, Marble Brewery, Manchester.
Set up in 1997, Marble Beers take pride in having beers that are natural, un-pasturised and un-fined. Which means they might be cloudy, but who cares. Best is a lovely bitter, and certified vegetarian too. Buy crates or bottles here.
5. “Oxymoron”, Otley Brewery, Pontypridd, Wales.
An exciting brewery, Otley does some special limited edition beers, as well as a more regular roster. Oxymoron is a black IPA-style bitter that’s not dissimilar to a stout. Yum. Oxymoron is not available online, unfortunately, but they do other bottles here.
6. “Jarl”, Fyne Ales, Argyll, Scotland.
Turning an inconvenience into an asset, Fyne Ales take the abundance of Scottish rainwater and use it in their beer. Their production starts by gathering rain from “a burn on the hill behind the brewery to use as our water supply”. Jarl is a yummy light ale, and available year round. You can buy cases here.
7. “Big Chief”, Redemption Brewery, London.
Only three years old, Redemption aims to be environmentally sustainable. “The brewery’s spent grain and hops are donated to local allotments to be used as compost and horse feed.” Big Chief is a great and hoppy IPA. Amber ale Hotspur is also wonderful, if you’re not keen on IPA. Currently only stocked in London/ the South-East. Find out more here.
8. “Fathomless”, Redwillow, Macclesfield, Cheshire.
A three year old microbrewery, Redwillow was a hobby that turned into a business. Fathomless is not vegetarian at all, as to make this oyster stout 300 oysters were shucked and added. As such, it’s only an occasional stout. But what a treasure. You can buy it online here.
9. “Smog Rocket”, Beavertown, London.
A young brewery, born in the back of a restaurant in De Beauvoir Town, Beavertown is definitely up and coming. Smog Rocket is an enticing smoked porter. Rich but easy to drink. Find stockists here.
With thanks to Clare from The Jolly Butchers for some suggestions.