Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Oakleaf Pompey Royal

Oakleaf Brewing Company Ltd is based in Gosport, Hampshire, UK. They were founded in March 2000 by Dave Pickersgill (MD) and his son-in-law Ed Anderson (Head Brewer). Ed was formerly a brewer at the Fuzz & Firkin brew-pub, Southsea before going on to brew for Winchester Ale Houses. Oakleaf first brewed in December 2000 and have since won numerous awards for their beers. http://oakleafbrewing.co.uk/

Oakleaf's version of Pompey Royal was, I believe first brewed in commemoration of Portsmouth FC winning the 2008 FA Cup. My discovery of this 4.5% ABV beer was on 22nd November 2008, at the Rising Sun, The Street, Nutbourne, West Sussex. I found it in particularly good condition and immediately thought it to be a recognizable recreation of the Pompey Royal I’d enjoyed 23 years previously. But time can play tricks and, having since sampled it on numerous occasions I now – rightly or wrongly - assess it as a much lighter beer in both colour and body than the Whitbread version of 1985.

There are no tasting notes in the 2009 or 2010 Good Beer Guide and those that do appear in the 2011 edition are as unspecific as to hardly fail to apply to what is, after all, “a traditional mid-brown malty ale with a delicate hop balance”. I have good reason to suppose that the hops are Goldings and Styrian Goldings and that this Oakleaf version is actually a Whitbread recipe – but which one?

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