In the Spotlight: Bath Ales

In the Spotlight: Bath Ales

Probably like everyone who’s tried the beer from Bath Ales would agree, this is one of the best breweries in the United Kingdom – which is a tall order considering all the great beer we produce.

But it’s true. Even though we all glance over the name and the fact they’re based in Warmley, Bristol, we can’t help but feel at home with a nice bottle or two of their wide range – they have eleven ales and one cider, not to mention the rare “off-breeds” that come out the works now and again, like when they released a limited edition ghost chilli beer.

Established in 1995, the group now have twenty years of brewing excellence under their belt and, judging by the number of pubs they’ve acquired as well, they’re only growing. Bath Ales is served in all of their twelve pubs, and each pub has its own unique atmosphere so it’s bound to be a lot of people’s “local”. Their brewery tours are great value too, although you should be speedy when you book as they sell out pretty quickly.

The Beers

While I haven’t tried them all, I’ve tried nearly all of them. So there’s a little guide to most, but for the others you’ll have to go online or try them for yourselves!

Bath Ales Gem

Bath Ales Gem

The brewery’s flagship ale and by far the most popular. This is full-flavoured and fruity. Definitely serve it chilled to make the most of its malty excellence. Find out some more…

Bath Ales Barnsey

Bath Ales Barnsey

My personal favourite of their range, this is so characterful with notes of chocolate and baked cherry pie. Great balance achieved with the carbon dioxide and rich, smooth texture too. Find out some more…

Bath Ales Dark Side

Bath Ales Dark Side

Immensely yummy stout from the local brewers. All the hallmarks of a great Guinness with a touch more delicacy and a seductively bitter finish. Find out some more…

Bath Ales Wild Hare

Bath Ales Wild Hare

This was an organic pale ale, but unfortunately the latest harvest didn’t see enough organic hops to make it, so it’s back to the other crop – of which I shamefully haven’t yet tried. See Bath Ales’ notes…

Bath Ales Golden Hare

Bath Ales Golden Hare

Lightly-balanced pale ale that’s got plenty of zest and zing while keeping dry enough to avoid acidity or overly hoppy flavour. Tiny bit of peach as well. Find out some more…

Bath Ales Bounders

Bath Ales Bounders

I’m unfortunately not a cider man, so you’ll have to try it for yourself! I’ve only heard good things though. See Bath Ales’ notes…

Bath Ales Ginger Hare

Bath Ales Ginger Hare

Smooth, delicate and dry with a sudden and delightful character of spice, particularly that beautiful and hot ginger flavour. Better than Crabbies. Find out some more…

Bath Ales Rare Hare

Bath Ales Rare Hare

Quite difficult to find, probably hence the name, I tried this on-tap at the Hop Pole in Bath some time ago. It packs some alcohol and is pretty dry but thoroughly enjoyable with a thick, toffee-esque viscosity that balances wonderfully. Find out more…

Bath Ales Special Pale Ale

Bath Ales Special Pale Ale

Not my personal favourite of the range but nonetheless a good beer. Excruciatingly light but still with a great hoppy flavour and low alcohol, enjoy chilled for sure. Find out more…

Bath Ales Festivity 2

Bath Ales Festivity

A marvellous Christmas ale with strong notes of caramel, cinnamon and hints of vanilla. It’s like drinking beautiful melted Belgian chocolate in beer form. A naughty but brilliant beer. Find out more…

Bath Ales Summer Hare

Bath Ales Summer Hare

Yet to try, unfortunately! Bath Ales’ tasting notes…

Bath Ales Forest Hare

Bath Ales Forest Hare

Now Bath Ales says to match Forest with pies, and it’s not wrong if you get something like a steak and ale pie – that’s a hell of a match. However, I’m confident I have a better one: on a cold day, get yourself a hot sausage roll and a pint of this – the match of bitter and zesty but full flavour fruit and a decent, slightly spicy sausage roll is perfection. Find out more…

 

Bath Ales is definitely one of my favourite breweries and, if you have or haven’t tried them before, every ale they sell is worth drinking. So if you end up loving them like I do, you should join their Loyal Hare Force. Not only do you get a cool loyalty card but you’ll start saving towards a free pint. Can’t complain with that now, can we?


 

Main image credit: Niamh Harkett © BenFranksWine.com; beer images for separate ales used courtesy of BathAles.com.