Boddingtons Pub Ale

Val and I went to our local sports bar/restaurant for dinner one night. They have a limited craft selection, but I wanted to give this beer a shot since I’ve never had it before.


ABV: 4.7%

Style: English Pale Ale

Trivia: According to, “Boddingtons Brewery was a regional brewery in Manchester, England, which owned pubs throughout the North West. Boddingtons was best known for Boddingtons Bitter (Boddies), a straw-golden, hoppy bitter which was one of the first beers to be packaged in cans containing a widget, giving it a creamy draught-style head. In the 1990s, the beer was promoted as The Cream of Manchester in a popular advertising campaign credited with raising Manchester’s profile. Boddingtons became one of the city’s most famous products after Manchester United and Coronation Street. Whitbread bought Boddingtons Brewery in 1989 and Boddingtons Bitter received an increased marketing budget and nationwide distribution. Boddingtons achieved its peak market share in 1997 and at the time was exported to over forty countries. Boddingtons beer brands are now owned by the global brewer Anheuser–Busch InBev which acquired the Whitbread Beer Company in 2000. Strangeways Brewery closed in 2004 and production of pasteurised (keg and can) Boddingtons was moved to Samlesbury in Lancashire. Production of the cask conditioned beer moved to Hydes Brewery in Moss Side, Manchester, until it was discontinued in 2012, ending the beer’s association with the city.”

Random: I had no idea until I did the research that they were owned by AB InBev. I guess I should have known better.

The beer poured with a one finger, thick, pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. A lot of this was due to it being on nitro. The body was relatively clear (after it settled) and a bright amber color. I could only see light carbonation. The nose was mild with white toast, grain and honey. The first thing that I noticed about the taste was that it was almost creamy from being on nitro. After I got past that, there was white toast, grain and a mineral water quality. Grass provided a mild bitterness. It had a thick and chewy body with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy and toasty. I got this at a bar, where a glass was $6 ($.38 per ounce). I thought this was really drinkable and non offensive, although it was a bit simple. I’m glad I tried it, but I don’t feel the need to revisit it.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Liquid Riot Burton-On-Funk

When I picked this beer up, I had no idea about the style of the beer. I just knew that it was from Liquid Riot and I wanted to bring it home and give it a shot. After doing some research on it, I’m not sure that I’ve ever had an opportunity to try a Brett English Pale Ale. There’s a first time for everything, I guess.


ABV: 8%

Style: English Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Burton-on-Funk is the barrel aged version of our Burton ale cellared in a bourbon barrel for about 10 months with Brettanomyces. It’s nicely malty, minerally, and dry with strong notes of classic Brett funk. The finish is very dry with notes of bourbon and oak with a lingering hoppiness.”

Random: If we ever go back to Portland, without a doubt, we’re going back to Liquid Riot.

This beer poured with a huge, thick, four finger white head that dissipated slowly. It left some lacing on the glass as well. The body was a dusky, light orange color with moderate carbonation. The nose was very interesting. It started with some tartness and hay and then warm, vanilla notes with bourbon. The taste had more bourbon notes up front. It had oak, ash, and warm vanilla with a touch of rye spice. The brett came through, but didn’t offer a lot of tartness. Instead, it just dried out the beer. There was also some earthy, grassy hops that came through. It had a medium thick body with no alcohol warming. There was light carbonation. The finish was quick with bourbon and vanilla. This set me back $12.99 for a 375 mL bottle ($.98 per ounce), which isn’t cheap, but worth it for a really interesting beer that I would definitely have again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

SingleCut Keith SW4 English Pale Ale

I ordered this beer while we were waiting for friends to meet us for dinner. When I asked the server what type of beer this was, they said that it was a “nitro ale.” As to be expected, I gave her a quizzical look and again asked what type of beer it was. She then told me that this was a beer that was fermented on nitro instead of carbon dioxide. I explained that nitro ale isn’t a style, she gave me an equally quizzical look and went to her manager to ask. Val then told me next time to just smile and then look it up on the internet. For the record, she came back and said that it was a “nitro pale ale.” I was tempted to ask if it was English or American (since they just had it on the menu as “Keith”), but decided just to order it.


ABV: 5.7%

Style: English Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Remember when beer was floral, smooth, understated, and came from a town that also brought the world silly walks, double-decker transit, and hard rock? Well, let us refresh your memory!”

Random: Although I think that mason jars are cute, I’m not a huge fan of serving beer in them. I find them annoying to drink out of.

This beer poured with a one finger, thick, white head that dissipated slowly. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy orange color with no visible carbonation. The nose was light with lemon and grass and then a little bit of malt sweetness. The taste was very light with grassy and lemon. There was some malt sweetness to it at the end of the sip. The body was very thick and creamy with no carbonation. The finish was quick with toffee and caramel malt. This beer was really bland and just missed the mark for me. I won’t be having this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Morland Old Speckled Hen

On Thursday, the other half and I headed to Newtown (since we’re only 15 minutes away from it) and stopped at a local pub for dinner. It was happy hour, so they had half off of snacks. We ended up trying their pizza (which was only okay) and their truffle fries (which were really good). This was the beer I tried while there.


ABV: 5.2%

Style: English Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “‘If, like me, you like to hunt out a hen, well there are plenty of opportunities to find one. ‘Old Speckled Hen’ is in pubs and bars across the country in cask and also as a smooth version at 4.5% ABV. You can also enjoy ‘Old Speckled Hen’ in 500ml or 355ml bottles and 500ml cans at 5% ABV from all leading supermarkets and convenience outlets. And for the jet setters amongst us, you can even find it in 47 countries around the world, from Australia to the UAE. ‘Old Speckled Hen’ has a full, smooth flavour and is very easy to drink. Its rich amber colour and superb fruity aromas are complemented by a delicious blend of malty tastes. Toffee and malt combine with bitterness on the back of the tongue to give a balanced sweetness. This, all followed by a refreshingly dry finish.'”

Random: The website has their mascot, which is a fox with creepy eyes.

This beer poured with a one finger, thick white head, almost like it was on nitro. It dissipated slowly and left generous lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, mahogany color with light carbonation visible. The nose had mineral qualities with sweet caramel malt. The taste was light with biscuit and the toffee sweetness. Other than that, I really didn’t get much from it. It had a thin body with light carbonation. The finish was swift with toffee sweetness. This beer had a little bit of flavor, but it was bit boring yet unoffensive. I wouldn’t have it again because it didn’t do much, but it was drinkable.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Prism ParTea Pale Ale

One of my favorite non-alcoholic drinks is iced tea. I have my iced tea straight and unsweetened. So, when I saw this beer originally at ACBF, I was very excited to try it. Let’s see if it is as good as I remember it.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: English Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In making our signature pale ale we knew we wanted to do something different. We needed something that stood out, complimented the subtlety of our pale ale, and said we will a pale ale like no other – whole leaf tea was the perfect ingredient. We use whole leaf black tea to add a subtle tea flavor and aroma. A refreshing and dry mouth feel give this beer a smooth finish & a unique bitterness. An incredible amount of tea goes into this beer so much so our brewers have a tough time getting the whole leaf tea out when done (picture the tea party men tossing chests of tea overboard). We named it ParTea Pale Ale because the flavors seen to dance on your tongue and they party all night. Looking for a Pale Ale with something more? Look no further.”

Random: I’m onto the Napa episode of “Drinking Made Easy.” Not surprisingly, they’re at a vineyard.

This beer poured with a one finger white head. It was quick to dissipate with no lacing left on the glass. The body was a hazy, dark orange color with no carbonation visible. The nose was mild with orange and black tea and some hops. The taste was on the light side too. There was black tea with a touch of orange. Caramel malt came through as well with some light, grassy hops too. The body was medium thickness with high carbonation. It had a relatively long finish with black tea and caramel malt. I really liked that this was a different take on the usual pale ale and I would have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Samuel Smith’s Organic Best Ale

Funny enough, Kate and I were having a discussion about all things organic last night. Her sister buys only organic things for her family. She basically lives at Whole Foods. One time, Kate and I were dog sitting at her sister’s house and I was eating something that needed ketchup. The only ketchup they had in their house was this weird organic brand. I consider myself a ketchup purist and only like Heinz. I can’t stand Hunt’s or anything kind. This organic ketchup was absolutely wretched. But, I’ve had a few organic beers and they been basically tasty. This one was a Christmas gift from my parents.

ABV: 5%

Style: English Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed with well water (the original well at the Old Brewery, sunk in 1758, is still in use, with the hard well water being drawn from 85 feet underground); best barley malt, yeast and aromatic hops; fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’ to create a full, rounded flavour and after-taste.”

Random: I like the antique feel that the Samuel Smith labels give off.

This one poured with a finger and a half of slightly off white head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing, but a crown on top of the body. The body itself was a touch on the hazy side and tangerine colored with low carbonation visible throughout. The nose was very minerally with a touch of flowers, pretty much what I was expecting from a Sam Smith brew. The taste started with bready malt and oats. It was very grainy, but no real bitterness on it at all. The mineral quality of the water used was present, but not overdone. The body was thick and the carbonation could have used a little boost. The finish was instantaneous and had a touch of grain. This beer is like Switzerland…neutral. There really wasn’t a large amount of flavor and in my opinion, the worst offering of a very strong brewery.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

John Smith’s Extra Smooth

After the disappointing beer that I just finished, I went into the fridge for another reviewing beer that would hopefully be a little bit better than the last. This was a brew that I picked up awhile ago. I picked it up mostly because I had never seen or heard of it before. That, and the tallboy can looked pretty cool. You would think that Katie picked this one out because it’s another beer from the UK…but I digress. Let’s crack this open.

ABV: 3.80%

Style: English Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “John Smith’s Extra Smooth was launched in 1993 and is now the nation’s number 1 ale. The boffins say it has a distinct cereal character, with malty, caramel notes being complemented by some fruitiness. But we just think it’s a right good pint. Extra Smooth is available in draught at the pub or in cans to be enjoyed at home (both 3.8% ABV). Plus you can also get John Smith’s Extra Cold on draught; the same great taste, but colder, we don’t muck about with names see.”

Random: In my early days of drinking, I was fascinated by widgets in beer. I find the concept of being able to have a nitro beer at home very cool. Technology at its finest.

After I cracked this one open and poured it, the first thing that struck me was how the brew cascaded like Guinness. The head was hugely thick and one finger high that really didn’t dissipated at all. After a few sips, it left a huge amount of lacing on the glass. After I let the beer settle, it ended up to be a clear, dark chestnut color with almost no visible carbonation. This struck me as odd. I figured an English pale ale would have more carbonation, or at least something. The nose was very mild. I got some hops and caramel malt, but it was a struggle to get even that. I handed the pint glass to Kate who told me that it smelled like “beer.” Thanks. That was a help. The taste was interesting…grain, malt and a little yeast. This was probably the most mild flavored English Pale Ale that I’ve ever had, and that really wasn’t a good thing. It quickly got boring. The body was medium thickness with low carbonation. The finish was quick and just as boring as the sip. This was a generally unremarkable beer. I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Brooklyn Summer Ale

Here’s the other brew that I had at The Spot. Brooklyn beers for me are always hit or miss. I’m actually surprised that I haven’t had this one yet. It’s not that I haven’t seen it in a million places during the summer, it’s just that there are always other beers that I would rather have. So, since this was the only other beer on tap that I hadn’t sampled, I figured that it was time to bite the bullet and try it.

ABV: 5%

Style: English Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brooklyn Summer Ale is a modern rendition of the ‘Light Dinner Ales’ brewed in England throughout the 1800’s right up until the 1940’s. They were also called ‘luncheon ales’ or even ‘family ales,’ because they were refreshing and flavorful without being too heavy. We brew our Brooklyn Summer Ale from premium English barley malt, which gives this light-bodied golden beer a fresh bready flavor. German and American hops lend a light crisp bitterness and a citrus/floral aroma, resulting in a beer with a very sunny disposition.”

Random: I hate going into the city, which is shocking because most of my family lives there and I was born there. I’m a Philly girl all the way.

This brew poured with a barely there white head that dissipated quickly and left mild lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow color with generous carbonation. The nose smelled summer-y to me. I got grain and citrus mostly, which was really pleasant on a hot day. The taste started with lemon and went into grass with some orange brightness. The body was thin with lots of carbonation. The finish was quick with citrus. Although this beer is on the mild side, it was really thirst quenching and definitely sessionable. I was pleasantly surprised with this one and would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Cisco Whale’s Tale Pale Ale

So, I started listening to the Worst Case Scenario audiobook that I got from the library. It is not only hilarious, but useful. I figured out how to escape a bad date and get a red wine stain out. I really love books like that. They give you all these tips about how to handle common situations. Well…not that I usually need to escape Katie, but I have a habit of spilling crap on myself. Tonight’s brew is another one from Cisco that I tried at the AC Beer Fest but I don’t remember it flooring me.

ABV: 5.6%

Style: English Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “If you’re not familiar with Nantucket history, you’ll be interested to know that this tiny island was once the Whaling Capital of the World. Knowing a bit of the history of a place can really help put life in perspective, and I like to encourage people to spend part of their time here visiting the Whaling Museum, the Oldest House, and the windmill. Calling our beer ‘Whale’s Tale’ is a little tribute to the whaling era and a way to say hey, whales are people too! Let’s appreciate their contribution to Nantucket’s prosperity.”

Random: For some reason I haven’t watched a huge amount of baseball this season. It’s probably because the Phils have just been atrocious this season.

This brew poured with a one finger white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body of the brew was an ever-so-slightly hazy orange color with decent carbonation. The nose was a bit malt heavy, but I guess that was to be expected since the style is an English pale ale. There is a dose of some hops in there, but they hang out in the background. The taste was relatively neutral. The hops came up first, but were quickly balanced with some bready caramel malt. There was also a bit of a medicinal taste to it that I didn’t find pleasant at all. The body was on the thicker side of a pale ale with medium carbonation. The finish lingered with the medicinal flavor that I couldn’t identify. This brew really didn’t do anything for me. It was just there…no flavors to entice the palate, just wet and beery. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Brooklyn Pennant Ale ’55

Opening Day! Oh baseball, how I’ve missed you so. I mean, it’s not the Phillies, but I guess it will have to do. It’s already the 5th inning and the Marlins haven’t gotten a hit yet on Opening Night. At least I’m drinking an appropriate brew…

ABV: 5%

Style: English Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “As Brooklynites, we revere the memory of the 1955 World Champion Dodgers baseball team, so we had to name a beer in their honor. Brooklyn Pennant Ale is a honey-colored pale ale with a brisk malt palate and finely balanced hop character. Pennant is a traditional English-style pale ale. The pale ale style developed in the early 19th century, and was called ‘pale’ because it appeared so in comparison to the darker ale styles of the day (East India Pale Ale was a stronger, paler, more bitter version of the style). Brooklyn Pennant Ale is brewed from Scottish Maris Otter malt, which is justly prized for its toasty, biscuity flavor and the round smoothness it imparts to beer. Our house ale yeast brings out an appetizing fruitiness and ferments to a dry finish. During 2005, Brooklyn Brewery will donate one dollar from every case of Pennant sold to the funding of the statue of Brooklyn Dodgers greats Jackie Robinson and Pee-Wee Reese planned for the Cyclones ballpark in Coney Island.”

Random: I think it’s a little funny that a beer that’s about America’s past time is an English Pale Ale…

This brew poured with a one finger, off white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear mahogany color with lots of active carbonation. As soon as I popped the cap on this bottle, I got sweet malts on the nose. It was a lot more sweetness than I’m used to for the style. On the taste, wow. This was definitely different than what I was used to. Initially, I was trying to find the sweetness that was on the nose, but it came at the end of the sip coupled with almost seltzer-like carbonation. There really was no bitterness to speak of. The body was towards the thinner side and the finish was relatively quick with no notable flavors. This brew just didn’t do it for me. I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0