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Saintly beers

We thoroughly enjoyed our brief visit to Cornwall last weekend – the trouble is that since we got back, I’ve been too busy to write about it – that and melting in the very un-British-summer-like heat!  Suffice to say for the time being that we sampled a few of the St. Austell Brewery cask ales, and brought back a few bottles for a leisurely sampling at home.

The White Hart Hotel that we stayed in is great – nice rooms, good bar and restaurant, and a central location – opposite the parish church, and we were initially a bit concerned about the clock chiming every quarter hour, but they stop at 11pm until 7am – the churchyard also seems to be a rendezvous for the youth of the town once the pubs have shut, so it was a little bit noisy, but in a good-natured way.

The bar had just 2 cask beers – Tinners and Tribute.  The first night I had a pint of Tinners before dinner.  It weighs in at 3.7% and is a good session beer – light and refreshing – bitter, but not too much so.  It brought back memories of my time working in Camborne in the early ’90s.  In the restaurant I went for the Steak and Tribute Pie, so I thought I’d better wash it down with a pint of Tribute – and I was hooked.  This is a wonderful beer.  Slightly stronger that the Tinners at 4.2%, pale, fruity, hoppy and dry.  To be honest, probably better suited to a lighter meal than steak and ale pie, but I wasn’t complaining.  I’m afraid that after that, the Tinners didn’t get a look in, even though that is also a lovely beer.

I had wondered why I hadn’t come across Tribute on previous visits to Cornwall – admittedly, it’s a few years since we were last there.  The story of the beer is that it was originally brewed to commemorate the total solar eclipse that was visible from parts of Cornwall in 1999 – the beer was called Daylight Robbery, and it was only expected to be around for a short while.  The beer was so popular, that the brewery decided to re-launch it as Tribute to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the brewery in 2001.  Since then, Tribute has been St. Austell Brewery’s best selling beer.

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