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Hop to it

I decided to try a beer I hadn’t tried before with our Sunday roast (beef this week) – Badger Hopping Hare (4.5%) from Hall & Woodhouse.  It is “thrice hopped” – two lots of hops added to the copper, and a third lot added to the cask.  It is what it sets out to be – a light, refreshing Spring beer to take our minds off the dingy dull days of Winter. It is a pale amber colour, with a hoppy and quite fruity aroma.  I’ve said several times before that I prefer the less powerful beers, but this is extremely drinkable for a 4.5% bitter – I could certainly down a few of these, and I will be looking for the draught version in our local Badger pubs (not many of them near us, unfortunately).

Unfortunately, although I thoroughly enjoyed the beer, it came up a bit short against the roast beef.  The bottle notes declare it to be “a terrific match with spring lamb” – but I don’t think it is quite up to roast beef.  Not the beer’s fault – entirely my error in selecting it.

Hopping Hare is only available during Spring 2009 – so get some before May, or you might not get any at all.  It’s well worth trying, and as the bottle says, in a rather naff play on words, it is “bound to please”. 

For comparison, I had a bottle of Marston’s Double Drop, as I knew it was a similar style of beer – it has the same pale amber colour as Hopping Hare, but it’s a bit stronger at 5%,  and it has a more intense aroma, more bitter taste, and longer bitter finish.  Double Drop is also a nice drop, and followed the Hopping Hare very nicely.

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