Real ale is a booming business and an inspiring example of cottage industry and independent firms striking out on their own, and Claire and I have visiting a couple of great examples - the Durham Brewery and Jennings Brewery. Apart from the obvious great tasting beer, I love some of the imagination and thought that goes into the branding and packaging of independent ales. I'm an easy target in many ways and any beer that has some Lake District or Yorkshire Dales association is going to win me over every time, so I'll always pick up a bottle of "Leyburn Shawl" or "Muker Silver" whenever I see a selection of beers from the Yorkshire Dales brewery on offer.
One other beer that catches my eye is a label with a cat on it! Any of our friends will know we have a house full of cats and Claire does some good work for the Cats Protection Society too, fostering cats in need of a new home and so this is a topic close to our hearts.
I've picked up a few "cat beers" recently and here are a few that I really like:
This first one has it all, Lake District AND cats, how could I resist?
This beer brewed by Robinsons has a cat AND my name, but at 8.5% it's not to be taken lightly.