Monday, 2 May 2011

On the trail of Angel Blake and 69 IPA





Oxfordshire. Get yourself to Oxfordshire. Some of my favourite places in England are in this county.
The Chiltern Hills, The Ridgeway, the vale of the White Horse. You can now add Lovibonds brewery and Bix Bottom to my list.

Somewhere in the valley of Bix Bottom are the ruins of a church that featured in the 70s Tigon horror flick Blood On Satan's Claw. Now, Chap is a fan of British horror from 1970 to 1980. If you don't trip over a bottle of beer in his home bar the chances are you'll be tripping over a DVD or a pre-certification VHS.
Unspeakable acts on celluloid were performed in this ruin and it was where Angel Blake met her demise via a pitchfork.

The only claws spotted on this visit were attached to circling Red Kites (I counted sixteen). Experience noted, it was now time to slake one's thirst.

Down the road is Henley On Thames and 69 IPA. I'd been missing this kegged wonder from Lovibonds for a few months. I'd enjoyed the Henley Gold (wheat beer) and Dark (porter) but was gagging to try the recently controversial IPA. The controversy was around the 69 trade mark; apparently drinks giant Diageo were worried their customers wouldn't know the difference between beer and their whisky.




Turning off the Market Place and near a car park you'll find yourself at the brewery tap.
A quick chat with Chief Zymurgist himself, Jeff Rosenmeier about Bix Bottom, the legend of Griffydam and Cafe Bruxelles in Leicester whilst I eyed up the beer taps.
Gold, Dark, 69 IPA and Gold Reserve were on.
The 69 went down (ahem) with a fresh US hop punch. Refreshing and easy drinking for its 6.9% abv.




It was rude to stay and have another as one of us was driving so I had a couple of Lovibonds Growlers filled for takeout, two litres of Dark and four litres of 69.
Back home we could drain the Growlers and stick on another DVD.
After the IPA was sunk we moved straight onto the Henley Dark. Gorgeous chocolate flavours with hints of smoke and cracked black pepper.




Lovibonds is a couple of hours drive from home but I'll definitely be returning next time I'm in Oxfordshire.

Lovibonds Brewery
Rear of 19-21
Market Place
Henley-on-Thames
RG9 2AA

lovibonds.co.uk

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