Guest beers – Black Sheep Hoptacular

IMG_0781July 2015

Fresh in from Black Sheep’s brewery in Masham, Yorkshire – and the name says it all! If you like your beers hoppy, then you’ll like this one. Looks like everyone in The White Swan liked it, because it was soon gone.

Black Sheep say that Hoptacular is “Hoptacular is a light golden pale ale, very easy drinking with its big flavour there’s a refreshing hop explosion from the Polaris, Magnum, Columbus, and Galena hops used.”

3.6% ABV and as the brewers say – very moreish!! They also say it goes well with curries and spicy foods, but we were so busy drinking it that we only got to try it with some (not very spicy) pork pie.

Three and a half sunshines (?!) on

Guest beer – Long Man Brewery – Long Blonde

IMG_0771July 2015

What about that? Two beers branded with chalk hill figures, back to back. We are fond of our chalk hill figures around these parts – off with the Uffington White Horse, and on with the Long Man of Wilmington.

Long Man Brewery tell us that their Long Blonde is “A light coloured golden Ale with a distinctive hoppy aroma and crisp clean bitterness on the finish. Smooth light and refreshing”.

There can be some suspicious muttering at the bar when we read about our upcoming beers and see descriptions such as “citrus-y” and “biscuit-y” because these beers can sometimes leave too much of an aftertaste, and we prefer our grapefruit for breakfast and biscuits with our cuppa, but Long Blonde was a good ‘un – 3.8% = well drinkable.

Overall rating of 11/20 over at – we reckon it deserves better than that, and Long Blonde will be welcomed back again next year, thank you very much!

Guest beer – White Horse Brewery – Wayland Smithy

IMG_0769July 2015 – Hard not to like this one, with a local affection for the magnificent White Horse at Uffington – how could any beer carrying this emblem be anything other than superb?

White Horse Brewery’s Wayland Smithy didn’t disappoint. At 4.4%, very drinkable, maybe a tad stronger than the usual guest ‘summer session’ beers on the guest pump, but no-one in The White Swan was grumbling about that.

The brewers tell us “the power of the blacksmith is legendary, and this beer combines the best ingredients money can buy with the skills of the traditional brewer to create a hammering good beer”.

If you’re wondering about the blacksmith (or Wayland, come to that) nip over to wikipedia to read up on this Neolithic long barrow, which has it’s own very special atmosphere and plenty of associated local legends and superstitions. If you visit, remember to leave a gift for Wayland the Smith – perhaps a drop of your beer!

No scores on the doors yet, not at, nor over at – perhaps, like us, they were too busy drinking it to worry about awarding stars or points!

Guest Beer – Fullers Summer Ale

July 2015: A returning guest this one, and a welcome return too. Always popular – so much so that Paul got a couple of barrels in. Just as well, both barrels were soon gone!


Fullers say it is “Deliciously refreshing, Fuller’s Summer Ale is the signal that heralds the start of warmer weather. They say one swallow doesn’t make a summer, but your first swig of this crisp blonde ale might just prove otherwise.

At 3.9%, it was pretty easy to swallow. (o: 4/5 at – we’d give it 4.5 out of 5. More, please!

Guest Beer – Burton Bridge Golden Delicious

IMG_0754June 2015

From Burton Bridge Brewery, this one. They say: “a pale straw-coloured beer with a strong hop aroma and a dry bitter finish. At 3.8% it makes a fantastic session bitter”. At 3.8%, not quite enough body for the pub dog, who prefers something around 4.5%, but the humans liked it. don’t have a rating for this one, yet, but it didn’t hang around long on The White Swan’s guest pump!

Guest beer – St. Austell’s Tribute

IMG_0626June 2015

The arrival of St. Austell’s Tribute (4.2% abv) on the guest pump has been eagerly awaited – so much so that the boss ordered two barrels, because it’s bound to be popular (especially as the temperatures finally start to rise – just in time for the Summer Solstice).

Some of the locals have even been seen to switch from their favoured ESB pump, such is the quality of this ale.

St. Austell’s say this beer “is a perfect accompaniment to chicken, gammon or fish. The ideal alternative to a fine white wine.” We don’t know about that, but it went down pretty well with a pork pie, and some stonking Tracklement’s horseradish mustard.

Surprisingly low score on – given the speed at which the first barrel of this stuff is going.

Bit of a back story on St. Austell’s winner here:

Guest beer – Provenance Nelson

IMG_0625June 2015

Nelson (4.5%)- a ‘craft beer’ ale from Hydes Brewery.

They say: “This delightful premium pale ale has been crafted from the New Zealand Nelson sauvin hops. Fruity and full of gooseberry flavours”

Bruce says: “It’s distinctly tart”. We’re almost sure that he was talking about the beer.

Guest beer – Batemans Valiant

IMG_0624June 2015

Bateman’s Valiant – from Batemans Brewery, Lincolnshire

Tasting Notes:  A delicious golden amber beer which is the perfect combination of subtle crunchy English malts and citrus tangy hops ,which is clean and crisp with a slightly zesty character

Food Match: Cheese (especially Lincolnshire Poacher)

Contains: Barley

It looks like think this is an ex-beer, but we know different!

Guest beer – Red Riding Hood

June 2015

Fresh in from Nottingham’s Castle RockIMG_6199 brewery, we’ve got Red Riding Hood on the guest pump. And no, you Game of Thrones fans, that’s not Casterly Rock!

At 4.3% ABV, this is a dark, red-brown beer (“red-blooded”, say the brewers!). Tastes: Fruity, Subtle Bitterness, Toasted Malt. New from them in 2014 – this beer was previously known as ‘Lincoln Red’ but now renamed (with a nod to Nottingham’s legendary historic outlaws) it has joined Castle Rock’s permanent menu.

No score yet on ‘‘ – but this one’s going down well (and going fast) in The Swan.

Edit: all gone in three days. The Swan liked this one!