There is a small craft brewery in an industrial estate in the north part of Winchester, who are creating some really interesting ale. Red Cat Brewing is the name and “We Don’t Do Boring” is their game, or at least their company slogan. Set up at the back end of 2013, Red Cat Brewing have developed a wide range of craft ales.
Their mainstay ales, known as their Core Range are made up of Prowler Pale a 3.6% ABV session beer, Scratch (4% ABV), Best (4.2% ABV), a stout called Mr M’s Porter (4.5% ABV) and Tomcat (4.7% ABV).
When they feel the need to push the boat out and try new things, the beers are brewed under the Untamed Range. The first of these that they did was Kairos (4.4% ABV), highly hopped and infused with lemon zest. Smoggy (4.7% ABV) is their take on a Bamberg Rauchbier, a smoked German beer. The distinctive smoke flavour comes from drying the malted barley over an open flame. To make the smokiness less harsh, Red Cat Brewing decided to blend this with English Pale Ale and other roast malts. Contemplation (4.7% ABV) is a nutty and caramel sweet American style brown ale, blended with some complex American hops. Imperial 15 (8.5% ABV) is an impressive 2015 vintage stout, packed with as much malt as they could fit into the mash tin. Drank young it gives a fruity alcoholic punch, but the idea is to keep it in the bottle as long as you can to allow the stout to mature and soften.
Red Cat Brewing also do one off specials under the Gyle Range and are named after their batch number. Such as Gyle 113, a cheeky little Blonde and Gyle 120, a red ale infused with grapefruit zest.
Hops – Craft Ales Need You
There is belief in the beer making world, that if the rate of new independent breweries keep appearing at the rate they currently are, there could be a worldwide shortage of hops. I do not know if that is true or not, but on the one hand, I am pleased that craft beer has taken off in the way it has, as it means there is always something new to discover. The trouble is that on the other side of the coin, it could also mean the quality may eventually go down, or the price of craft ale goes astronomical. Something nobody wants to happen. How easy is it to grow hops I wonder?
Red Cat Brewing – Found In Pubs
There are various pubs that sell Red Cat Brewing’s many different ales. The Guide Dog in Southampton and Alfie’s in Winchester are two who immediately spring into mind, as they regularly have it on their taps. I think Red Cat Brewing are one of the more interesting craft breweries around and I’m very happy they are local too.
So I raise a glass and doff my cap to Red Cat Brewing and their staff. Long may you continue producing high quality ale. Oh and in case you were wondering if the red cat has a name… he is Mr M!