Beer sellers: Westholme Store
Origin: Horsham, West Sussex, England
Ridgeway, based at South Stoke just south of Wallingford in Oxfordshire, is a beer firm set up by former Brakspear brewer Peter Scholey when that historic company pulled out of brewing. The brand name references the prehistoric trackway, the Ridgeway, which passes nearby on its way along the crest of the chalk Chiltern Hills. The beers, however, are brewed some way south though still in chalky country, in Horsham, Sussex, at Hepworth — set up by Andy Hepworth, another survivor of an independent brewery closure, in this case King & Barnes.
Strong bitter Oxfordshire Blue claims to be “the first bottle conditioned beer brewed deliberately to taste great chilled with food at a barbecue” but it’s decent enough on its own. A hazy golden peachy colour with a thick white head, it has a flowery fruity salad aroma with a curious leather strap undertow. The palate is also floral and fruit salad tinged, at first dry and spicy though with a sugary note and flowery resinous hops. A lemon jelly finish has sweetish malt, peach fruit and crisp twiggy hops that turn peppery bitter later.
Read more about this beer at ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/ridgeway-oxfordshire-blue/59530/