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Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


Jolly Brewer Lucinda’s Lager and Taffy’s Tipple

First published in BEER September 2006 as part of a page marking the publication of the latest Good Bottled Beer Guide.

ABV: 5.2 and 6 per cent
Origin: Wrexham, Denbighshire, Wales

Lucinda's Lager and Taffy's Tipple

This year’s Great British Beer Festival saw the launch of the the sixth edition of Jeff Evans’ Good Bottled Beer Guide, a book that’s become as indispensable to beer enthusiasts as its big brother the Good Beer Guide, not only providing a snapshot of an increasingly large and confident industry but itself acting as an inspiration to further growth.

Each edition has been reassuringly fatter than its predecessor and the latest has the dimensions of a respectable novel rather than a slim volume, its extra pages packed with new entrants. Among them is the Jolly Brewer of Wrexham, a welcome addition to the small group of Welsh brewers listed.

The Brewer is in fact a long-established home brew supplies and specialist beer shop run by Penelope “Pene” Coles, who expanded into brewing back in 2000. The beers are filled by hand into elegant continental style bottles, and even the ABV is handwritten on the attractive labels, acknowledging that each mash is different.

Having just returned from Germany where I’d enjoyed several craft-brewed unfiltered lagers, I was especially intrigued by Lucinda’s Lager, brewed with Pilsener malt and proper cold-fermenting yeast, hopped with Goldings, Fuggles and Hallertau and stored for “longer than usual” before being released.

It pours a pale, slightly hazy yellow-gold with a good white head, the rich zesty floral orange aroma tinted by the honeyed notes often found in unpasteurised pale lager. But the palate has more of an Anglo-American intensity, with resiny hops from the start over crisp but slightly syrupy malt.

A flash of bitter orange on the swallow leads to a long leafy, peppery hop finish with a touch of ginger. Overall this is a big, dry beer that still remains crisp and refreshing.

In a contrasting shade, but exhibiting the same love of hops, is strong dry Taffy’s Tipple. This is a rich dark amber-brown beer with a thick creamy yellow head, and a slightly smoky dark malt and straw aroma.

The full palate with its tangy cola and blackcurrant notes is soon leeched dry by assertive burry hops. Hints of brown sugar soften complex hops and tart plum skins on the finish.

Chocolate and amber malts add colour to Maris Otter pale in the recipe, and that big hop bite comes courtesy of Target, Goldings, Challenger and a dose of Northern Brewer at the end of the boil. A fine brew from a brewery to watch.

Read about more beers featured in the 2006 Good Bottled Beer Guide in the next post.

Read more about these beers at

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