They say…

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


Little Valley Withens IPA

First published in BEER February 2008.

ABV:  3.9 per cent
Origin: Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire

Withens IPA

As most readers will know, India Pale Ales were originally high gravity, generously hopped export products that later evolved into the more session-friendly draught interpretations still supplied by the likes of Caledonian and Greene King. It’s the original style that’s most caught the imagination of the many contemporary craft brewers who’ve recently added revivalist IPAs to their ranges – a trend that’s been taken to extremes on the West Coast of the USA.

So it’s good to see a small brewer demonstrating that pale ale can still be supremely tasty and satisfying at quaffable strength. Withens IPA is one of six Real Ales in a Bottle from 100% organic Little Valley Brewery, founded in 2005 in attractive Calderdale in the South Pennines by Dutch-born and Bavarian-trained master brewer Wim van der Spek and his English partner Sue Cooper.

The beer takes its name from nearby Withens Clough Reservoir, fed by water from the surrounding moors which supplies the brewing liquor. The all-organic ingredients list comprises pale malt, caramalt, wheat malt, First Gold and Cascade hops.

An appropriately golden colour with a lightly foamy white head, the beer yields a tangy aroma with pineapple fruit and resins. The dry light malt palate develops more complex orange and spice notes, and a not unpleasant farmyard hint. A tangy finish has tart fruit and a flash of roast, developing a late flower petal hint.

Wim set out to brew a hoppy but drinkable beer with a pleasantly light body – in this he’s succeeded admirably with friendly and flavoursome results. “Beer produced with love and passion,” runs the strapline on the label, and I don’t doubt that it’s true.

Read more about this beer at

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