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


Moor Old Freddy Walker and JJJ IPA


ABV: 7.5% and 9.5%
Origin: Pitney, Somerset, Engand

An extended review of a beeer featured as a strong and special beer  on the bottled beer review page in the November 2010 issue of BEER magazine, sent free every quarter to CAMRA members, who can also view it online. The magazine is additionally available in selected newsagents.

Old Freddy Walker

For some reason I’d missed out until recently on the products of one of Britain’s gold starred Real Ale in a Bottle producers, Moor Beers, established in 1996 near Glastonbury but relocated to Pitney in 2008. Since 2007 the brewery has been run by Californian Justin Hawke with his wife Maryan, and they’ve unashamedly pursued a policy of incorporating the vivid flavours of Californian brewing into the British microbrewed real ale tradition. All the beers are well presented in generous 660ml bottles with attractive art nouveau-style labels.

Moor’s best known beer is Old Freddy Walker, an dating back almost to the brewery’s beginning, with a string of awards to its credit. Brewed from pale, lager, crystal and black barley malts and wheat malt, and hopped with Liberty and Bramling Cross, it’s bottle conditioned for at least a month before release and Justin reckons it’s at its peak at least a couple of months after that.

It’s a near-black beer with a thick orangey-beige head and an aroma of chocolate coated raisins with leathery spice and dark malt. The estery, freshly fruity and full bodied malty palate has a leady chocolate note and a sting of roasty, ashy dryness, though within an overall smooth texture also yielding some complex rooty flavours. A dry and bitterish malt cake finish has quite a roasty note developing, with tart fruit, soothing chocolate and lightly spicy hops. The label’s reference to “liquid Christmas pudding” implies something a bit sweet and sickly – but although rich this is a beautifully smooth and fresh beer with a pleasant tart edge.


JJJ IPA is even more impressive if only since it’s an unusual style for a British brewery, though it’s dead on for a Californian “hophead” double or triple IPA, and would hold its own among the more celebrated examples of the style. The three J’s are Justin himself, and James and Josh from a nearby pub, who between them developed the beer, which now has a list of awards in its own name to rival Old Freddy Walker.

 This deep amber beer has a fine thick yellow head, with toffeeish resiny hops immediately apparent on the aroma, laden with roses, fresh hay and fruit. A lovely rich toasty palate supports a big citric, caramel, cracked pepper and coconut spicy hop bite. The alcohol is warming in the mouth with spirity esters. A long peppery hop finish is warming and slightly tannic with peach stone, artichoke and burnt rubber notes, but plenty of malt to support the bitterness and lend subtlety. A very impressive beer and actually one of the best of its type I’ve encountered.

Buy this beer from as part of a special pack containing all the beers featured on my beer review page in BEER this month. BEER readers receive a special discount by entering the voucher code shown in the magazine.

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