ale, lager, stout, porter, mild, barley wine – the list is almost endless!

Harveys Imperial Extra Double Stout

We tried this Harveys beer before we were aware of its illustrious history – a beer that sailed the waves to the Imperial Russian Court before falling into obscurity post-World War Two.

Having consulted The friendly Oxford Companion to Beer, we find out that, luckily for us the Yanks were intrigued, so much so they commissioned top British brewers to recreate the style.

9%, Harveys Shops & Online; £2.30-£3/27.5cl; Cobbetts of Dorking & other independent beer shops

Ridgeway Bad King John

It was the week after New Year and I just happened to be stocking up in Sainsbury's, as you do. Imagine my delight when, far from empty shelves, there was a good supply of none other than the Sainsbury's Great British Beer Hunt winner, Bad King John from Ridgeway Brewery.

Easy choice that one and, sampling it now, it's lost none of its appeal.

6%, £2.09; Sainsburys & selected independent beer shops

Driftwood Boutique Brewery Tours

Driftwood Brewery
26 January 2012 - 28 January 2012

Head to the award-winning Driftwood Spars Hotel and Brewery for a tour with a difference: one that takes in half-a-dozen boutique Cornish breweries.

Kicking off on Thursday with a tasting led by award-winning beer guru Roger Protz – editor of CAMRA's Good Beer Guide among many other things – you'll have a chance to try some of Driftwood Pete's finest, including some brewed specially for the weekend.

Alfie's Revenge

Named after a notorious critter – a stuffed squirrel – that used to preside over the Driftwood Spars bar, this is full of flavour with a good balance between seasoned malt, a moreish bitterness and an enthusiastically hoppy finish.

No wonder if was crowned the 2012 Winter Ale of Britain. CAMRA judges describe this as a "strong and fruity, well-balanced premium ale".


Driftwood Brewery

Winding down the wooded road towards Trevaunance Cove near St Agnes on the north Cornish coast you feel as if you are going back in time. Just before you reach the beach, you’ll see the cheery white-painted stonework and blue-edged windows of the Driftwood Spars.

Now under the direction of vivacious Lou Treseder, this is one of the nation’s best coastal inns, and it has the gongs to prove it. As well as Cornish roots going back to the Domesday Book, hospitality is in Lou’s blood. Her gran ran a B&B and her parents have been local hoteliers for decades.

  • Tours
  • Café and/or Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Accommodation
  • Eco Initiatives

Adnams Stemmed Glass Selection

Need something decent for your beer to look as good as it tastes?

Adnams to the rescue. I’ve checked out loads of beer glasses over the last year as part of my research for Imbibe’s Beer Special. So I was more than thrilled to see the beautiful new glasses devised by Adnams, and I’m chuffed that you can buy them as well as use them in the pub.