E-Mail: pub@thecricketers.biz       Tel No: 01245 268211
143 Moulsham Street, Chelmsford. CM2 0JT.

Meet The Brewers

Gray and Sons supply beer from a number of local brewers as well as a few further afield. Click on the links below to learn a little more about the breweries and their beers.

Cask Ale

Cask Ale, also known as Real Ale or cask Conditioned Beer is unpasteurised and unfiltered beer which is served by gravity or through a beer engine. Cask Ale is "Conditioned" in the cask, which means the brewing process is finished, in the cellar of a pub prior to serving. Unlike popular lager brands, Cask Ale is not served with the aid of gas pressure and is rarely carbonated which is usually reserved for bottled ales.

There are many styles of Real Ale, some very traditional and some more modern, which are available and give a broad spectrum of variety. Each different beer style has many different examples and recipes with many different breweries brewing them. This means that there are more beers available than anyone would be able to sample in a lifetime!

The Different Styles of Cask Ale

Bitter

Bitter

Bitters developed at the end of the 1800s coming from Pale Ale and are usually slightly darker being mid-brown or copper in colour due to the use of crystal malts in the brewing process.

Bitters come in a number of varieties with Bitter being between 3.4% and 3.9%, Best Bitter 4% and upwards with a number of other Bitters coming into the Extra or Special Strong Bitter category of 5% or more, Fuller's ESB and Greene King Abbot Ale being examples of these.

Golden Ale

Golden Ale

Golden Ale is a relatively new style of beer which is well hopped and thirst quenching. It has become more popular among brewers who are trying to tempt younger drinkers over from more heavily promoted Lager.

Strengths range from 3.5% to over 5% and they are normally golden, pale amber or straw coloured with a biscuity malt character brought from the pale malts used in the brewing process. Many Golden Ales have a tart citrus and peppery hop flavour.

IPA

IPA

Indian Pale Ale were first brewed in London and Burton-on-Trent for the colonial market with their high abv and hop content enabled the beer to be shipped long distances overseas whilst keeping them in good condition.

Although today many beers claim to be IPA with strengths of around 3.5% this is not true to the style. IPA is brewed using pale malts giving an amber beer which should be over 4% with plenty of bitter hop character.

Stout & Porter

Stout & Porter

Porter was a style of beer first appearing in London during the early 1700s and gained its name from its popularity with market workers. At that time the strongest, or stoutest, beer produced by a brewery was known as stout.

Porter and Stout are normally very dark or black in colour and originally both beers were strong with Porter being 6% and Stout 7 or 8%. Now both beers are less in abv and have plenty of coffee, liquorice and molasses flavour.

Mild

Mild

Mild is usually dark brown or ruby due to the use of well roasted malts and is less hopped than bitters. Mild has a lower abv, usually between 3% and 3.5% and is often sweeter than many other beers.

After falling from grace for many years, Mild has seen a resurgence with CAMRA promoting it, making the month of May Mild Month.

Not all Milds are dark, some are light milds with Timothy Taylor's Golden Best and Banks' Original being excellent examples.

Old Ale

Old Ale

Old Ale is a type of beer brewed in the style of beer brewed before the industrial revolution where ale was kept in tuns for months or even years and as a result was known as 'Stale' by drinkers.

The style has re-emerged in recent years and, contrary to expectation, it is usually no stronger than 4%. Old Ale can be either pale or dark with pale versions being tart, fruity with spicy hops and dark versions having hints of roast and dark fruit.

Cask Pilsner

Cask Pilsner

Cask Pilsner or "Real Lager" has come in a new wave from British Brewers attempting to give an alternative to the large number of keg products flooding the market

Pilsner is often regarded as being different to Lager although it is of that style. It uses malted barley giving a light flavour.The first pilsner was created using Saaz hops and credited to Bavarian brewer Josef Groll.

Light Bitter

Light Bitter

Light Bitters are defined as any bitter with an abv of 3.4% or less. Light Bitters are named after their low gravity but do often tend to be lighter in colour than most other bitters.

There has been a growing number of brewers who have been brewing lower strength bitters as duty has increased with St Austell IPA and Arkells 2B being good examples of the style.

Barley Wine

Barley Wine

Barley Wine dates from the 1700 and 1800s when England was at war with France and it was the duty of patriots, who were usually from the upper classes, to drink ale rather than claret.

It had to be strong as it was often stored for periods as long as 2 years and so abvs of up to 12% were not unheard of. Barley wine is normally served in bottles today although many smaller brewers have produced Barley Wine occasionally in cask, Humpty Dumpty '10' being an example of this.

Wheat Beer

Old Ale

Wheat beer is brewed using wheat as well as malted barley and can also be known as White Beer, witbier or weissbier and sour varieties such as Lambic.

There are many brands of Wheat beer from different countries such as Belgium, Holland and Germany but English brewers are also brewing Wheat beer available in cask which is sometimes flavoured.

Wheat beer is light in colour and often cloudy, although some do appear bright

Flavoured Ale

Flavoured Ale

Many beers are flavoured with fruit and spices. Hedgerow berries, blackcurrant, orange, lemon, chilli, ginger, the list is endless.

Although unpopular with certain circles, flavoured beers offer a fun alternative to traditional ales.

Some brewers have made flavoured ales their speciality such a Art Brew who are based in Somerset.

Scottish Bitter

Scottish Bitter

Scottish beers were historically sweeter and darker than English and Welsh ales as the climate lent itself to drinkers looking for warming beers.

In the 1800s beers were taxed according to strength using the shilling and so classic styles include light and low in strength (even when dark in colour) 60/-, Heavy or 70/-, Export or 80/- and Wee Heavy or 90/- which is very like Barley Wine.

Some of the more famous Scottish breweries include Caledonian, Belhaven and Harviestaun.