I was recently brought back a souvenir from a trip to Hobbiton, and uniquely amongst souvenirs, this one was perfect.  A bottle from the range of beers (and ciders) served at that living monument to the Lord of the Rings movie, and crafted to evoke the same quaintly fantastical vibe.  Brewed at nearby Good George, who, with this incredibly savvy marketing move, have done the impossible — found a way to sell British style beer.

It’s hilarious (and sad) that the British styles have now found themselves so lamentably unpopular and outcast from the craft brewing market, that a perfectly ordinary amber ale is now seen as some fairytale fantasy beverage that Hobbits might drink. But, gripes aside, is this one any good?  Yes, thank goodness (if it was bad I would have been cast into a depression).  Girdly (3.7% ABV) has a broad and beautiful spectrum of malt character, with dry toasted grains and chewy caramel weaving through the flavour. The hop character is mild, lending a freshness and subtle fruity buoyancy to the palate, while a drying bitterness focuses the finish.  It’s an immensely satisfying drop, and at a comparatively tiny 3.7% ABV aptly demonstrates just what good use of malt can do to flavour beer.  I am also reliably informed that it does indeed, come in pints. 

Hobbiton Beer