Origin Unknown

Get your nanoviolins at the ready, because I am going to open this piece with a long gestating compliant on behalf of the booze retail community.

It goes without saying, that when deciding what to fill our shelves with, we sample the wares of new and unfamiliar breweries. Thankfully, the breweries are keen to help us out with this and there are usually a few new bottles kicking around the office

Sadly though, sometimes these samples are unsolicited and occasionally awful. (when this occurs, they usually end up as raffle prizes or down the sink) This makes me feel like an ungrateful heel, but there’s no way we can stock every brewery that approaches us like this.

So I barely raised an eyebrow, when I came into work one day to find a case of assorted beers from a brewery that I was totally unfamiliar with.

The beer came from a brewery called Farm Yard Ales, who hailed from…, where exactly?

The bottles and tins had no details about their origins at all, which was unusual (and of dubious legality) and as far as Googling goes, calling your company “Farm Yard Ales” is only slightly better than calling it “The Real Ale Company” or “Craft Beer Co”.

In very small print on the back label, it did say “from the farmyard”

: real helpful guys.

After a good twenty minutes of internet browsing, I finally ascertained that Farm Yard Ales are based in Lancashire and are yet to break out into the wider UK.

The reason why I was keen to find out where they came from, is because despite my reservations, the beer was actually, rather excellent (if not exactly groundbreaking).

Top of their range is a lovely, crisp, sessionable, tinned pilsner and a very old school, bottled best bitter.

The bitter was a particularly good example of the style: Not too effervescent or boozy, nicely balanced with a chewy, nutty, malted character and a clean finish. I could easily imagine myself sinking a few pints of it over the course of an evening.

So, I’m going to endeavour to get some of these beers up to Edinburgh and by the time this sees print they should be gracing our shelves. Its good beer and it’s well priced.

I just wish they were a bit clearer about where it comes from.