It's a happy story. But just the other week I was on the way back from a lovely southern county known as Kent and me and the missus stopped by at an old farm shop she knew where I managed to pick up a few bottles of British Lager from a fairly new brewery in Suffolk called Calvors. So with a long weekend ahead and the sun shining I thought I might as well get them opened.
To start things off, Calvors 3 Point 8 at (you guessed it) 3.8%. This is obviously meant to be the most laid back easy drinking session beer of the group and pours a very pale straw in colour, about as pale as beer can get before you get to the likes of Sol and that nasty clear beer muck. Very faint aromas, maybe a touch of spicy hop. On the palate more subtle spicy hop notes over a very faint malt backbone finishing airy and bone dry. A tad two-dimensional and a touch watery. So all in all not far off mass market cooking lager, but I'm guessing the product is aimed at that kind of market.
Next up, the 4% Amber gives a far better impression. Golden bronze in colour it brings juicy, toasty, smooth malts and noble herbal hop notes throughout. Again the finish is a bit short and dry but still respectable at 4% drinking a bit like a toned down Sam Adams Boston Lager, Brooklyn Lager or anything of the style. Good, but didn't quite beat the deliciously smooth, toasted grain and milk chocolate notes of the 4.5% Calvors Dark.
That's how dark it is
Light of body but well-composed and delicious throughout. Slightly subtle for an authentic German Dunkel but with simple, refined, well composed flavour. Much appreciated, and after this I found the 5% Premium to also be another well-crafted affair. Pale straw with plenty of herbal hop flavours and aromas, crisp, clean and quaffable, finishing dry. So basically a textbook Bavarian pilsner, done rather well.
So in conclusion Calvors offer a nice approachable range of beers. They probably won't be grabbing the attention of many geeks and I myself would probably only bother getting the Premium or Dark Lagers again. Still, they were well worth a try.