Trader Joe's sells the Samuel Smith Old Brewery gift set - for $10, you get a 550 mL bottle of India Ale, Nut Brown Ale, and Oatmeal Stout, a branded pint glass, and a coaster. Pretty much a deal you can't resist (at least I couldn't). I added the Organic Chocolate Stout for good measure, because hey, it's organic, it's chocolate, and it's a stout - a perfect trifecta.
The Old Brewery at Tadcaster was established in 1758, making it Yorkshire’s oldest brewery. The brewing water is from 85 feet underground, using the original well. Their ales and stouts (except draught Sovereign and Extra Stout) are fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’~ fermenting vessels made of solid slabs of slate, using the same strain of yeast since the 19th century. The brewery still makes and repairs all its oak casks; all Samuel Smith’s naturally conditioned draught beer is served from barrel.
These are really high quality beers, understated yet full of flavor. They've been brewing these beers for some time now, so they're onto a recipe that works. Even if you can't get ahold of the gift set, the individual brews are widely available, and should be on your wish list for tasting.
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