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Ruddles have been brewing classic,typically British ales since 1858 and for a long period their beers were produced in Rutland-England's smallest county. Now owned by Greene King, Ruddles premium County Ale,is produced by a brewery at Abingdon in Oxfordshire.
Lets begin with a bit of history. Actually Great Britain is the only major beer producing nation in the world that still produces more ale than lager. Long may it remain so too ! Even before the introduction of hops into Britain's green and pleasant land, the ancient Picts,Celts and the Saxons brewed ale. So Britain has a long and illustrious tradition of brewing ales.
Among the very best of them are those produced by Ruddles. In particular Ruddles County is a mighty fine example. It is an Extra Special Bitter (ESB) and has an alcohol by volume (abv) content now of 4.7%;it used to have a considerably higher abv.
This fine ale has,in my view,a very rich,complex and hoppy character. It also has a full malty flavour which I like very much. Ruddles is tawny amber in colour and is brewed using Goldings,Fuggles,Challenger and Northdown whole hops and premium malted barley. I should add,if visiting Aussies or others tell you British ale is rubbish, that Ruddles County has twice won the highly coveted International Brewex award. Now that cant be bad can it ?
This nectar is available in many pubs as a cask conditioned ale and you can also get it in cans and bottles in the off trade.ie, your local off licence and supermarket. You can buy six packs which are economical and the 500 ml wide mouthed bottle is great too.
Ruddles is a superb beer to have with a hearty Ploughmans or a classic pub lunch such as Shepherd's Pie, Steak and Kidney Pudding or Pie and it also goes well with a slab of Cheddar Cheese and a Roll or a rare Beef sandwich.
Ruddles ales are a great advertisement for classic,traditional, British ales and gets a very strong recommendation from me. If you have overseas visitors to entertain what could be more pleasurable than taking them down to your local and quaffing a pint or two of Ruddles ?I suspect I will be far from alone in this judgement !