Some Celtic romanticism, and a thumper from Hampshire

Fancy A Pint? The retirement project to sample beer or cider brewed or fermented in each county in the United Kingdom.

IMGP5864County: Caerphilly County Borough (formerly part of Glamorgan).

What is it called? Dark-Age

Who Made It? The Celt Experience Brewery, Pontygwindy, Caerphilly. The brewery was started by Tom Newman in his father’s garage.

What is it? Unfiltered unresinous mild ale.

Alc Vol: 4%

What it says on the label: “Elegant smooth chocolate and caramel body with a spice finish … Inspired by the tranquility of the myths of Avalon, the legends of King Arthur and Merlin emerge from ancient pagan myths, tracing dark ripples through history.”

Food combination: “Belgian chocolate mousse.”

Retired Bloke verdict: Avalon? Merlin? Get over yourselves, lads! It’s beer! Not having any Belgian chocolate handy, I had a pork pie with my glass. Off to the dungeons with Retired Bloke.

Fancy another? No thanks. The beer tasted fine, but I don’t think I could cope with another helping of the over-heated imagination.

It’s not about the beer: Caerphilly is the birthplace of comedian Tommy Cooper. There’s a statue of him in the town.

IMGP5866County: Hampshire.

What is it called? Old Thumper.

Who made it? Ringwood Brewery. The brewery was launched in 1978 by Peter Austin, but it was bought by Marston’s in 2007.

What is it? Full of flavour craft ale.

Alc Vol: 5.1% (but originally 6%)

What it says on the label: “a moreish maltiness and a satisfying full flavour”

Food combination: “Best enjoyed relaxing with friends and a cow pie.”

Retired Bloke verdict: A very nice pint. Drank it with beef Wellington and roast potatoes.

Fancy another? Yes please.

It’s not about the beer: The town of Ringwood is home to the UK’s largest slotcar racing centre.

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