In celebration of International Beer Day, 2 August, Co-operative News has compiled a list of the top five ‘co-operative’ breweries from around the world. Cheers!
Black Star Co-op, Texas, USA
At Black Star, beers are broken down into series: Rational, Irrational, and Infinite. Rational beers are offered year-round while Irrational are seasonals. One of its most popular beers is High Esteem. This pale ale is crisp and uses 40 lbs of Goodflow local wildflower honey and New Zealand Pacifica hops. Of golden colour, the beer tastes floral with a touch of bitterness and honeyed biscuit-malt. It contains 4.6 per cent abv. Check out its other beers, Vulcan, Narcissus, Nemesis and the Old Sour Dewberry.
Brasserie de la Lesse, Belgium
Named the best « ambrée » bier of 2012, La Cambree is produced at Brasserie de la Lesse, a local brewery owned by the three worker members of the co-op. The famous red beer of medium bitterness is described by customers as “refreshing and easy to drink”. It has a soft flavour of caramel and toast, as well as a taste of fresh young yeast, nuts, coriander, pepper, spices and grass. It contains 6.5 per cent alcohol.
Cananea Beer, Mexico
Cananea is Mexico’s famous home-brewed beer that does not include any chemicals or preservatives. The beer is produced by a local co-op in Mexico without making use of any filter systems. Red Ale is a “refreshing” beer “ideal for quenching thirst”. The beer’s special copper colour that reminds customers of sunset comes from three types of malt, hops and water. It also produces a ‘stout’ described as obscure and only enjoyed in ‘small sips’.
Hesket Newmarket Brewery, Cumbria, UK
At Hesket Newmarket, which is home to the UK’s first co-operative pub, the Old Crown, the local brewery’s Skiddaw is the classic brown ‘session bitter’. According to Stephen Bennett of the Old Crown, this means you can drink quite a lot of it without falling over and talking silly. Largely Maris Otter pale ale malt with crystal malt to round the flavour. Goldings, Fuggles and Hallertau Hersbrucker provide bitterness, with a hint of Styrian Goldings. Available at the Old Crown and 19 other outlets in Cumbria.
Star Inn, Salford, United Kingdom
The ‘Starry Night’ is a pale amber bitter with moderate bitterness, distinctive floral and citrus hop flavours and a unique smokiness. American Amarillo hops are the foundation of this light golden beer, brewed at the Star Inn co-operative’s microbrewery in Salford by former Boddingtons head brewer Richard Bazen.