The Good Sport is Grasmere Brewery’s taproom in the heart of the Lake District. As well as tasty food, they’re currently serving four of Grasmere’s beers on tap: an IPA, a pale ale, a helles lager and a bitter.
Last week we dialled things down by changing the bustling metropolis of London for the more reasonably-sized Leeds. Now we’re taking it a step further, driving out to the beautiful, peaceful Lake District. We’re staying in a gorgeous, old hotel just a ten minute walk from what passes for central Grasmere.
Grasmere, for reference, comprises around six hotels, three hotels, and a couple of shops. It is tiny. To its credit, however, since 2018 it’s also had its own brewery.
Grasmere’s IPA is punchy at 6.5%. Pale amber in colour with very slight haze and no bubbles, it has a peachy, tangerine aroma with a grain malt base.
On the palate there’s lemon rind bitterness, biscuit malt sweetness and a very slight gingery warmth with dextrose thick mouthfeel. Dry bitterness on the finish.
At first I thought this was the pale and was very impressed they’d packed so much flavour into just 4%…still, this was a really great start to the session.
Next we’re onto the pale ale, a light gold, session strength bitter. Just like the IPA there’s more of that lemon pith on the the aroma, this time with grapefruit rind.
Beyond the aroma, however, there’s just a thin watery mouthfeel. Some hints of lemon and a little grain malt, but not much else in the way of flavour. It’s a shame I started with the IPA, because this is a bit of a let down in comparison.
I come back with my second round of beers, much to my partner’s dismay. We’re here for the long haul.
This golden, clear and fizzy beer gives off corn and butter aromas. There’s some serious sweetcorn flavours with hints of fruit, perhaps pear. It’s all rounded off with a crisp, steely finish.
This beer would be perfect to chill out after a long bike ride on a hot day. Not ideal as the third drink of the night, but it’s not bad.
After an hour in this oldest of old man pubs, we’re finally onto the old man beer.
The bitter is pale amber and ever so slightly fizzy. The nose is rich and malty, a mix of ginger biscuits and digestives.
On the palate it’s like marmalade: sweet, malty and orangey. It’s light enough to drink all night, but flavoursome enough to keep it interesting.
And hey, the food is pretty great too.