Bristol’s Butcombe Brewing Co has the same birth year as myself, 1978, and as such are a very, very young brewery with virtually no grey hairs to speak of at all. It was set up by Simon Whitmore, formerly Managing Director of Courage Western, in old farm buildings at his family home in Butcombe, 10 miles south of Bristol. Originally a microbrewery, in 2003 the brewer was sold to new owners Paul Horsley and Guy Newell, and by 2005 they had their own purpose-built brewery premises in nearby Wrington. For the first 25 years of business, the brewery focussed on only a couple of beers, Butcombe Bitter and Butcombe Gold, but as capacity increased and the craft brewing industry took off, it came time for the brewer to branch out with new offerings.
Goram IPA was released by the brewer in 2017 (from what I can gather from my internet delving), and is their flagship IPA; brewed with a mix of British, American and New Zealand hops to give a fruitier taste and aroma than classic IPAs. It’s named after Goram, one of the fabled giants that in legend helped to form the Bristol landscape. The old tales talk of Goram’s fondness of ale, indeed during one of his adventures he was so tired from physical exertion that he slaked his thirst with gallons of local beer, and subsequently fell asleep in his favourite stone seat. Goram IPA Zero is the brewer’s 0.5% version of this beer, and was released in 2021 – initially on tap in a number of their own venues, and later on available in glass bottles. A quality AF on draught? Surely that is the stuff dreams are made of? Let’s see what it’s like out of a bottle.
The beer pours a clear dark golden colour, producing a frothy off-white head as it settles. This initially looks like a stayer, but unfortunately shrinks back with alacrity. On the nose we get sweet malts, caramel, grassy hop and juicy stone fruit. Not quite a fruity as I was expecting, but a decent malt profile on show.
The fruit makes an appearance when we taste, with tropical lychee and juicy mango discernible but not dominating, allowing the background malt to build. A pleasing light grassy/citrus bitterness stops the sweetness from overpowering the brew. The body is light to medium, carbonation is at a decent level, with a clean mouthfeel. The finish is crisp and dry.
Goram IPA Zero is another strong debut nolo from a brewer. It has much more flavour and depth in it than is suggested by the aroma, and it’s a great example of a classic IPA without the alcohol. Bristol is one of the places that my wife and I are thinking of moving to after we’re done with all this London malarkey, and between Butcombe Brewery and Clear Head from Bristol Beer Factory it looks like I’ll be well catered for!
Buy Goram IPA Zero
Goram IPA Zero is available in a number of pubs around the Bristol area, on tap and in bottles. Elsewhere, you can buy bottles of the stuff from the following retailers:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)
|Water, Malted Barley, Hops, Wheat
|Country of Production
|Butcombe Brewing Co – https://butcombe.com/
Goram IPA Zero Review
Great looking IPA, with a slightly lacklustre nose, but thankfully bags of flavour to make up for it. A great non-alcoholic IPA in the classic style.