From the Bottle Collection: Scarecrow

Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice. Tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s. Or: cover them with… The Bottle Collection.

Written by Ken Carman

Wynchwood Brewery
Witney, Oxfordshire, UK

  I have mixed opinions about Wynchwood. Some of their beers are marginally impressive, a few “why did they bother?” The last Wynchwood brew hardly seem worth the effort.
 To me, Scarecrow is probably one of the best, if not the best, I’ve had from this brewery. Not the hops, which seem mostly not there. The body, the malt, nice, but nothing to rave about. It’s the yeast. The yeast is marvelously bready, almost like a loaf of hardy, wholesome, multi-grain bread from some small, whole food, bakery that only uses natural ingredients. Yet it’s not “dark” or dense, more complex, yet light.
 Not rated that high at Beer Advocate: 71, and Rate Beer only a… 23? YIKES!!!
 Is it me, or did the reviewers miss the yummy yeast? Personally I think some Americans think yeast should be neutral when it comes to all the flavor components in a beer. Ferment: yes, but otherwise neither be seen or tasted. To me, done well, it’s delicious: if not for how yeast changes beer many Belgian brews would be considered inferior in craft beer world.
  This beer used to be called Circle Master, but I never saw that name in the stores here in the states.
 Here’s some history and facts…
  The brewery for Wynchwood was built on the old site of a malting facility, used for John William Clinch’s brewery. John Williams Clinch, was born into banking family, but instead decided to head into beer production. Built in 1841. Bought by Refresh UK, a subsidiary of Marstons, in 2002. They also took over the production of Brakspear beer.
  They were sold to Courage in the 60s closed shortly after that. Reopened as the Eagle Brewery. and the original brewery was closed in 1983, re-named the Wychwood Brewery after the Ancient medieval Wychwood Forest which borders Witney. For a while they also owned Hobgoblin pubs, named after their most famous beer.
  They now brew 50,000 barrels of beer a year which includes the Wynchwood and Brakspear brands. They even have separate brew facilities on the same premises just to brew Brakspear, “Using much of the original Brakspear equipment from Henley, including the famous ‘Double Drop fermenting system, used to brew Brakspear beers since 1774,” according to Marston’s site.
  Their beers are exported all over the world, including Japan, the U.S. and Australia.

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