They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Monday, 21 February 2011

A Beer Legend

In 1990 a man named Dave Wickett decided to open a little brewery called Kelham Island in the heart of Sheffield, he may have had an idea but I don't think even he could have forecast how famous the brewery would become or how many awards his beers would accumulate!

Brewers such as Crown/Magic Rock brewer; Stuart Ross and Thornbridge's; Steff Cossi have both come from brewing backgrounds, working under Dave, and I'm sure there not the only two. It's pretty safe to say that Dave is a legend amongst the brewing scene, and I've not even had the privilege to meet him before. This being the case I will leave the tributes to the people who know him best and his friends and family, they could tell a story a thousand times better than I could about him.

What I do want to talk about is a tribute to Dave from another well known brewery; Sharp's.

Sharp's brewery have produced this beer in homage to Dave. From the looks of things it's going to be a great beer. A brew late hopped with Hallertauer Northern Brewer, Perle, Willamette and Cascade hops, and then dry hopped with Amarillo for good measure. Brewed using 'Artisanal techniques' the beer is unfiltered and bottle conditioned, and 'should be enjoyed fresh!'

But how's the taste?

DW is stated to be a 9.5% Deep Golden Ale, and I can say with no doubt in my mind that this is the best beer I've ever tried from Sharp's.

On the nose; Big hints of belgian yeasts and candy sugars, rich fruits and that old ale feel, peppery caramel, warming alcohol, over ripe bananas, bubble-gum and candy-floss, a super aroma.

To taste; The label says golden ale, but I'm thinking belgian triple meets barley wine all over. Rich sweet caramels meets drying peppery mouthfeel meets rich fruity malts. More of the same flavours which you get from the aroma; what your presented on the nose is what you get in the mouth. I'm also getting a good old ale feel - I'm craving some stilton right now! Predominantly comes the belgian triple meets barley wine though - think that and you've got it. (the warming alcohol is there too, but at 9.5% that's to be expected!)

There you go.
A great man, a great brewer and a great beer brewed only because of him. This was an expensive beer, but I'd happily buy it again and again as all the proceeds from the sale of this beer go to Cornwall Hospice Care. Thanks to Stuart from Sharp's.

For all you've given us

Thank you Dave.


  1. don't forget the Fat Cat which he opened in the early 80's. He was also involved in the opening of the Devonshire Cat.
    other past Kelham Brewers also include; Bob Lawson (Ossett), Pat Morton (Abbeydale), Jonny Stancil (Oakwell Barnsley) and Paul Ward (Bradfield).

  2. Cheers Stu, these are the things I'd never know about. He sounds better and better the more I hear about him. A man of the grain if there ever was one, you must have learnt a lot from him.

    1. R.I.P Dave
      Sad loss