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Ridgeway Bitter - Ridgeway Brewing

Not Rated.
Ridgeway BitterRidgeway Bitter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

78 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 78
Hads: 92
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 11.59%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ridgeway Brewing visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 12-10-2004

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 92
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sun-faded tangerine with a fine yeasty haze visible only with bright sunlight. There's actually more head than beer in the glass immediately after the pour, presumably due to a generous number of bottle-conditioned bubbles. And what a good looking lid it is too. Eggshell with a faint orange tint, fluffy (yet firm enough to be rocky) and sticky enough to lay down scads of lace.

My impression of English bitters is that they're fairly well-balanced with a nod toward the hoppy side of things... and that is just how Ridgeway Bitter smells. I've run across Challenger hops many times, but never Boadicea (a new aphid-resistant strain). Even though the aroma is on the mild side, enough of the lemon peel, lemongrass and lemon pepperiness of the hops comes through for me to find plenty of enjoyment.

Simply delicious. Sometimes it's hard for me to put my big beer love aside and appreciate a lowercase beer such as Ridgeway Bitter. I didn't have any trouble at all recognizing the beauty of Bluebird Bitter and I'm not having the least bit of difficulty here either. The key, I believe, is that both are clean and hop-focused.

The flavor is basically a reprise of the aroma. A sufficient amount of Maris Otter malt provides an understated hint of sweetness and coddles the suprising bitterness of the veddy, veddy English hops. If Boadicea is the cause of this wonderful grassy pepperiness, then count me among its admirers. What the hell do aphids know anyway?

This is scrupulously clean beer that is one of the best true session ales that I've had in a long, long time. The body/mouthfeel is unapologetically light, but still manages to fill the mouth with each upending of the glass. An energetic amount of carbonation helps in that regard and is a perfect match for the rest of the beer's attributes.

While I don't love Ridgeway Bitter as much as I love Ridgeway IPA (once a hophead, always a hophead), it's a beautiful beer that is the very definition of the English bitter style, at least as I understand it. I would dearly love to work my way through a succession of pints, on-cask of course, during a warm sunny afternoon in Oxfordshire.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 500ml brown glass bottle with a wide body and thin proboscis-like neck. Sealed with a metallic green crown cap and labeled as “Ridgeway Bitter bottle conditioned ale”. Alc. 4% Vol. My bottle is just as the one pictured in the BA Avatar.

Appearance: Superb presentation, glowing soft orange amber body with some light brown tissue. Massive off-white head rises prominently and leaves some spectacular looking lacing. Excellent catwalk looks.

Nose: Gorgeous nose, sweet malts, hints of Devon toffee and teasing bitterness of the English kind. Monkey nut pockets here and there.

Taste: Gentle malt tingling with some residual cold tea to line the cheeks. Sharp angles in this one, the malts and hops are in two camps, both joined together by a dry bitter finish with hints of nuttiness. Splashes of lemon and tobacco leaves ridge the back of this brew. English bitterness rides from start to finish.

Mouthfeel: Soft conditioning throughout, Cask-like almost, light body with a satisfying feel. Low feel but high body, if you know what I mean.

Drinkability: A quaffing Pale Ale that holds no qualms or grudges, easy to put down and easier to pick up again.

Overall: A very interesting English Pale Ale; the Marris Otter Malt is no surprise but the mix of Challenger and Boadicea hops most certainly is. Solid stuff.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured to rough and about half the glass was a whitish tan head. Darker golden color with lots of carbonation. Has good head rention and a very nice lacing.
S- Hops, light malt in back, very light roasted smell also.
T-Light bitter aftertaste. Different kind of bitter than what I’m used to. Light malt in back which makes a pretty well balanced brew but with hops still winning the battle.
M- Medium body, medium carbonation. Body thickens when warms
D- good brew. Doubt I would get it again unless not much else.

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Photo of dgallina
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pint, 9 fluid ounce brown bottle with coded brewed-on date.

Pours transparent brown with very large soapy white head, lots of small bubbles, thin lacing. Smells of fresh leafy hops and light caramel malts. Pleasing combination of nuanced flavors; caramel malts, hard mineral water, slightly dry leafy hops, and lightly toasted biscuits. Quite light and strongly carbonated in the mouth; becoming a bit creamy and chewy as it warms. A very gentle but tasty pint that makes a sociable accompaniment to lunch.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

amber with a thick sudsy head.
the aroma is predominantly spiced almost tropical fruity citrus with toffee and caramel.
very tropical fruity taste, mango, peach, pinapple. it's actually vaguely belgian tasting. it's subtly spiced with baking spices. a little bit of toffee follows the fruit. the hops come in at the back with a minty floral hoppiness.
light medium bodied with fairly strong carbonation.
good drinkability, a unique, but pleasant bitter.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice clear light gold color with a nice white head and very active carbonation. Prominent grassy and flowery hop aromas. Nicely balanced but definitely more English hoppy than English malty. Light bodied with a nicely balanced dry bitter hop finish.

Gone too quickly ... A good example of the style that I would love to try on cask when in England.

Label states: "Bottle Conditioned" & "Whole Leaf Hops" & "Marris Otter Malt" & "Challenger and Boadicea Hops"

(11.2 oz. /330 ml)

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Photo of krantul
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A hefty bottle of.. er.. bottle-conditioned bitter, emblazoned with a CAMRA seal of approval. Pours a somewhat murky golden color with virtually no head. Aroma is malty and a little floral.

Light, malty flavor, somewhat herbal and possessing an oddly astringent character. There's a strange bitterness that doesn't come across as hop bitterness. The beer struck me as strangely dry for a english bitter, as though the malt couldn't keep up with some of the other nuanced flavors. All in all, feels a bit unbalanced. The slight, tangy sharpness feels at odds with the smooth characteristics that I expect from english bitter, impeding drinkability.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 500 ml English looking bottle. In appearance this is a dark golden ale with a large off white frothy head. Aroma is rather subdued, slightly earthy, maltiness, some tinges of hoppiness. Malty , earthy tastes dominate, then a slight hoppy tatse and a longer lasting hop after tate, perhaps from the fresh hops. Pretty thin on the palte, well carbonated. A good drinkable bitter, but at the price we pay over here i could not say it was a session ale..but if in Oxford this would keep my intrest for several pints.

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Photo of bditty187
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I swirled the yeast in the bottle resulting in a cloudy, golden-amber hued beer. Massive white head, at the apex the foam was four fingers tall. Thankfully, the head subsided to a more manageable two fingers of head after a few moments. The head retention wasn’t all that impressive. Sadly, there was no subsequent lacing. Bummer. Overall, I like the appearance.

Lovely nose, perfumed flowers with faint citrus notes and lemongrass. I absolutely love the malt aromas. Maris Otter malt is a gift from the beer gods. Biscuits and caramel, the aromas are very rich and deep. The nose isn’t balanced as the malt steals the show but I detect the hops in the background. The aromas are wonderful and yet so simple. Hops and malt… and little else, it’s terrific. Moderate potency and it says all the right things. Inviting!

The palate is a perfect replica of the nose. Lemongrass and citrusy hops with a tickle of flowers; light bitterness. However, the biscuits and caramel grains are so very tasty. The finish isn’t all the good though; it is kind of flat and metallic. While it is not a negative it doesn’t allow the lovely maltiness to linger. The aftertaste is a mix of flowers and lemongrass. For an English Bitter I really like this beer.

Medium/medium-light in body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel is quite agreeable. It is relaxing but not sluggish.

Well, this is very easy to drink. At 4% I could session with this beer easily. I wonder if I can get this in Omaha. I’ve seen other Ridgeway beers. Anyway, I really like the simplicity this beer offers. It really hit the spot. Thank you Daniel for the bottle, I liked it a plenty.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear copper with excellent clarity. It has a foamy white head that thins to a patchy layer and eventually disappears.

Smell: Sweet fruity aroma with notes of malt and hops.

Taste: An initial sweetness fades into toasty malt flavors. This finish is tart and fruity with moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, smooth and light-bodied with a light dryness in the finish.

Drinkability: Really easy to drink. The flavors are good but not overpowering and the alcohol content is low.

Overall): This is just what I was wanting tonight, a flavorful beer that's not overpowering and not high in alcohol.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Selection of the beer-of-the-month club. Poured a medium amber color with massive white head. Lots of carbonation also noted. Smell is mildly malty but enjoyable. Taste follows through with a pleasant maltiness sweetness mixed a with a slight hoppiness. The combination of malt and hops present an excellent finish, being thirst quenching yet begging for another taste. Perfect drinkability. Would be the perfect session beer.

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Photo of Naes
2.94/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This copper colored bitter has a tall white head that has good retention and laces well.
The aroma is muted, but it does have a trace amount of British style hops.
The flavor is also a bit muted, but is mildly hopy with a graininess throughout the drink.
Mouth feel is light bodied and moderately carbonated.

This is a very mild bitter.

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Photo of PeatReek
3.79/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very clear, yellow to light amber with a white chunky head starting at about 1/2" and fading fast.

Aroma: crisp and sulphury. Some fresh, earthy hop scent. Possibly Fuggles?

Taste & mouthfeel: Crisp and fizzy with a dry malty attack. The bitterness kicks in halfway through the sip and kind of ... lasts. No distinct hop flavor. The body is thin and even a bit watery, but the bitterness persists and makes the aftertaste seem a shade imbalanced.

Drinkability: The light body and crisp maltiness are good, but the bitterness seems to persist just a bit much for this to be a really great session beer.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL, bottle conditioned, best by 5/28/06 - certified by CAMRA as a real ale. Pours a bright amber/copper that is perfectly clear and it's topped with a fleeting off-white 1 finger head. The color is beautiful but the head is lacking (dirty glass?). It smells grassy/spicy with grapes, pineapple?, diacetyl?, toasty malts, and other, perhaps tropical, fruit notes. It has a medium body and tastes grassy/spicy/leafy and maybe some skunky from the hops. It's followed by a good bitterness, fruits, pineapple?, and maybe some citric/herbal qualities. Overall pretty tasty but it just doesn't seem like it's worth it at almost 5 bucks a bottle.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from the engine at Moan & Dove.
Clear, bright gold, a couple stray bubbles half-heartedly trying to form the semblance of a collar, leaving the beer entirely naked after a couple sips. Nearly no aroma, probably due to the lack of head. A vague floral, melon-ish fruity whiff. What is there is decent enough. The flavor opens with a mild, very easy drinking pale maltiness. Toasty, with a touch of minerally flavor and a bit of bacterial funkiness. Slightly infected cask? Subtle, melon-like fruit, easing into a passive, floral hop finish. That bit of funkiness isn't bad, but the slight, vague sourness in the finish kinda ruins the drinkability for me. It's such a delicate beer that it overpowers the other flavors very easily. Great carbonation level, just a soft sparkle, pleasant when coupled with the light body. Smooth drinkin' stuff. Light, yet flavorful, this is what session ale is all about. I just wish it were a bit cleaner. I'll definitely try it again next time I see it.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. $4.99 at OUAV. "BBF 28 05 06" on the side.

Clear light yellow-gold in color. Beefy white head that sat up and left nice, thick rings of lace. Aromas are sweet with a bit of skunk and earthen-grassy bitterness. Flavor is dry and somewhat bitter. There a subtle base of malt sweetness...a toasted brown sugar flavor. Finishes dry and has a good dose of bitterness on the palate. Thin, but not to the point of being watery. Drinkable.

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Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light golden with a small white head that was gone pretty quickly,aromas are Gldings hop driven quite herbal and minty with a lighlty sweet brown suger malt note as well.A nice bitter here subtly complex a good mix of toasted grain quite dry malt base with a nice herbal quality in the finish that lingers nicely.A touch of mineral adds to the depth of this beer,it gldes down smooth and would be the perfect sociable pint ale.Iam sure a gem on cask,quite nice I would buy again for sure.

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Photo of ADR
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light golden brown color, slightly opaque in presentation. Big fuzzy head is pillow-like and rises to over an inch. Laces in dots and small strings. Sharp aroma, weedy, maybe a touch skunked. Mouthfeel is light and gets lighter, carbonation is higher than I like it. Malt profile is quite brief, astringent lemon tones take over, senses of pepper, arugala, even cilantro. Finishes thinner but with a lot of the excessive carbonation still in effect. I like softer Bitters, I figure concessions are made to bottle condition and ship, but this comes off as a little gassy and strident.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale malt (Maris Otter) scent along with some light bitterness and a mild yeast fruitiness. The taste is good. It has a very dry bitter flavor that boasts of Maris Otter malts and leaf hops. It goes down easy with a bit of fruitiness and a wet cardboard finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a good English bitter. It's bitter, but nothing too intense as well as having a good malt base; well balanced.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hell of a lot of carbonation in this beer. Thick head. Bubbles ripping their way to the top of the beer. The color is a fairly clear copper, with just the lsightest haze. Aroma is mostly of malts. Flavor is pretty decent. Lots of bittering hops throughout, followed nicely with a real woody varnish flavor. Some pine and other aromatic tones; slightly toasted malts. Mouthfeel is slightly thin, but the bitterness has a broadening effect to the palate. Nice and easy drinking.

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Photo of putnam
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tawny orange with a nice, crispy rock of foam. Leafy notes reminiscent of mint, epazote and sorrel top off zesty, succulent impressions of cherry, tangerine, orange and caramel. Windy, carnival fizz -- ambitious if impermanent -- splatters noisy fresh and preserved fruit flavors along with oatmeal cookie. Airy, light and dry. Champagne physique. Toasted nuts and fruits for flavor. Bitterness is earthy and permanent. Hot weather Bitter for sure. I like the terroir.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ridgeway Bitter

Served up at Monk's in Philadelphia

Appearance- caramel brown with a med/high head.
Smell- malty with a little caramel hints.
Taste- very malty, slighty sweet yet not overpowering.
Mouthfeel- slighty weak on the malt and hops no bitterness.

Overall- a very good beer yet not as strong as it should be. Fullers ESB much better!

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Photo of TheJudge
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the gingerman in NYC, a nice light orange color, small head that holds OK. Good hoppiness in the smell, some undertone of malt. Nice. Disappointing taste. Very thin. Needed alot more body. I would have another, but with 60 choices on tap, not here.

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Photo of Sammy
2.79/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A light yellow colored beer at Monk's. Hops there, and the dryness of the leaf. Nutty aroma, perhaps the glass had just been in chlorine. Taste rather off, strange hops and herbal flavor of a tea I could not finish. The sweetness of honey and malt did not redeem it.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

NERAX 2005

Clear light gold with low white head.

Sweet almond scent.

Bready malts with the subtle nuttiness of almonds lightly toasted in butter. Some grassy bite in the finish appears after a minute.

Slick mouthfeel with low carbonation. A pleasant, light-bodied quaffable session ale.

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Ridgeway Bitter from Ridgeway Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.