Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out.
Old Speckled Hen
Guys, if you’re out on a first date, take a few words of advice: Don’t order an Old Speckled Hen for the lady. As good as the beer is, and it is quite good, she may just take the name as an editorial comment, and there won’t be any such thing as a second date.
On just about any other occasion, order this British ale with gusto.
The drink dates back to 1979, when the Morland Brewery decided to craft a beer in honor of the 50th anniversary of the MG sports car factory in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, according to the beer’s website:
Named after an old MG car which was used as the factory run around, they would park the old MG Featherweight Fabric Saloon outside the paint shop where it would normally get spattered in paint and so it became known as the ‘Owld Speckl’d Un’. This turned into “Old Speckled Hen” when the beer was unveiled.
Pour it into a glass and you’ll notice its copper color with a nice fizz. A head builds up and then falls back to about 1/4 inch, and that foam lingers through most of the drinking time.
The aroma is fruity and malty in good measures of each, suggesting the smooth balance that is the hallmark o this brew. There’s a touch of honeyed sweetness, too that adds to its appeal.
Flavors of yeasty whole grain bread, again with a touch of honey, come to the fore with a light funkiness that is mixture of both hops and citrus fruit. But the flavors aren’t quite as important as the refreshing nature that the Hen brings to your mouth. Its zing lingers even as the ale itself passes through to a dry, hoppy finish.
This is a beer that the Brits made with a pub in mind, and at the Lion and Rose, you can pair this beauty off the tap with just about any of the pub grub on the menu, from fish and chips or bangers and mash to the vegetarian plate made up of side dishes. This is an ale that would love a potato in just about any form, especially the bubble and squeak.
If you like a brew early in the day, try it with the breakfast dishes now being served at the Lion & Rose’s Stone Oak location, 700 E. Sonterra Blvd.
Or try it by itself. This is a smooth talker, a welcome addition to your regular beer repertoire if it isn’t already in the lineup.