Jake’s Drinks

The excellent Balfour Winery (Hush Heath Estate) in the heart of the Kent countryside, (the Garden of England) produce some truly exceptional still and sparkling wines and I’ve had the privilege of visiting a couple of times. So if you are anywhere near the Hush Heath Estate in Staplehurst you must stop by this impressive winery and take in the beautiful vineyards, apple orchard and wildflower meadows and of course, taste their wines.

Now as good as their wines are, and they are very good, I’m going to tell you about another side of the business ‘Jake’s Drinks’ named after Jake Balfour-Lynn who is part of the Balfour family producing a collection of craft beers and ciders, created by Balfour’s winemakers, Owen Elias and Fergus Elias in partnership with Kents ‘Cellar Head Brewing Company‘.

Jake's Drinks, Lager, IPA and Cider

This 12-can mixed case consists of two craft beers, a Lager and IPA, and two ciders, Kentish and Summer fruit, packaged in a stylish-looking box with an informative brochure. So let’s crack open these cans and see what they are like?

Jake’s Lager (4.5% abv)

According to the can, this is said to be a bright Pilsner-type lager and yes, it is, but much softer than some pilsners I’ve tasted and all the better for it. The lager itself is left in tanks for up to two months to allow the rich flavours to develop, notably that malty sweetness. In the glass it’s a clear pale yellow, there are some bready, biscuity notes, along with some citrus fruits, finishing with a slightly dry crisp bitterness. I must admit this was a really refreshing lager and thoroughly enjoyable, the can itself is 330ml and it definitely leaves you wanting more.

Hops used : Kent Goldings & USA Sterling.

Jake’s IPA (4.3% abv)

Seems like the current trend is for more hazy New England type IPA’s ( a style, I personally enjoy) but this is more of a traditional IPA , with its darker amber colour and nuttiness. I say it’s traditional but it does have some elements of the new trend in IPA’s, this is a touch sweeter, maybe some marmalade and caramel but still has that core maltiness. It’s very much a ‘Session IPA’ at 4.3% abv, so not too heavy but easy to drink and still retaining that crisp freshness.

Hops used : Boadicea, Bramling and East coast Goldings

Jake’s Ciders

Now on to the Cider, not something, I drink a lot of but if it’s hot and the sun is shining then perhaps there’s nothing better than a chilled glass to cool down with.

Jake’s Kentish Cider (5.4% abv)

Made with three of their own ‘Hush Heath Estate’ grown apples (Cox, Russet and Bramley). The apples are fermented separately and then blended to precision with a wine yeast chosen for fermentation producing a crisp refreshing cider. I must say it’s very wine-like and not overly sweet

Jake’s Summer Fruits Cider (4% abv)

Again Cox, Russet and Bramley apples are used before adding a dosage of berry fruits, to give a delightfully refreshing cider that is a touch sweeter than the Kentish and slightly less alcohol which makes it extremely drinkable.

As I said, I don’t drink a lot of cider but I must admit I did enjoy sipping these on a hot summers evening and the beers were equally as nice with the lager being the surprise hit with me. So well done to the Balfour winery team for their addition of beers and cider to complement their already excellent range of wines.

So why not pick up a mixed case and try them, let me know what you think?

Jake’s Drinks Mixed selection (12 330ml Cans £24)

Jakes Beer selection Majestic (12 330ml cans £18)

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