Thursday, 28 September 2017

The only drink is Essex

Seems like Essex is the place to drink. Beer-wise there's Billericay Brewing, purveyors of the excellently-named Billericay Dickie and Rhythm Stick beers. The micro-brewery and beer shop produces craft ales made from natural ingredients. Every second and last Sunday at 2pm they have brewery tours and tastings, explaining the brewing process and ingredients used. You can also be a ‘Brewer for the Day’ and return 2-3 weeks later to collect your pints.

Wine-wise, New Hall Vineyard in Purleigh is one of the oldest and first vineyards in the UK to grow the Bacchus grape, which is now one of their most popular wines and very drinkable. Essex’s newest vineyard, West Street in Coggeshall, won the gold award in the International Wine Challenge 2017. It's got a restaurant serving local produce, and of course lots of wine-tasting. 

While close to the Essex Way in Constable country is Dedham Vale Vineyard, where you can grab a bicycle and tour the great Essex countryside, before returning to try some of their wines and cider. It has guided tours and tastings and you can have a glass of wine overlooking the lake, or hold parties and weddings there. 

If ever they remake the great wine-tasting road move Sideways it will have to be in Essex.

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