Back in 1979 David Bruce brewed this lovely dark ale for his 'Bruce's Brewery' and Firkin pubs, the company I did my brewing pupilage with. The story goes thus:
David and a relative from the Theakston family were toying with a new recipe for Old Peculier and time had come to taste the new brew. Such was its morishness that they both drank too much (allegedly) and stumbled over a stile on the way back to the family manse, letting slip the accompanying dogs, one of whom failed to return until morning. Hence the name 'dogbolter'.
In 1994 it became the first beer from a micro-brewery to win a medal in the prestigious International Brewing Industry Awards and it's been following me around ever since. I finally officially adopted it in 2002 and so the dog's home is now in Ramsgate, by the sea (oh, well Boredstares if you insist.
Roast barley and chocolate and crystal malts combine to give the ale a deep deep ruby colour and sweet mocca and toast flavour. A little oats in the mash help to provide a smoothness and late Fuggles hops create a resinous balance. It ferments out fairly dry and the end result is a sturdy, powerful and smooth ale not to be rushed at. Crisp, cold November Saturday lunchtime is my favourite Dog moment but I'll make a bee line for it when ever it's available.