Though not much more than a decade old, Skipton’s Copper Dragon have really established themselves as one of the best-known small brewers in Yorkshire scene, their pump clips a guarantor of quality.
They also have a small chain of pubs, though their beers are a welcome sight in any pub, and they’re widely available across Yorkshire. Their spicy, malty Scotts 1816 Bitter is named after the maltster who established the town’s first brewery and at 4.4% is a touch more potent than your average sessionable ale. Less strong, but no less interesting is their smoky, toffee-accented Black Gold mild.
But for me the flagship Copper Dragon beer will always be Golden Pippin, which is a reliable “go-to” ale in any line of handpulls – particularly if the others on offer are either unfamiliar or unpalatable.
The bottled version, which on this occasion I found in my local branch of the Co-Op, is almost as good. It pours a really pale, almost anaemic, straw colour, with a fragrant, lemony aroma, and though the beer is named after an apple, it is still the pronounced citric notes on the palate and in the aftertaste which dominate.
The label says “Clearly Better” - and who am I to argue?