Wychwood Brewery started in 1983 in the small town of Witney in Oxfordshire, England, just 12 miles east of Oxford. The brewery takes its name from the medieval forest (mentioned in Domesday Book), just on the outskirts of town. Although they were the creators of solid beer for a few years, they owners created a piece of their own folklore, when they created a special dark beer for their landlord’s daughter’s wedding. They called it Hobgoblin, after a local legend. Wychwood Brewery made decorative labels to accompany the beer and the rest is history. Now, all of their beers and products currently contain imagery of and references to English folklore.
Their organic selection is named Golden Scarecrow Ale. Using organic hops, barley, and malts, Wychwood has created a light, summery beer, almost in complete contrast to its staple Hobgoblin. Scarecrow pours slightly thin, with no real head to speak of. Straw in color, it has a slightly malty scent, which faintly reminded me of fruit such as apples or pears. The mouthfeel was a bit mild, with minimal carbonation. There were some mild hops up front, and the finish conjured up a sense of apples. On the website, Wychwood recommends this as a summer beer. I would agree, but I also think you can do better. While I am a fan of Wychwood, this was a rather bland offering; aside from the decorative label, there was not much that made Golden Scarecrow stand out and in the end, it’s probably worth skipping. However, their website (and Hobgoblin) are well worth checking out:
[Image by author]