Beer Background
Beer Hall at Hawkshead Brewery #2
Jan 2016

LVB X, Little Valley

Added: Friday, January 1st 2016

Style Barley Wine ABV 10.0%

Little Valley LVB X

The brewery in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, is celebrating 10 years in brewing with a 10% barley wine. Little Valley was created by husband and wife team Wim van der Spek and Sue Cooper who share a passion for organic food and drink and aiding the environment: their beers – including Python IPA and Ginger Pale Ale – are accredited by the Soil Association and the Vegan Society. They don’t use isinglass finings, made from fish bladders, as a clearing agent for their draught beers and instead use carrageen or Irish moss.

Wim trained as a brewer in his native Netherlands. He met Sue when they were both cycling in Tibet. Wim was searching for the world’s highest brewery while Sue was working for Voluntary Service Overseas. Downsizing from the Himalayas, they set up Little Valley in 2005 on a former farm high in the Pennines, with views over to Lancashire.

Little Valley’s biggest-selling beer is Python IPA – Terry Jones ordered a case for the Monty Python reunion – followed by Ginger Pale Ale and Vanilla Porter. Wim and Sue joined forces with the Benedictine monks at Ampleforth Abbey in Yorkshire to restore a lost brewing tradition at the abbey with a 7% ale.

LVB X is brewed with four malts and four hop varieties. It is bottle conditioned, made from organic ingredients and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It’s ruby-red in colour with an enormous aroma of pistachio nuts, marzipan, sweet grain, and floral and spicy hops. Rich grain, nuts and sweet candied fruits dominate the palate with a gentle hint of spicy hops. The sweetness fades in the finish, with nuts and fruit taking control, balanced by spicy hops and ending bittersweet and finally dry.

It’s a beer that will improve with age. A 330ml bottle from the brewery costs £18 including post and packaging but can be bought for £5.95 from the brewery shop: Unit 3, Turkey Lodge Farm, New Road, Cragg Vale, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire HX7 5TT (01422 883888). The beer is also on sale in independent stockists in Yorkshire and Manchester.  

LVB X, Little Valley