Origin – England
By the 19th century, with townships and streets across England having already been named, how else does a master brewer have his name etched in history? A beer brand of course! But the brand that Charles Young went on to make a household name, pre-dates even the great man himself. Records show that the original brewery, the Ram (the animal which is now the trademark image on all of Young’s labels) first raised a glass of fine, and no doubt warm, English ale in 1576, and continuously operated until its closure in 2006. Even at the time of its closure, the brewery was a mix of ancient and ultra-modern, still using a steam engine which had been installed in 1835. Now with a pedigree like this, it’s unsurprising this beer from Young’s stable, the Double Chocolate Stout has been recognized as an award-winning brew on several occasions. Most stouts feature some chocolate flavours, but you can usually thank the presence of roasted grains rather than an actual dose of cocoa. Young’s doubles down and uses both roasted malt and cocoa in its Double Chocolate Stout. And just to be clear when I say cocoa, I’m talking about real dark chocolate mixed in with the brew. That certainly explains both the almost pitch-black appearance and the nose of chocolate, caramel and spiced fruit. Despite the imposing colour and aroma, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how drinkable the Double is. Rather than overpowering the roasted malt and toffee flavours, the chocolate hangs out in the back of your palate waiting to be noticed. It’s nice to know he’s there and it’s nice to know he isn’t begging for attention. As crazy as this sounds it’s the type of beer you could even drink warm- hot chocolate for grown-ups? So what became of the 450-year-old brewery? You guessed it, a residential apartment block! It’s not surprising then that the John Young, great-great-grandson of the founder, died only days before the closure. At least beer from the last brew was served at his funeral- true story.