OK, so England are now 2-0 up in the Ashes series. This is good. Unfortunately it’s not going so well for England in the Beer Ashes when in the last test Australia trounced them with their Little Creatures Pale Ale. Can England regain the lost ground with the next category: Golden Ales.

What’s on offer? For England is Ridgeway’s Oxfordshire Blue, and against them Cooper’s Sparkling Ale (Both were £2.09 from Beers of Europe). Similar features of these beers are that they both have a deep golden colour and that they were both bottle conditioned.

The Beer Ashes - Second Test. Ridgeway's Oxfordshire Blue v. Cooper's Sparkling Ale

The Beer Ashes – Second Test. Ridgeway’s Oxfordshire Blue v. Cooper’s Sparkling Ale

The cooper’s was very fizzy. I know I wasn’t to expect a lifeless beer with a name like Sparkling Ale, but this was to a fault. When the beer was first poured the voratious bubbles were almost painful in the mouth. Thankfully it did calm down a bit. The flavour was a there but it wasn’t very well pronounced, a bit thin. To be honest it was what I was first expecting when I ordered these Australian beers. Big fizz – little flavour, but quite refreshing if served freezing cold. As the pint went down a little a few more of the flavours emerged (but I was looking hard). Notes of biscuit and a honey sweetness, some malts and a dry finish. There was little aroma but a buttery smooth mouthfeel.

By contrast the Ridgeways was a thicker, more full bodied affair. I could taste the beers strait away away, which was a plus, which meant it wasn’t so hard to describe. To an Australian I’d say take the idea of the Sparking ale, tone down the bubbles somewhat and add a more malty flavour with a few subtle burnt notes. That’s basically it.

This for me is an easy win for England. I just didn’t get the sparking ale, even on a hot day when, in theory at least, it should have been most refreshing and enjoyable. I much preferred the Oxfordshire Blue. This leaves the current series score at 1-1, not quite as good as the Cricket but were catching up!