Beer connoisseur and passionate pub campaigner, Mark gives us his decision on the tastiest beer he has sampled in the last seven days. Mark has been highlighting the values of Britain’s favourite drink for many years. He is a member of the British Guild of Beer Writers. Follow @realaleupnorth on Twitter.

My first beer of 2022 is a truly iconic ale brewed in the shadow of the Lake District fells.

Coniston Brewing Co. Bluebird Bitter is a multi award-winning ale ­— and won CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain competition in 1998.

The beer I sampled was the bottled conditioned version. This is where the brewer adds a small amount of sugar to the live yeast before sealing the bottle. This activates a secondary fermentation, very similar to the cask conditioned ale process.

Bluebird Bitter (4.2%) pours a copper-golden colour with a white fluffy head. It has a delightful biscuit malt, orangey and floral aroma. The flavour has more rich, juicy, biscuit malt from the Maris Otter pale malt - in addition to tangy, citrus fruit bitterness. There was also some soft creaminess identified in the well-balanced notes.

The finish was quite dry and delicate, with more biscuit malt and moderate, tangy, fruity hop bitterness, that lingered on the palate. A quite stunning, thirst-quenching, English ale. It certainly had the wow factor.

Coniston Bluebird Bitter is available in most major supermarkets. It’s thoroughly recommended to all discerning ale drinkers.