An Altrincham bar has launched a beastly new beer, inspired by dinosaur footprints found just down the road in Lymm.
Named after the Triassic footprints that can be found in Lymm and the beast which made them, the brew – one of many local beers on sale at Costello’s in Goose Green – is one head brewer John Costello says is “a cut above the rest”.
It’s been created by the family-run Lymm Brewing Company, sister brewery to Dunham Massey Brewing Company, and is inspired by traditional English ales.
It’s been a busy year for the two breweries. Several new beers have been dreamt up and realised since the last January, from the fruity Experimental beers that toyed with strawberry, grapefruit and bubblegum flavours, to the Walkers session bitter that is rivalling their ever popular Big Tree Bitter.
But, as Costello’s Altrincham manager Peter Luby will tell you, the Chirotherium is a beer which Costello is extremely proud of and “won’t stop talking about”.
“When you taste the beer you know it’s good,” he tells us from their bustling Dunham brewery.
“It’s not quite the finished article yet, the next batch will be subtly different as we tweak and experiment a bit more, but what I would say is that it’s a traditional old English ale that is dark, fruity and malty. I think it’s a cut above the rest.”
The 5.5% beer, which he describes as having a “sweet and full bodied flavour, but without any harshness in the taste like you would get with a stout or a bitter”, has been receiving a lot of praise early on. It follows a long line of success stories, particularly from the brewery’s darker ales. The Chocolate Cherry Mild alone has racked up 18 accolades to date. Their Porter, Dark Mild, Milk Stout and Dunham Stout meanwhile, boast 11 beer festival awards between them.
Like its age-old inspired taste, its name has a strong and local history to it too: “The name came from the fact there are some dinosaur footprints that can be found in Lymm that come from a Chriotherium,” Costello explains. “The translation from Latin means ‘hand animal’. It was one of the only dinosaurs to have a hand, so we thought, with it being an Old English ale we’d name it after an old dinosaur.”
Chirotherium footprints are prominent in the sandstone quarries of Lymm and can be dated back 234 million years. Their discovery even predates man’s discovery of dinosaurs, these tracks uncovered in the early 1830s, with the first official dinosaur discovery happening in London in 1842.
Due to its hand-like qualities, it was initially presumed to be some kind of ape or bear, but it is now believed to be related to crocodiles.
The new beer lines up alongside a variety of suitably winter ales now on sale at the three Costello’s bars in Altrincham, Lymm and Stockton Heath. These include the fitfully named Winter Warmer (6.6%) and the belly-warming Porter (5.2%).