Sunday, June 25, 2017

Beer of The Week 25 - Wishbone/Thirst Class 'Cloudy with a Chance of Hops'

One of the breweries that seems to be going from strength to strength is Wishbone of Keighley. They started brewing about  3 years ago and although I found their beers decent, they never seemed to have the wow factor. More recently I have have sampled some of their output that have been excellent, and this week they have the 'Beer Of The Week' accolade. And well deserved.

My choice was 'Cloudy with a Chance of Hops'.  This is a collaboration with Stockport based Thirst Class and is produced in both cask and keg. I sampled the cask version.

They website reveals it is their take on a New England IPA, and as suggested by the name is unfined. It contains a combination of Ahtahnum, Mosaic, and Nelson Sauvin hops, so there is a massive hop hit and it is 5.9% so it has plenty of body and mouthfeel.

I sampled it at the Victoria Cafe Bar in Halifax where they have both the cask and keg versions.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Beer Of The Week 24 - Mallinsons 'Columbus XL'

This weeks choice of beer has been a bit of a challenge. Unlike previous weeks where it has been a challenge to find a beer of the week, this week I have been finding plenty of beer to fit the bill.

I had initially thought I would choose Tapped 'Gresley' a very pleasant light mild, or Brass Castle 'Heads You Win' -  a beer made with citra and mosaic hops, how could you lose ! Ironically both bought in Tapped in Leeds. I enjoyed Brains 'Rev James Pale' - a vast improvement on the standard version.

But a visit to the Market Tavern on Wednesday revealed the winner. May be only by a short head though. I had heard good things of Mallinsons 'Columbus XL', and with only a limited number of casks around I was not sure I would get chance to sample it.

It is 5.5% and basically a strong version of the single hopped Columbus. The additional strength brings out a superb tropical fruit flavour, and a balanced bitterness. It is not for the weak hearted and well worth searching out. If you do fail to get the cask version there is also a keg version to fall back on.

Star Beer Festival - POSTPONED

Sam regrets to inform us that due to family illness this Summer's Beer Festival (due to start 5th July) has been postponed. It is hoped that it will take place later in the summer.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Beer Of The Week 23 - Art Brew 'Ginger and Chilli IPA'

This has been a strange week. I have been around all sorts of places and sampled all sorts of beer, both cask and keg, and nothing has really impressed me - at least not like last week's choice.

However, I know you readers like to have a suggestion as to what to look for and where to look for it so I will try not to let you down.

If you fancy a trip through world beers then the Sportsman has a festival this weekend showcasing 18 different beers, some of them particularly rare. I sampled a couple of the cask ones yesterday but neither really hit the spot sadly.

My choice of beer is one that I was kindly offered as a cellar run in the Pump Room in Halifax the previous day. Art Brew seemed to have dropped off my radar, I had a few of their beers a few years ago (they started brewing in Devon in 2008) but I have not seen one recently.

Their 'Ginger and Chilli IPA' does what is says on the clip. It is 6% so it ticks the IPA box, and the first mouth feel is a ginger hit. Not overpowering but not subtle either. Just a warming taste. I was a little concerned that it had masked the chilli but never fear, that arrived as I swallowed the beer and a warming feeling started in my throat. An interesting combination.

I must admit that I would not fancy any more a half at a time, and I may have preferred them to have been in a dark beer rather than an IPA but may be I am just being picky. Hopefully it should have appeared on the bar at the Pump Room over the weekend for you to make your own mind up.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Beer Of The Week 22 - XT Xperimental CF127

This beer is a rare coup for the beer ticker. A totally new hop, so new that it has not even been named, in a single hopped beer. And on a local bar.

'XT Brewery' are based in Buckinghamshire and have been brewing since 2011. Their beers are seen fairly regularly in our area, readily identifiable by their having number rather than names. Their is an experimental arm at the brewery brewing under the 'Animal' name.

The Xperimental CF127 is a 4.2% beer. Brewed using a single hop, which I understand, but cannot confirm, has connections with the hop seller Charles Faram. It has a very fruity taste, and a distinct citrus aftertaste.

XT are not the only brewery to use the hop though, as soon there will be a Mallinsons version, which sounds like a classic.

At present the XT version is available on the bar at The Star at Folly Hall.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Beer Of The Week 21 - Anspach and Hobday, 'The IPA'

Anspach and Hobday are a brewery from Bermondsey in London, named after the two brewers. Their brewery has been on the go since 2013, however until recently most of their beers that I have encountered have been in bottles, but this year I have come across both cask and keg versions locally.

Last night there was a tap takeover at The Victorian Cafe in Halifax. I did not visit but a call earlier in the day revealed three of their beers on keg, and a list of others to follow, which will ensure a trip out later in the week to catch them.

Since it was a warm day it seemed that a hoppy beer would be preferable to to a porter, and 'The IPA' became the beer of choice. The entire range are simply named 'The IPA, The Porter, The Smoked Porter etc'. 'The IPA' is 6%, and on this occasion was hopped with Centennial hops. Fresh, clean and crisp with just enough hops it was an ideal beer to complement my people watching.

Researching the webside revealed that each IPA is hopped with different hops, or combination of hops, which I had not realised so there will be even more to look out for.

The range at the Victorian Cafe should be available for the next few days. I am not sure how many kegs there are but there are three cask beers, and two barrels of each.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Beer Of The Week 20 - Vibrant Forest 'Zuur'

A trip across the Leeds earlier in the week provided this weeks 'Beer Of The Week'. On the keg font at Mr Foleys was Vibrant Forest 'Zuur'. It was a great beer, so good I had to have a second but when I read the brewery tasting notes, the reason became clearer.

Vibrant Forest is a brewery based on the fringes of the New Forest, in Lymington, and is vegan friendly and brews a mixture of cask, keg and bottled beers.

'Zuur' is 3.5% and a Belgian Sour style beer. nothing too special there I hear you say. But each batch brewed - it is irregular however - has a blend of different seasonal fruits, and different American hops. The variety I sampled had Mosaic hops - that's why I found it so moreish. Even though it was a sour it was not aggressively so, more tart than sour. Well worth a try if you see it.