Friday, April 28, 2017

Beer Of The Week 17

Despite last week being a bit desperate, this week has been better. Not superb but at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I could bore you with bicycle beers,  but ...

No I came across a collaboration that may have changed my idea of collabs. I have never really got into them, I feel the man/brewery/company who own the plant call the shots, but then....

Abbeydale/Northern Monk/Siren Craft/Magic Rock have got together and created a 3 % mild!!! No I speak with forked tongue, four of the country's best brewers have managed to chuck out a 7% Hop burst.

It is not exactly scrimping on the hops, Nelson. Cascade and Galaxy are blended to create  '7 Degrees of Separation'. A classic. The strength makes a pub session a little awkward but it is in cans. So if you see it, get it. Four of the best brewers in the island brewing at Abbeydale, where their brewing knowledge started, what more can you ask ?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

East vs West Fest beer list

A few months ago I promised you an update on East vs West Fest (May 4-7) in Wakefield.
I've just been sent the almost complete beer list of 20 ales, so here it is.
The festival at The Red Shed is being organised by Malcolm Bastow, of Five Town's Brewery. 
He has two beers on the bar: Root 4.2% grapefruit IPA and an 8.4% DIPA.
The East West theme continues with Chin Chin's Trans Pennine Pale at 4.7%.
There are two beers representing Huddersfield: Rat Brewery's Mother Rat milk stout  at 5.5% and Small World's Thunderbridge Stout at 5.2%, which is in a wooden cask.
From the Wakefield district are James & Kirkman's Cardinal Sin, a 5% pale; Horbury Ales' 5 Hop pale session ale at 4.1%; Hamelsworde Spanish Stout at 4.2% and a beer to be confirmed from Tarn 51.
Finishing off the 'right' side of the Pennines are Sunbeam Ales, from West leeds, who have brewed Sun Kissed a 3.7% US & NZ hopped beer. And North Riding Brewery, of Scarborough, who have done Anniversary Porter at 6.5%
The beers from to the left of the hill have been sourced by blogger Beers Manchester. In some cases he has taken part in the brewing process and you can read about his exploits over on
From the West we have Thirst Class's High Five (Mango) festival special, a 4.4% pale session beer; Pictish's Simcoe at 4.4%; Brewsmith will do a beer around 4%; Track's Metacomet, an American IPA at 4.3%; Tickety Brew's Spring IPA at 5.8%;  Squawk's Sorachi Stout at 6.5%; Rammy Craft's Ragners Wrath, a 6% hoppy stout; Black Jack will do a 7% Canadian Maple Brown and  Marble will also do a beer.
The festival will be raising funds for three good causes: Candlelighters, CALM and Newton Hill Cricket Club.
You can pay on the door and don't need to fuss with advance tickets.
The festival opens on Thursday, May 4 from 5pm to 11pm and continues Friday and Saturday from 11am to 11pm, there is also a 'drink up' session on Sunday, May 7 from noon to 3pm.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Beer Of The Week - 16

As I said, I struggled to find a beer of the week last week. This week has been impossible.

I have travelled far and wide, tried every different style, and new and old breweries and beers but I have had nothing that has the 'wow' factor. I am unsure if this is down to the time of year, a lack of the right ingredients, or just purely down to me.

All I can hope for is an upturn in fortune next week, or any suggestions would be gratefully received.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Beer Of The Week - 15

I must admit this week's choice was becoming difficult. I have a Mallinsons up my sleeve just in case,but nothing really hit the spot until I tripped off down into Chesterfield today. I have a few pubs I like to visit there, but I never realised I would hit 2 beer festivals in 2 pubs. And I had to drive, Timbo's Law !!

Oddly both festivals were locally based, one with Sheffield beers, the other showcasing the best of two local breweries. The latter had Pentrich beers, rarely encountered in our part of the world, and very drinkable and Little Critters from Sheffield.

My co pilot, with a taste for darker beers, saw the Little Critters 'Hazelnut Milk Stout' at our first call but time overtook us and we had to scratch it for some hoppier beers but....

We called at our second pub and our second festival, and guess what was on the bar....well done ! I ignored it, preferring a weaker hoppy beer but once I had a sip of my mate's stout I was sold, next beer sorted.

It is 6%, and unusual for the brewery, not named after an animal. It is a milk stout, but one with attitude - a sweet body with oats and lactose, and a superb hazelnut hit, both in the nose and the taste. It am not a nut fan, but this one worked, may be more than one would be a challenge but it was a superb beer. Look out for it.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Beer Of The Week - 14

They have come a long way since starting brewing in a Pocklington garage in 2011, to their current brew plant in Malton. Brass Castle are one of Yorkshire's success stories.

I have tried many of their beers, admittedly some I have enjoyed more than others, but this weekend our local Huddersfield drinkers can get my favourite. Misfit is desrcibed as a 'rolling hop swap beer' showcasing different hop pairings. They are 4.3%.

Call in the Sportsman and try this months version, it has El Dorado and Citra hops in the mix and it is good. Sorry it is excellent. I have been less than impressed by Citra in the last couple of years until I came across this version which has made me fall in love with it again.

Enjoy it...but please leave me some more for Monday !!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Beer Of The Week - 13

I know its a day early but I very much doubt any beer today reaching the heights that this weeks choice has. This week there was a Brew York tap takeover at the Sportsman. I did not attend but called in the following day to sample their range. I had encountered some of their beers before, and frankly I was/am a bit ambivalent towards them, until.....

I discovered Tonkoko.

What a surprise. The pump clip describes it as a milk stout. Well, that is true, but only a part of the story, what really matters are the other ingredients listed on the clip. Tonka beans, Coconut, Cacao nibs and Vanilla are all added to the mix and it creates an outstanding beer, at a sensible strength of 4.3%.

It isn't just me that likes it either as it won the Gold Award for the Speciality Beer at the York Beer Festival 2016, and went on to win the Overall Beer of the Festival.

But what of the taste ? The tasting notes refer to 'Bounty in a Glass' and that is a perfect description. The coconut, which is hand toasted, and coffee blend perfectly together with underlying chocolate notes. I must admit I never really got the vanilla though.

Should you wish to try it, then the Sportsman may still have some available, otherwise it is available in cans or on keg.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Beer Of The Week - 12

Since a fair chunk of my week has been taken over bythe Star Beer Festival, it seems only fair that my choice of Beer Of The Week comes from their list. I was not alone in selecting this beer, it was the first to run off, early in Friday's session.

Loch Lomond 'Southern Summit' is  a 4% light, hoppy beer. It is from the Scottish brewery that has been on the go since 2011 at the southern end of the eponymous loch. It is subtle, and not overly bitter with both Summit and Citra hops in the mix.

It seems that I am not the only one to have enjoyed this beer, as it started life as a special but its popularity and several SIBA awards persuaded the brewery to add it to their core portfolio. Look out for it, it is excellent.