Friday, October 13, 2017

Beer Of The Week 41 - Liberation 'Ale'

This week's selection has surprised me as much as any beer I have selected for 'Beer Of The Week'. I never expected a 'Beer of the Week' to come from the Wetherspoons festival list. I did see the list a few weeks ago, an to say I was disimpressed may be an understatement but may be I was a little premature.

Liberation Brewery are based in Jersey, in the Channel Islands and have been brewing for over a century. Their beers rarely seem to make it to the mainland, in fact, all the ones I have sampled bar one, have been at 'Spoons festivals.

'Liberation Ale' is a 4% beer, golden coloured with a clean, fresh taste with just a hint of citrus. Reading their website explains why: Maris Otter and lager malts are used and teamed up with Goldings, Styrian Goldings and Hallertau Herskbrucker hops.

The beer is readily available throughout the Wetherspoons estate, and given their prices, is an absolute bargain.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Beer Of The Week 40 - Brass Castle 'I Am Gruit'

I must admit that in all my drinking career, which has been quite extensive, I have never encountered a beer called 'Gruit'. However this week Brass Castle brewery from Malton have corrected that when I came across their 'I Am Gruit' .

That set me looking at Wikipedia, which explained that Gruit is effectively a beer brewed without hops, instead using herbs. There were four in this version but I never jotted them down from the pump clip. One was thyme however, as the beer had a strong flavour and nose of that. I was a little unsure what to expect but once I got used to the unfamiliar taste I was quite drawn to it. It was 4.3%, which gave it enough body to support the variety of flavours within.

I experienced it in The Head of Steam in Leeds but I hope to try it again closer to home soon. I assume it to be a fairly new beer as it does not yet appear on 'Untapped' (my usual crib source!), nor does it appear on the brewery web site.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Beer Of The Week 39 - North Riding Brewery 'Dandelion and Burdock'

There is not much I can say about this beer that is not covered in the title. It is a dark beer, 4.5% and is brewed by Stuart Neilson at his North Riding Brewery in Scarborough. Since the brewery moved from its previous home at the North Riding Pub, their beers have become morely widely available, and some are more extravagantly experimental.

This is one of those. I have sampled their beers that taste of neopolitan ice cream, coffee, and other interesting things, but this one is special. It took me back to my childhood, when little Timbo had his Ben Shaws pop delivered by a van and he could choose what he fancied that week. Often Cream Soda won, but a good reserve was their Dandelion and Burdock. 

Somehow Stuart has managed to make a beer that recreates that taste perfectly and transported me back 60 years. The strength of the beer gives it enough spine to support the two dominant flavours, and both are noticeable in the taste. It was sampled in Leeds, but is available at local outlets too.

Follow up...a while ago I featured Brew York 'Tonkoko Stout' .This week I have discovered their Imperial version on keg. 7.5% and superb, at the Vic in Halifax.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Beef Of The Week 38 - Turning Point 'Summer Grove'

Most of our reader this week will have been enjoying himself at the York Beer Festival. I saw the list and was drooling, but circumstances dictated I could not manage it. But after a trip around Yorkshire this week, I found my beer of the week closer to home. In fact in The Grove.

I called in by chance yesterday, and saw a couple of Turning Point beers on the bar. In fact there were four, two each on cask and keg, but one was repeated and I had had one of the others before so I concentrated on 'Summer Grove' on cask.

The brewery itself seems to have hit the ground running since I first came across them earlier this year with their distinctive pump clips and their modern tasting beers. Not quite what I expected from a brewery in Kirkbymoorside. However back to the matter in hand.

I selected my beer with half an eye, I was concentrating on my mobile - Yorkshire scraping through their match against Warwickshire - rather than reading the small print on the clip. The first mouthfull soon changed that. It was 6%, I had seen that, but I had over looked the addition of Belgian yeast, Rose water, and gooseberries. A very interesting and refreshing beer with layers of flavour, each further mouthful bringing different flavours. And it was a collaboration with the staff at the Grove.

I am not sure if the beer will be available elsewhere, but with both cask and keg on the bar at the pub, I am hopeful it may last for a liitle while

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Beer Of The Week 37 - Lines Brewery 'Phat Firkin'

Well I hope that is what it is called !

A barrel that has been sitting tempting me on the rack in The Star at Lockwood for a few days is from Lines Brewery. This is because of two reasons. Firstly, they are a rare brewery around our part of the world, coming from Caerphilly in South Wales, and secondly, the beer itself looked fascinating.

The beer is 3.2%, and the pump clip gave me all sorts of information, but sadly trying to extract the actual beer name was a little complicated. I have since checked their website and what I have been drinking comes under the umbrella of (quote) - Small Beer ' Cryo Hop'  Line AD - (Phat Firkin). So pick the bones out of that then !

However it is a great beer. There is a massively fruit hit, which comes from dry hopping with Nelson Sauvin, and a pleasant soft background from oats in the brew, but what seems to place this beer apart from others is the Cryo Hop which is responsible for resins and aromatic oils. In addition to this the water for the beer comes from the brewery's own well, and the finished product is unfiltered and unfined.

I cannot do the beer justice here, just read the brewery website and it will make a lot more sense, but I can suggest that you get down the Star and try it. It looks a little different but it is superb.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Beer Of The Week 36 - Wild Beer 'Pogo'

A damp, grey day in Huddersfield was brightened up considerably by this weeks beer choice. I happened across Wild Beer Pogo in the Grove yesterday. I have come across it before but this time it really hit the spot. Although it is available on keg and in cans, this was a cask sample.

It is a 4.1% light beer, that does not skimp on its hop character, that comes from the use of Southern Hemisphere hops but it is its fruit character that makes it special. It is full of orange, guava and passion fruit flavours that brings a taste of summer to a grey autumn day.

If you do make it to the Grove, Wild 'Millionaire' - many people's favourite dark beer (but not mine !) is also available.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Beers of the Week 35 - Manchester Brewing 'Kir Bier' and 'Getting Caught In The Rain ...'

This week I seem to have stumbled on the Leeds Beer Week. Not a bad thing I may add, and after a quick nudge from a couple of like minded individuals I made a trip to the North Bar in the city. I was expecting a couple of keg beers from the Manchester Brewery but what I found was slightly different.

As I hinted last week, I am a bit of sucker for the 'weird' in respect of beer, and anything a little unusual often attracts me. However, on previous occasions when I have tried Manchester Brewing beers, (admittedly in their home city) their beers have always seemed a little on the safe side. Not so those in Leeds.

Firstly, I was surprised to find the two beers on cask, and secondly, the tasting notes just drew me in. The first one 'Kir Bier', was described as a 'tart, blackcurrant wheat' beer, at 4.8%. It certainly was tart, and tasted of blackcurrant but although there were hints of wheat in the background it was not what I would call a wheat beer, but it was still an excellent beer.

However, the second beer was even weirder, and even better. 'Getting Caught In The Rain' (again 4.8%) was an unfiltered, unfined pina colada pale. And it tasted of pina colada. I would have expected the tastes that came through to have come through in the keg version, but they were very apparent in the cask version. It was odd but it worked.

If you come across either beer, give them a go. You may be surprised what cask can do.