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.

Navigation Festival - Spring 2017

As regular devotees of 'A Swift One' will know, one of the festivals I always try to visit is that at The Navigation at Mirfield. Yesterday saw its Spring festival start. It will run through until Sunday, and opens at midday on each day.

Thursday is usually a start up day, and the festival starts when everyone is ready, but on my arrival, around 1 pm, the beer was in full flow and plenty of the usual suspects were already present and looked well set for the afternoon. The set up followed the tried and tested routine, around 30 beers, many on a make shift bar in the back room, but all handpulled and cellar cooled, and all at £3 a pint, or £3 for a 3 1/3 flight - a bargain.

In the recent past a feature of the festival has been that the beers have been sourced from a certain area of the country. This time Scotland featured. I was slightly concerned before the festival since Bradford Beer festival had a similar theme; how wrong I was.

The list here provided a plethora of new breweries to me, and some I had never even heard of.  A quick scan of the beers showed from such gems as Hybrid, Waylade, Edinbrew, Campervan, and Beath, along with lots of other rare ones.

It would be unfair of me to single out a beer of the festival, every one I sampled was good, some excellent, and there was plenty of variety of styles, from the light and hoppy to the marshmallow porter, from 2.8% to 5% plus.

All I can suggest is that if you have a spare day this weekend, get yourself over there and try some for yourself. Thanks again to Derek for his sterling work behind the bar under somewhat stressful circumstances, and thanks to Kevin and the team for sourcing a splendid selection of beers.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Beer Of The Week 19

Now this week, the beer has had a bit of competition. Trips out to Newcastle and the Three Pigeons Beer Festival have provided plenty of choice, not that I was drinking for pleasure, research only...Honest !!

But I had decided on my beer of the week on Monday in the Sportsman, and despite some really good beers, nothing knocked this one off its perch.

Wishbone from Keighley are a brewery I am a little ambivalent about. I have had some good beers from them and some less good but... I came across 'Night Star'. Only 3.7 % but superb. A mixture of Mosaic, Ahtahnum and Summit hops in a nicely balanced beer. Just far too drinkable. I am not sure if this is part of a series or just a one off but I would like to see it as a regular, preferably somewhere I drink regularly.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Last chance for East vs West 2017

Today (Sunday, May 7) is your last chance to sample the delights of East vs West Fest 2017.
I had two very enjoyable night sessions at The Red Shed in Wakefield but all good things must come to an end.
The final session is between noon and 3pm today, after which the fine-looking temporary bar which is festooned with Five Towns Brewery pump clips, will be dismantled for another year.
I'll keep this short but there were several highlights for me: the beers (The host's May Day DIPA, Canadian Maple Brown from Black Jack and Horbury's Five Hop to name just three), the food (the hot beef sarnies and the bean chili) and the company.
Everybody seemed to know everybody and I caught up with a few people I hadn't seen for a while.
So if you are at loose end this afternoon I recommend you make your way to Vicarage Street, just below Wakefield Cathedral, as you won't regret it.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Beer Of The Week 18 - Cloudwater Citra DIPA

After a couple of weeks where choice of Beer Of The Week has been somewhat limited, this week has been totally the opposite with plenty of beers to select from. However, I am conscious that this blog is primarily based in the Huddersfield area, so my choice has come from a beer that will be available around a couple of our local bars.

I am also aware that some purists are not too happy with some of my keg choices, but this is a real classic. Cloudwater 'DIPA - Citra' does what it says on the clip. It is a double IPA with Citra hops. I have been less than impressed with some of the Citra beers I have sampled in the recent past but this one really does the business. It is 9% so it has the strength behind it to bring out some of the more subtle flavours along with the massive Citra hit.

Admittedly Cloudwater beers are never cheap and this is verging on £10 a pint, but it is well worth a third. It is (or was last time I visited) available at The Sportsman and Arcade should you fancy sampling it.

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 ?