Monday, October 27, 2008

Hallowe'en at the Cellar Bar

The Cellar Bar holds it's 2nd Annual Hallowe'en Beer Festival this week (Thursday 30 October - Saturday 1 November) and here's the line up:

Blonde Category
Bob's Brewing Co. - Autumn Equinox 4.5% This pale ale is brewed using a blend of American hops. It has a strong citrus presence with a dry and fruity finish.
Eastwood - Hellraiser 4.0% Creamy, yellow, hoppy bitter with hints of citrus fruits. Pleasantly strong bitter after taste.
Hyde's - Jekyll's Gold 4.3% Pale gold in colour with a fruity nose. A well balanced beer with hop, fruit and malt in the taste and a bitter finish.
Harviestoun - Number of the Beast 3.6% A tasty light ale that has a fruity nose with notes of lemon and grapefruit. Soft bodied with a lingering bitter finish.
Old Mill - Halloween Suprise 3.9% A mellow malty flavour with a distinctive hop character with hints of chocolate.
Moorhouse - Pendle Witch (bottles) 5.1% Well balanced, full bodied, malty beer with a long complex finish.

Brown Category
Wychwood - Hobgoblin 4.5% Ruby red in colour, Hobgoblin is full bodied and has a delicious chocolate toffee malt flavour
Herritage - Scarecrow 4.5% Hazy wheat beer flavoured with lemon and corriander
Robinsons - Spellbound 4.1% This dry hoppy ale is light oak in colour with notes of citrus, liquorice and toffee with a bitter finish.

Black Category
Elland - Diablo 5.6% This smooth porter is made using 7 different malts and single English hop variety to give a rich, dark, devil of a brew.
Old Bear - Witch's Brew 5.0% Dark ruby red ale with a malt and liquorice aroma.
Moorhouse - Black Cat (bottles) 3.4% A dark mild style beer with delicate chocolate and coffee roast flavours.

A rather tasty looking selection then to sample in the bowels of Batley. Be there and be scared!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The 4th Swan at Crimble Ale Fest

Holding it's first festival since gaining admission to the Good Beer Guide, The Swan at Crimble in the Colne Valley is already a firm favourite with local ale fans and travelling festival goers alike. It's proximity to Slaithwaite railway station makes The Swan very accessible from Huddersfield, using the stopping train to Manchester, and the quality selection of very reasonably priced beers make these biannual events unmissable.

All the beers bar one were from the roses counties (a popular theme this year) priced at £2.20 a pint across the board, with some outstanding entries from local producers. Of particular note were the exceptional Pandemonium Vanilla Porter (4.4%) from Empire, based just down the road from the pub, and the Swan Special (3.8%) from new Huddersfield brewers Mallinsons.

The porter was an astonishing success combining a full on vanilla aroma and initial taste followed beautifully by chocolate and coffee notes and just enough bitterness to thoroughly satisfy. Hopefully production of this supreme ale will continue through the winter months and make numerous appearances at my locals - I can't imagine ever getting enough of this stuff!

The Mallinson brew was another triumph (they always seem to save their best efforts for festivals) with a good refreshing lemony zest. Also worthy of mention was the Rye 'n' Dry (4.1%) by the impressive Hornbeam outfit in Manchester, from whom I've yet to sample anything that could be described as ordinary.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Silver King, Ossett

All the hallmarks of the Ossett Brewery Pub Co. brand - the ornate bar, the trademark arch, the quality furnishings and tasteful decor - are much in evidence at this new flagship pub.

The Silver King offers drinkers and diners a traditional but stylish environment in which to enjoy the company's award-winning ale and excellent cuisine. The pub is bandit and TV-free and the little background music there is doesn't manage to spoil the relaxed ambiance.

Two distinct drinking areas make up the front rooms of the pub whilst the restaurant (or bistro) is in two rooms to the rear, with the old wash house conversion a particularly attractive place in which to eat. Daytime and evening menus are available and booking is recommended for the more popular nights of the week.

The place oozes quality craftsmanship throughout and has the real feel of a country inn where wooden and flagged flooring will allow for hiking boots and wet dogs in the very inclusive bar. A collection of old waiting-room style wall clocks is a particular favourite feature of mine and an old piano could lead to some rather interesting evenings!

The bar serves eight hand-pulled real ales with Ossett, Riverhead and Fernandes featuring prominently, as you would expect, alongside a Fullers (usually London Pride) and rotating guests.

To the rear a newly created furnished terrace can be accessed from the restaurant whilst a designated covered area for smokers is available by the back door. The car park can accommodate up to a dozen vehicles with a little thought but it is rather narrow so the street maybe a better bet.

More details can be found on the brewery's website or contact manageress Dawn Brook direct on 01924 273516. (map)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Oktoberfest 2008

We're approaching the season when beer festivals come so thick and fast that heartbreaking decisions have to be made about which to attend and which to miss. It can often involve some tough choices, especially so now with many having to cut their beer budget back significantly - but one swilling extravaganza that just can't be ignored here in Huddersfield is the annual Oktoberfest.

The town's premier beer festival gets under way this evening to be quickly followed by an onslaught of pub and club events through the autumn. A hectic couple of months will see beer bashes in Batley and Brighouse, emasculating inebriety in Elland and 'Ebden Bridge, some falling down in Folly Hall and I'll doubtless be going crackers in Crimble!

Keep up to date with all these festivals using the calendar in the sidebar and make the most of the best beer season of the year!