Saturday, November 29, 2008

Local Beers in Unlocal Places

Heard a couple of interesting snippets whilst sampling the wares at the Star festival.

Mallinsons from Lindley are branching out and are supplying a house beer for the New Oxford in Salford and the pub is also taking lots of their beers as dry hopped specials. Well worth a visit, if you are in the area. Tara has also been delivering to the Harlequin in Sheffield so watch out for her beers in that part of the world too.

Goose Eye are apparently proactively trying to source their beers into pubs and rumour has it that they are now regulars in many Halifax area pubs, particularly round Ripponden so, again, well worth a visit for one of the better breweries in Yorkshire, if you happen to be in that part of the world.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Leggers Fest

The Leggers Inn at Dewsbury holds it's first beer festival from lunchtime today until Sunday night (30th) with about thirty beers on in the first floor function room and main bar. (map)

The List: St. Austell - Proper Job Otter - Bitter Hop Back - Red Amber Mauldens - Peggotty Porter Salopian - Oracle Woodfords - Norfolk Nog Exmoor - Gold Tom Woods - Jolly Ploughman Tom Woods - Bomber County Everards - Slay Bells Hardy and Hanson - Olde Trip Fullers - London Pride Hawkshead - Red Grafton - Two Water Grog Goose Eye - 3rd Generation Scattor Rock - Quarrymen Stout Magpie - Steve's Grog Wentworth - WPA (Woppa) Acorn - Barnsley Bitter Acorn - Crystal Maz Great Heck - YPA Great Heck - Porter Anglo-Dutch - Special Anglo-Dutch - Devil's Knell Wold Top - Five Wold Rings Wold Top - Falling Stone Leeds - Legless Leeds - Hell Fire

Leggers festival bar provided in part by Leeds Brewery (no prizes for guessing which part!)

Leeds Brewery beer has proved so popular at Leggers that it is to have it's own handpump installed. The three regular Leeds beers plus monthly specials will rotate on the dedicated wicket and if that's not enough a specially commissioned ale from the brewery will feature at this weekend's festival. Also available to buy behind the bar are Leeds Brewery t-shirts at the very reasonable price of £8.

For further details contact John Smithson on 01924 502846.

The glorious Leggers Inn bar

Thursday, November 27, 2008

St Andrew's Day Fest

We all know every day's a festival at the Grove, but this weekend sees the pub going that extra mile with this showcase of Scotland's finest output to mark St. Andrew's Day.

This not to be missed event means Huddersfield beer fans will be up to their necks in the stuff as the Grove vies with the Star Inn's winter festival at Folly Hall for their precious beer buck!


The 7th Star Winter Beer Festival opened its doors last night. The format was the tried and tested system of 46 beers served through handpumps in the marquee (posh word for tent) at the back of the pub,along with a selection on the pumps in the bar. A total of 66 in all on the programme.

Sam, the licencee, attempts to source new breweries and new beers from old favourite breweries and this festival was no exeception. It brought enthusiasts from far and wide and along with the usual suspects from the local area,attracted some from Stoke, Wolverhampton, and Derby to name but a few. Some have even booked holidays to coincide with the event.

The beers on the bar were in excellent form and a credit to Sam and her team. There were some real gems amongst them, the Pictish Neutron Star is unmissable if you like your beers hoppy, and I am informed that the 6.6% Loggers from Wensleydale is a masterpiece in the dark beer style. Add to that, specials from Mallinsons, and Phoenix, Ginger beers from Coach House and Boggart, and a selection of Stouts and Porters from various disparate brewers makes this into a not to be missed experience. The festival runs till Sunday, or until the beer runs out. See you there.

Seems that the Neutron Star was the Star of the show.First beer to run off on Friday evening. However, Goose Eye Puzzled was a more than adequate replacement, double hopped with American Hops according to Dave, the brewer. (as an aside, he was actually working behind the pumps for a bit on Friday, and I even managed to get a half served by the brewer himself).

Have also seen that the Grove is holding a St Andrews Day festival over the weekend, so should there not be enough at the Star to hold your interest, maybe a trip up the road for the Scottish beers on the bar there may just top you up.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Additional Authors

In order to help fill the vast gaps in this blog and increase the local news content, I've asked some Huddersfield-based beer addicts to contribute directly to the site and hopefully make it more up to the minute. Look out for their posts soon. In the meantime I shall continue to concentrate on the photo-side by adding more regular pub profiles. Cheers and thanks for reading!

New Year Navigation Fest

The Navigation in Mirfield is planning a beer festival from Thursday 29th Jan to Sunday 1st Feb, featuring 20+ ales with particular representation from south coast breweries.

Permanently featuring on the bar at this canal-side tavern are John Smith's Cask, Theakston Bitter, XB & Black Bull plus five rotating guests, making it the pub with the most choice in the north Kirklees area at present.

More details on the forthcoming festival will appear in due course. (map)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Non-Beardy Beer Book

Fifteen beer fans have contributed to this collection of sometimes humorous, oftentimes educational pieces on one hundred of the UK's top-selling beers. This tongue-in-cheek antidote to Roger Protz's 300 Beers To Try Before You Die tells you plenty about the sort of stuff you'd normally go out of your way to avoid, and might even convince you to sample.

As with any compilation certain contributors are a better read than others. Some wanted to tell it straight, others such as Dave Amos were funny and obviously new their subject well, even coming across a little bit beardy - despite the title. I kept hoping for stuff in the same vein as The Opinionated Beer Page rantings though, like the classic - "Mow the lawn on the hottest day of the year in flannel pajamas. When done, pour the sweat from your nutsack into a bottle, slap a label on it, and "BAM!" you have Bud Light" - but, regrettably, crudity is kept to a minimum here.

Getting detesters of a particular style of beer to taste and write about it might seem the obvious way to get laughs, and I suppose having confessed Bud Ice fan Stuart Wheatman reviewing Greene King IPA could have been a giggle, but personally I would find it pretty tough trying to be light-hearted whilst necking something I couldn't stomach - and unfortunately so did he.

The best humour is saved for the obvious targets such as the silly strength special brews beloved of park bench-warmers, and the ludicrous over the top advertising (Stella in particular) that has transformed the way we Brits drink. On a slightly more serious note is the recurring theme of the watered down versions of so many continental beers now found in the UK with the conclusion that we're being protected from our bad binging selves - but then we've known that for years.

Obviously continental and American brews are the mainstay but a few real ales get in on the act with Tetleys, Smiths and Fullers (as well as the aforementioned Greene King) attracting rather unimaginative historical write-ups, as befits their products by and large.

With John Smiths and Carling topping the ale & lager charts by a country mile, and likely to do so for ever it seems, having this informative little read, a kind of know your enemy handbook, close by is strangely comforting. Indeed I had no idea that Carling originated in Canada or that it took the company's finest brewers (or should that be chemists) ten years to come up with the recipe for C2 (!!) - but I do now and I feel better for it somehow!

So if you are unfortunate enough to be denied access to your favoured tipple and need to check out the opposition or are just plain curious, intimidated even by all those weird and wonderful fonts that are taking over the bar, then make sure you've a copy handy 'cos you're guaranteed to learn something - just don't expect your sides to split whilst doing so.

The Non-Beardy Beer Book is published by Tonto Books of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and thanks very much to Paul Brown of Tonto for sending me this review copy. Order it here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Moonraker Beer Festival

Colne Valley Lions Club are holding their annual beer festival in aid of the Urology Unit at HRI and Prostate Cancer Research this weekend.

The event will take place at Slaithwaite Conservative Club, Brittania Road, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th November, between 6.00pm and 11.00pm, and Saturday 15th November from 12 noon to 11.00pm.

There will be over 30 Real Ales from independent and micro-breweries all over the UK. Entertainment is laid on for Friday and Saturday, and hot food is also available.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Ossett Go Clubbing

Ossett Brewery's latest venture is a real ale variety club in Wakefield. Opening mid-December, The Hop in Bank Street off Westgate, will feature live music and stand-up comedy - not to mention the usual eight real ales of course. Further details and pictures will follow.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Brass Monkey Brewery

From now on it's not just the weather around here that can be described as brass monkeys! Two guys from Armitage Bridge who help run the Monkey Club have set up a brewery in Sowerby Bridge and their first brew, Howling Monkey, has already been distributed.

Barrels have been delivered to The Star, The Monkey Club, Lockwood and Salford Con Club, The White Hart at New Mill and the Green Cross in Moldgreen, amongst others and I shall endeavour to get my paws on some this week. More beers are soon to follow and the brewers have set up their own website though currently there is nothing on it except contact details.