Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Will, Tim, Alison, Iain, BJ, Brian and 'The Bloke from Hull'.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
He states that the choice of Mallinsons will complement those beers already on the bar and give those who hold the brewery in high regard (i.e. most of the drinking world), another outlet where they can find their favourite brewery. At present there is 'Garnock' available but several other new brews are waiting patiently in the wings.
It just shows how far the brewery have moved on in a short space of time and is a credit to them that so many local pubs feel confident enough to keep their beer available at all times. Long may it continue.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
The comically titled Dr. Morton's Famous Reindeer Repellent is another in an excellent line of beers from the company's testbed brewery, but at a pale and hoppy 4.2% is probably not the ale you would have expected (perhaps the clue's in the title!).
A subtle hint of spice somewhere in the finish is the only real nod to winter in an otherwise light and citrussy drink. With it's fruity moreishness and typically fun pumpclip, this is easily my favourite yuletide beer thus far. (map)
The as yet unnamed landmark ale uses the current favourite Citra hop, so will hopefully be well received by the many fans of this relatively new American hybrid variety.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
That was soon put right by a 1/3 pint of the 'Delirium Noel' though, a dark, fruity 10% offering. I could not complain about the lack of flavour here, a robust little number, packed with taste and far too drinkable for it's strength - a real Belgian classic and a fine way to round off an interesting afternoon. Should you be in the area and need an antidote to the Christmas shopping then look no further, I am sure you will enjoy it.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
I am a day time drinker and my Saturday commitment leaves only Sunday when all day opening is virtually guaranteed. Transport is usually at a premium then, so what seems like a good idea to visit out of the way pubs becomes a chore rather than a pleasure.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
In contrast to the formulaic makeover at the latest Ossett pub in Knaresborough the other week, this Field & Barnes production would be much less contrived - and remembering back to the opening of The Sportsman in Huddersfield, I got there thinking 'try to keep an open mind'. But whilst the duo's last project was a somewhat acquired taste (though well worth acquiring!), this pub is instantly lovable.
Should anyone need to see just what a transformation there’s been here (and you really do) then there’s a photo album available for perusal on the bar detailing every stage of the metamorphosis. The pub looked to have rather lost it’s way under the stewardship of Tetleys so it’s great to see it’s dignity and character restored once more.
The bar is a real piece of work with panelling from an old German dresser making it an eye-catching feature. The décor, whilst understated, makes the best of the natural lighting through the etched glass and the (obligatory?) historical prints of the locality in the front room are perfect.
The eight handpulls were heavily biased in favour of the most local producers during my visit, with Fernandes, Five Towns, Ossett and Tiger Tops making the Mallinsons look positively foreign! As with both The West Riding and The Sportsman, Taylors Landlord and Black Sheep Bitter will be permanent here.
Alongside the cask, the pub also serves Amstel, Guinness, Aspall, Pilsner Urquell, Heineken, Blue Moon (an American take on Belgian wit), La Chouffe and de Koninck on draught. A selection of continental bottled beer is also available.
Manager Lisa Wood is confident that beer festivals, quiz nights and acoustic sessions will feature at the pub once the dust has settled, and we would like to wish her, Mike and Sarah all the best with their latest adventure! (map)
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Knaresborough, being a little more - shall we say - historic (...ok, posh!) than perhaps Ossett or Elland, is the perfect setting for the brewery's trademark decor style and consequently this newest addition to the estate feels much more at home.
Towns like Knaresborough and Harrogate should be full of pubs like this and it's always a disappointment to find so many poorly maintained interiors behind such beautiful facades.
This is probably my favourite Ossett refurbishment to date - it's just a shame that my trips to this part of the world are so few and far between these days. (map)
Thursday, November 25, 2010
The winning combo team headed by Mr Mike Field, who has connections with local brewery Anglo Dutch and works with CAMRA. His business partner Miss Sarah Barnes who oversees the day to day running of the whole company, and brought you Dewsbury Beer Festival bring you another fantastic Real Ale Bar. After some major, but sympathetic redecorating and recruiting of new members of staff we will be ready to eagerly welcome you all.
It becomes the third in our small group of real ale bars, joining The West Riding in Dewsbury established 16 years ago and The Sportsman in Huddersfield just over one year ago, both with great reputations.
It will be managed by Lisa Wood who has successfully run The West Riding at Dewsbury train station for the last five years although she will be fondly missed, we know she will make The Cricketers Arms as welcoming and hopefully as award winning as its sister pubs by keeping the beer to the very high standard that she brought to the West Riding.
We will have eight real ale pumps on the bar with favourites from Black Sheep and Timothy Taylor on regularly, and local brews as well as beers from far and wide on rotation. Also a vast array of lagers wines and carefully selected spirits to suit all, not to mention the extensive choice of Belgian beers and continental lagers.
Another beacon for real ale drinkers near and far.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
The Hop in Leeds, beneath the city's railway station, has been open eight months already and continues to wow visitors with it's unique decor in this quite remarkable location. (map)
Festivities kick off at lunchtime Thursday (25th) and continue until Sunday night, or when the beer runs out. Food will be available throughout the five day event. [map]
Friday, November 19, 2010
[left-right: Bob Lawson (Ossett Brewery Chairman), landlady Diane Lockerbie & the Mayor of Knaresborough Councillor Richard Hall]
The Cross Keys on Cheapside is the sixteenth the company has opened since 2003 and it's first outside of West Yorkshire. Diane Lockerbie has transferred over from The Old Vic (formerly The Silver King) to take charge in this, her home town, whilst Sarah Dixon from The Shepherds Rest in Sowerby Bridge replaces her at Ossett. (map)
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
I have a vague recollection of the way the old Albion used to be as I was at school nearby many moons ago but more recently the pub had gained an unwanted reputation through association with drug dealing and violent behaviour, finally resulting in closure.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Once you have found your way across the inner ring road from the station it is only a couple of hundred yards to either the Wetherspoons on Cowgate or the Brewery Tap on Westgate, our intention was to start at 'spoons, do a big figure of eight and finish at the tap.
The Drapers Arms is a cracking good Wetherspoons, we often call in for breakfast, it is smaller and has a proper pub feel to it, compared to a number of their outlets we are familiar with in Yorkshire. Ten hand pumps are gathered together on the bar, with the beers normally supplied by familiar, quality small breweries - today was slightly different, as it was the second day of the Wetherspoons Festival. Thirds were purchased of Woodforde's Once Bittern, Lion Stout and Samuel Adams Blonde Ambition. The Woodforde's edged this taste battle, the presence of Nelson Sauvin hops nearly always wins with us. We then headed towards the cathedral and across the River Nene, past Charters and Peterborough United FC to reach the Coalheavers Arms.
Incidentally, the Coalheavers was once a Phipps (of Northampton) house, a brewery fondly remembered in these parts, and a beer worth looking for is Grainstore's Phipps IPA, a recreation of a 1930's original recipe from another excellent small brewery.
Charters is a huge barge on the river next to the bridge with a Thai restaurant at deck level and the bar down below, 12 hand pumps showcase the Oakham Brewery (we have seen 7 on at the same time) and guests from all over the country occupying the remaining pumps. We have found that you are more likely to catch Oakham's specials here, and today, alongside the 4 regular brews (JHB, Inferno, White Dwarf and Bishop's Farewell) we were treated to Citra and Warspite. Oakham's Citra is one of the beers of the year (in our humble opinion). It is possible that, hops allowing, it will become a permanent brew.
We now had an extra hour, and following the advice of the landlord of the Coalheavers, detoured from our route back to the Brewery Tap to call in at the Ostrich Inn, down a side street off Westgate just before you reach the Wortley Almshouses (a very good Sam Smith's, but only Sam Smith's of course).
The Ostrich has a half cafe bar/half traditional feel (a little like the New Oxford in Salford), 4 hand pumps dispense beer from local breweries, we chose Tydd Steam Barn Ale and Newby Wyke Kingston Topaz and sat down next to a montage of old photographs of (closed) Peterborough Pubs, one of which was the Ostrich, except it was called Bogards and closed in 2008. Bogards was a beer guide regular until 2007 and is now reopened under the original name, a welcome return, as we think Peterborough needed a smaller bar in the centre of the city.
Finally it was off to the Brewery Tap, 12 hand pumps, always include the 4 regular Oakham Beers, and on this occasion 3 specials, Citra, Akhenaten and 3 Witches (Halloween again!). Not a pub that is to everyone's liking (it IS huge), but handy for the station and our train back to Yorkshire. We finished with some classic JHB and it was time to go.
A great day out, and not a bad beer in sight, next time we change trains in Peterborough, we have the pubs we missed to catch up with and some recommended to us in nearby Stamford.
Just one thing though - why are the beers 20p a pint more in the Tap than in Charters????
Monday, November 08, 2010
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Awards included the overall best bottled beer for Treacle Stout, which actually has black treacle as one of the ingredients, and Gold for their new bottled Yorkshire Blonde Premium.
Paul Spencer, Head Brewer, said: “We were delighted with the amount of wins, especially the success of our Bottled Beers, Treacle Stout and Yorkshire Blonde Premium. We only started brewing Yorkshire Blonde Premium, a stronger version of our permanently available Yorkshire Blonde, in August this year so to have such a prestigious win so early on is fantastic.’
The overall winners of each category will enter through to the SIBA national finals to be held early next year.
Mike Inman, Co-Director of Ossett Brewery, said: “To have Treacle Stout going through to the national finals as best bottled beer is testament to the quality of our beers and the overall amount of wins we had on the day is real recognition of all our hard work.”
It’s not the first time Ossett Brewery’s beers have gone through to the national finals. In 2001 their famous Silver King won National Speciality Beer and more recently Excelsior, their strongest beer at 5.2% ABV, won the prestigious National Supreme Champion (2003) and Stong Ale Champion (2006).
Stouts and Porters – Treacle Stout (Gold) Milds – Fernandes Malt-Shovel Mild (Silver)
Gold Beers – Yorkshire Blonde Premium (Gold) Strong Bitters – Excelsior (Silver)
Overall Best Bottled Beer – Treacle Stout (Gold)
Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA): Northern Region Competition 2010
SIBA North - Largest SIBA region in terms of amount of brewers
282 cask beers were judged, 8 Cask categories
120 Bottled Beers judged, 5 Bottled Beer categories
3 rounds then overall judge off.