Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No2 - Riverhead Brewery

Riverhead brewery opened in 1995 in the centre of the village of Marsden, in a converted shop. Its beers were brewed on the premises and available on the bar in the pub upstairs, and soon became a must visit place for the itinerant beer drinker.

Its basic beers were initially named after local reservoirs, and the higher the gravity, the higher above sea level was the reservoir, hence 'Butterley Bitter', 'Cupwith Special' and their 'March Haigh'.

The pub and brewery were taken over by Ossett in 2006, and they have retained it as a going concern. The beer range is as before but there are several new and occasional brews that are brewed on site by a new brewster, and after initial quality problems they have settled down.

The basic beers are usually available at the brewery tap but others, particularly the specials make they way into the Ossett pub estate and often into the free trade. Recently they have brewed 'Sherbet Lemon' which packed a lovely lemony hit in a light beer, along with more traditional type beers such as 'Standedge Adrmiral'.

The original range included a porter, 'Deer Hill' and 'Black Moss', a stout, which at 4.3% could hold its own with any stout brewed. These are now only brewed occasionally and are not easy to find, but well worth the effort. The porter is actually due on the bar at the Sportsman soon should you wish to sample it.

If you are up the Colne Valley and have a hour spare, then a trip to the Riverhead will surely not disappoint.

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