This weekend again provided a couple of gems for the drinkers of Huddersfield. One beer that should be fairly widely available, one less so. To deal with the latter first, The Star was privileged to have a barrel of Steel City 'Master of the Spooniverse' on it's bar. As readers will be aware, this is a brewery we rate very highly because of their commitment to hops and their skill in crafting beer. This was no exception - 4.2% and packed with flavour. It was brewed in memory of beer ticker Chris Fudge, who sadly died earlier this year, and in everyone's opinion, a classic.
A trip to the Grove provided another excellent beer. I have always liked Crouch Vale beers, especially their single hopped ones, and there were a couple on the the bar there to tempt me. Their 'Brewers Gold' has been in the brewery's portfolio for some time, and is considered one of their regular beers. It is 4% and provides everything one would expect from the hop with a bitter but fresh fruitiness giving a clean tasting refreshing pint. It even won 'Champion Beer Of Britain' twice, in 2005 and again in 2006. However I was more than interested to try their 'Apollo', another single hop beer. The pump clip states 'intensely hoppy' and they have got it right. The beer provides a massive hop hit which is balanced by a bitter and fruity aftertaste. A classic hop from Oregon made into a classic beer from Essex.
A quick look at their website shows what we northerners have been missing. The brewery, who have been in production for nearly 30 years and are based in South Woodham Ferrers, not only provide a range of regular beers but also brew monthly specials which very rarely reach our part of the world. The specials list show a commitment to using unusual hops which we northern drinkers would more likely associate with Acorn or Pictish breweries, but if their other beers are as good as the 'Apollo' then may be a trip down to Essex may be in order! Unless of course, someone can get a regular supply for us up here to sample. Hint hint!!!