Monday, October 11, 2010

Every One a Winner !!

This weekend the lucky drinkers at the Star have been privileged to sample some of the best beers around from a mixture of old and new breweries. Every beer I sampled was excellent, both in flavour and condition. It was difficult to select a beer of the day, let alone of the weekend. It just seemed when a great beer ran off an even better one replaced it.

On Saturday we had the choice of Mallinsons 'Pacifica' . A 3.9% single hopped beer with New Zealand hops giving the beer a light colour and a refreshing bite, not too bitter but very acceptable. Next to this was Pictish 'Hallertau Wheat', a little stronger at 4.0%, but a very subtle crystal clear wheat beer with the subtle flavour of the hallertau hops making this an excellent companion for the Mallinsons. What really surprised me was the Arkwrights 'Run of the Mill'. This was a beer I had previously encountered at a beer festival, and was not overly thrilled by, I thought it was just an average blonde bitter. How wrong I was. This time it was spectacular, and bursting with hop flavour leading to a refreshing bitter, but not too bitter, after taste. A tad stronger at 4.1% it stood comparison with both the previous beers, and was possibly the best of the three. Not bad for a brewery that only started earlier this year. To round off the session, lurking on the end of the bar was a giant from Five Towns. This is a small brewery, who previous readers of a 'A Swift One' will know I rate very highly. This time their offering was a 6.3% beer 'Tyketanic' . It is a bit of an understatement to say it went down well. Another light beer that was bursting with flavour, none of the subtlety of the others, this packed a massive citrus hit, mainly of rich Seville orange, bitter and a bit like marmalade without the sweetness. A beer that needed to treated with caution, and best left to the end of a session as its taste would over power the other beers. That was Saturday, would Sunday stand comparison.

It did. Three new beers to choose from, and two of these were excellent, one less so. To deal with that first, Marlpool 'Scatty Ratty' was on the bar. I had been looking forward to this, a new brewery to me, but I was a bit disappointed. It was a light 4.4% offering but had a very astringent TCP type flavour. I thought it was Green Bullet hops, those who know better said it was not. But whatever it was it was a let down sadly. This was compensated however by the two beers from Sheffield that had arrived on the bar since my previous visit. Kelham Island 'Are you Lonesome Tonight' was another light beer, at 3.8%. Pleasantly balanced, it was an excellent quaffing beer and one I could have happily had a session on had it not been rubbing shoulders with the superb Abbeydale 'Fascination'. Another brewery that usually provide the goods, and this time they have pulled all the stops out. It had everything I want in a beer. A pleasant, but not overpowering hoppy bitterness, a well crafted maltiness and a sensible strength at 3.9%. Another winner from one of my favourite breweries.

What was the beer of the weekend. It would be impossible to say from a line up like this. All had their own good points and it would be wrong to choose one over the others. All I can say that it was a great weekend's drinking. Lets hope it continues into the week.

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