This weekend saw the return to town, albeit only for the weekend, of Kevin Yelland. I managed to catch up with him to see what he was up to now.
For those who do not know him, Kevin was the erstwhile barman at the Rat & Ratchet in pre Ossett days, (the one with the pony tail and beard who supported Wolves !) and he brought his brewing skills to the old Rat brewery on occasions. He then moved on to pastures new in St Albans, where he managed a pub there and brewed himself under the 'Alehouse' name. Should you have come across his beers he liked his hops, and often his beers were very innovative for their time, packing masses of hop flavour into each brew, often using new hops before other brewers learned of their qualities. He also maintained an interest in foreign beers, especially American, with a leaning towards the West Coast brewers.
He has left the pub now and is effectively a free lance brewer but does brew on his old kit at St Albans, under the name of 'Verulanum' and still promises that his beer will be full of hops, he just getting into Citra but still uses his trademark Simcoe. The only problem for us northerners is that the beer does not often get into the free trade and if it does it rarely makes it as far as Yorkshire, so if you want to try it it means a trip to its home town.
He maintains all his enthusiasm for brewing, but the old ponytail has gone. It was good to catch up with him again, one of the old brewers from the town that has spawned so many good brewers recently. I, for one, owe him a debt of gratitude for showing me what hops are really for.