Thursday, June 30, 2011

Milltown Brewery Launch

Dave Litten, (how does he always get to know first?!) advises us that another new Huddersfield brewery is due to launch their beers next month. This one is Milltown, but apart from that the information is somewhat sketchy, though I believe they brew in Milnsbridge.

Their beers will be launched at Marsden Mechanics Hall on the 23rd July 2011, at an event between noon and 11pm. 12 beers in all will be available, not sure how many of them will be from the new brewery, but other exclusive beers are promised from micro breweries in Huddersfield and Halifax.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Its Monkeyfest weekend - and beer list

This Saturday and Sunday sees the 5th Monkeyfest at Armitage Bridge, the system will be the same as previous years, with the beer sold outside the club on handpumps there. Not all the beer will be available at the same time, some will be held back to replace the beer that runs off. The promised beer list is attached, looks like a festival too good to miss !!

Blindmans Back Street Beer
Bradfield Brown Cow
Bradfield Pale Ale
Bradfield Steelers
Brass Monkey Bitter
Brass Monkey Blue Stripe
Brass Monkey Capucin
Brass Monkey Cheeky
Bristol Beer Factory No 7
Coastal Maelstrom
Conway Glogwyn Gold
Dark Star American Pale Ale
Dark Star Partridge Best
Dent Aviator
Dent Golden Fleece
Dent Rambrau
Dent Ramsbottom
Downtown Quadhop
Elgoods Black Dog
Elland 1862 Porter
Elland Mollies Toffee
Elland Savanah
Exe alley Stirling Silver
Fallen Angel Angry Ox Bitter
George Wright Berry Brow Bitter
Great Newsome Gems Stout
Great Newsome Haymakers Tipple
Great Newsome Pricky back Otchan
Green Jack Albion Mild
Hopback Spring Zing
Houston Helgas Big Jugs
Mallinson Boundary
Mallinson Fools to Kings
Mallinson Garrard Regent
Mallinson Never Mind
Moorhouse Black Cat
Moorhouse Pendle Witches
Moorhouse White Mist
OBM Golden Bridge
OBM Gollums Revenge
OBM Kates Blond
OBM Old Cawsey
Phoenix Mid S
ummer Madness
Phoenix White Monk
Phoenix White
Phoenix Wobbly Bob
Potton Village Bike
Timothy Taylors Best Bitter
Titanic Stout
Village Brewer Old Raby Ale

Good luck to all involved, just hope the weather holds out .

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Magic Rock always on Tap

As from next Monday The Grove will have a pump dedicated to the newest(?) Huddersfield brewery, Magic Rock. It will replace one of the guest beer pumps and serve a rotating Magic Rock beer, including both regulars and the occasional special.

Thornbridge goes experimental again

One of the most innovative of modern breweries is Thornbridge. They brew a range of beers that cover every style, and fortunately many of these appear on their dedicated pump at the Grove in Huddersfield so us locals don't have far to travel to sample them. However, in and amongst their regular beers we often get chance to try some of their one off specials, and that was what appeared on their pump yesterday.>

Alchemy XVI is 4.1%, very light in colour and a perfect beer for a summer day, but that is not unusual for a beer brewed around this time year. What makes it unusual though are some of the ingredients used. It uses Maris Otter pale malt, and wheat malt as the base, along with wheat itself, and is hopped with Hallertau Northern Brewer hops for bitterness and Hallertau Hersbrucker for aroma, making a subtle thirst quenching beer. In addition there are pink peppercorns added to give it an interesting twist, that complements, rather than overpowers the taste.

I must admit that I have never knowingly drunk a beer with pink peppercorns before, and reading the pub clip made me a little dubious but the combination does work. If you want something a bit different, hunt it out and give it a try. Its another winner from an excellent brewery.

A couple of years ago, at the beer festival at the Baltic Fleet in Liverpool I tried a beer brewed with orange and black peppercorns, this was a totally different experience with masses of black pepper in the background, but pink peppercorns obviously make a less harsh effect in the brew, and create a more subtle beer.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Navigation Festival at Mirfield

Its the season that beer festivals are coming thick and fast, in fact some sneak up almost unnoticed. The Navigation Beer Festival at Mirfield was one such festival, and if I had not been checking the date of another local festival I would have missed out on this one, which would have been a shame because I have always enjoyed it in the past.

Kevin, the landlord has managed to gradually increase the amount of beers that he has on, so that this time he had about 25 on handpull in the makeshift back bar, and 10 on the pub bar to give a decent range to suit every taste. 5 of the beers on the pub bar were his regular beers from Theakstons but these were augmented with a selection of beers, mostly, but not all from Northern breweries.

The dark beer drinkers seemed to be very impressed with Great Newsome 'Jem's Stout', and Fulstow '1805 Porter', which was a strange beer for a porter, light coloured with an overwhelming coffee flavour, but I spent my time working through the lighter stuff, and pretty good some of it was too.

Lees 'Liberty', with liberty and Mount Hood hops, was a pleasant, hoppy beer; as was Downton 'Apple Blossom' with the apple being more in the nose than the taste. Mallinsons 'Hubble' was what you would expect from them, a very drinkable 3.7% light offering, Great Heck 'Allan' promised great things with its citra hops but I found it a little under hopped for my liking. Woodlands 'Oak Beauty' was a mid brown beer with a nutty background, and York 'Long Daze' was dry, and refreshing, judging by the taste, I assume hopped with bramling cross.

There was plenty to keep us interested, as well as the groups who had come across on the Ale Trail and were well chuffed to find a beer festival in full swing, so much so, that one Manchester group stayed on and scrapped their original plans to sample more of the beers on offer.

Gradually I started to up the strength of the beers I was trying, most of the festival beers were around the 4% mark but there were a couple of stronger ones. Five Towns 'Solstice' was 5.5% and another excellent effort from the Wakefield brewery, (shame that 'Peculiar Blue' had been held back, as I think that is their best beer), Saltaire's 6% 'Stateside Ipa' promised a lot but in my opinion failed to deliver, but the opposite was true of my favourite beer on the bar, Coach House 'Blueberry' was light, and packed full of blueberry taste, a real classic fruit beer.

All in all, a very good festival, plenty of interesting beers to sample in a pleasant environment. Every beer was £1.25 a half and no entry fee, a splendid way to while away an afternoon.

Friday, June 24, 2011

More on Magic Rock

I was unable to make the launch of Magic Rock at the Grove, but I doubt I was missed, the place was apparently heaving with both bars and the beer garden full. Drinkers came from far and wide to sample the four beers and all ran off quickly, the first barrel of 'Curious' disappearing in 30 minutes apparently.

I did manage to catch up yesterday with 'High Wire' when another barrel arrived on the bar, and it was easy to see why it had been so popular. An American style IPA, at 5.5%, and massively hoppy, but very drinkable. If the rest of their beers reach the standard of this one, Huddersfield has another class brewery on its hands.

Rumour has it they have been distributed far and wide, with a pallet of beer going down to London and another to Sheffield to give them a chance to sample. I have also heard of other local pubs having the beer in their cellars, so all being well I should have the chance to catch up with the ones I have missed before long. And there is a launch in Leeds on 30th June at the North Bar should you want to try them there.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Todays is the day for Magic Rock

At 7pm tonight, the long awaited launch of Magic Rock Brewery will take place at the Grove in Huddersfield. All four of their regular beers should be available along with food and entertainment, in the shape of circus themed acts, but how Chloe will cope with a lion tamer in the tap room is beyond me !

Magic Rock is based in Quarmby and is another addition to Huddersfield's growing number of craft breweries, and if what I have been told about their beers is correct, they should be well worth hunting out.

The intention is for 3 of their beers, Curious, Rapture and High Wire to be on handpull, and the fourth, Cannonball, to be on keykeg. This is a 7.4% Ipa. Curious is a 3.9% pale ale, and Rapture a 4.6% red ale. They have also brewed a stout, called 'Dark Arts' which should be their 5th in the core range.

However, should you miss the Grove event, there is another promised on the 30th June at the North Bar in Leeds to give the Loiners a chance to sample their wares.

Lets hope it all goes well for them and their beers reach the heights of success that some of our other local breweries have achieved.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Spooky Coincidence

Just by chance, as the doors closed on Tetleys, I was down the road in Sheffield raising a glass of one the city's iconic beers which I had not seen for some time, and I was not impressed.

Stones bitter was first produced in Sheffield at the Cannon Brewery, in the early 1940s to slake the thirst of the local steelworkers. It soon became more of a religion than a beer in South Yorkshire and many remember the straw coloured beer with affection. Lets face it, in Sheffield you were either a Wards or Stones drinker, each had their own distinct flavour, and their faithful followers. Both breweries have closed.

The Cannon brewery, and the Stones brand were taken over by Bass in 1968, and gradually they altered the beer and started to add flaked maize and it started to fall out of favour, (and it started to give me a foul head every time I drank it !). Nevertheless it was awarded silver in the bitter category at the GBBF in 1991 - I was not on the judging panel! However soon it was a shadow of its former self with Bass preferring to promote other brands in its place, and by the late 1990's it was classed a niche brand. The Cannon brewery closed in 1999, and the beer was brewed in several different breweries within the Bass empire.

In spite of the falling sales some interest was shown in the brand, mainly for the keg and can market, which I think is brewed at their Worthington brewery, and then in 2007 the 'real' version was outsourced to Everards of Leicester, and it was their version I happened across in Sheffield.

I expected something that would transport me back to my youth, without the headache, but sadly I was let down. The colour was different, and the taste, which I seem to remember had a sharp tang to it, was bland and uninteresting. It was just another beer, and not a very good one at that. It just goes to show that trying to recreate the past does not always work. Whatever the big breweries lead us to believe. So whatever Carlsberg tell us about Tetleys, I am unconvinced it will not change, and not for the better.

In the interests of historical accuracy I thought I would see what the original tasting notes said about 'Stones Bitter'. Courtesy of Roger Protz and his 'Real Ale Almanac of 1997'.

The beer used Challenger hops for bitterness; Goldings and Progress for aroma.
'a fragrant dry hop aroma with light fruit notes, delicate malt in the mouth with mellow bitter finish, and summed up as a straw coloured beer with a delicate balance of hop, malt and light fruitiness'. Sounds a really good beer, wish they still brewed it! Sadly the Everards version is a mere shadow of the original but I have no tasting notes to compare them. Their website even seems to deny its existence.

189 Years of Brewing Ends

Today we wake up to the fact that Tetley's brewery has finally closed its doors for the last time. It has been known for some time that Carlsberg had intended to transfer the brewing of the brand elsewhere, but at lunchtime yesterday the doors closed for the very last time. And as the doors closed, 140 workers sadly lost their jobs.

This is neither the place, nor the time to go into a political debate as to the whys and wherefores of the callous actions of the larger breweries in the industry, just to feel sadness that one of Leeds major players is no more.

Of course we will still be able to drink Tetleys, but now it will be brewed under contract by Marstons in Wolverhampton.This will probably change the flavour, we will have to see, only time will tell. (That is unless you are a fan of the smoothflow, and if so why are you reading a blog about real ale. This will at least be produced, I hesitate to say brewed, in Yorkshire at Tadcaster).

Another iconic brand consigned to the tastebuds of history.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sportsman Heritage Award

The winner of this year's 'English Heritage Conservation Award' went to The Sportsman in Huddersfield. Judges marked the pub out as an 'impressive, stone-faced corner building of 1930, designed by local architect Seth Senior in a neo-Georgian style, and was bought by new owners in 2009. The pub had been failing for decades: it had not served real ale for over 40 years, and was literally falling to pieces. The fine stone exterior, with its rows of densely-packed sash windows, has now been sensitively cleaned and repaired, and all 21 sashes are now in exemplary condition. The interior has been comprehensively improved by Mike Field, Sarah Barnes and their craftsmen."

What more can we say, a worthy winner - congratulations to all who had the vision to make the Sportsman what it is now.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

WRLRR Midsummer Beer Festival

One of the most anticipated summer festivals gets underway this lunchtime at Dewsbury railway station, home of the West Riding Licensed Refreshment Rooms.

30 amazing ales will be on offer from the potting shed whilst jazz, folk, funk & rockabilly are amongst the many musical styles that will be queueing up at Platform 3 over the weekend.

The full beer list with tasting notes can be found somewhere here.

While Will was slaving away at work, I thought I would trip across to the festival and see what was actually on offer.

It was, as he described, the usual style of festival for the West Riding, a mixture of beers served from stillage and hand pump, from a potting shed. Most of the beers were light and hoppy, and most of a sensible quaffing strength.

There was a nice balance of local beers and those from further afield, and the few I tried were all in good nick. I stuck to the hoppy beers, so never tried the 'Jo Ginger' from Riverhead, nor the Sportsman ' Pigeon Porter with Vanilla,' (I was advised by some who tried this that it certainly did not shirk on the vanilla) nor the Saltaire 'Raspberry'. The Mallinsons 'West Riding Special' was excellent, as was the Downton 'Chimera Pilsner'. The Acorn 'Columbus IPA' showcased the hop in an excellent fashion, a beer with massive mouth feel and intense hoppiness, and Steel City 'Riot In Paradise' continued the hoppy theme.

So if your train stops at Dewsbury over the weekend, jump off and have a look. Good beer, no entrance fee, and sensible prices may make you miss the next train, or the next,or......(timbo)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Marsh Liberal Club Festival

In case anyone was intending to go to the festival at the Marsh Liberal Club this weekend...
David Litten has rung the club and they confirm their festival is actually not this week but on the 1st and 2nd July.

The club is of course open as normal this weekend: Friday from noon - 2pm & 7pm - 11pm then all day Saturday & Sunday. (map)

Please check our festival calendar in the sidebar for forthcoming local events.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Kings Arms at Heath

It has been painful to watch this extraordinary inn gradually depreciate. Once a guarantee of fine food and ale in a setting steeped in history, The Kings Arms had fallen somewhat into disrepair whilst a decline in quality in both bar and restaurant had been noted by many who frequent the picturesque hamlet of Heath.

Owners of the property, brewers H B Clarks of Wakefield, have had difficulty in keeping up with its requirements - especially since recession hit - but last month, with its ever-focussed eye to the main chance, Ossett Brewery stepped in to help out, and the improvements are tangible.

A short period of closure has seen The Kings Arms restored to its former glory and it’s now just a case of tempting the custom back. With its stunning location, fabulous beer gardens and exquisite fayre - further enhanced by Ossett beers - it can only be a matter of time. (map)

Bridgehouse Brewery Update

After its short existence in Keighley, BRIDGEHOUSE BREWERY has re-established itself and is now trading again. It can be found at Hawkcliffe Works, Hebden Road, Oxenhope, Keighley, BD22 9SY.
Current six brews are: Diken Gold 3.6% pale beer; Stokers Bitter 3.9% light tan Yorkshire session beer; Tyke Bitter 4.1% golden ale; Barnstormer 4.4% amber ale; Heathcliff Stout 5.0%; and Moorland Bitter 5.2% strong amber beer. (contact: ).

Out with the Brewdog, in with Buxton

From Monday the 13th visitors to the Grove, in Huddersfield wanting to sample the guest Brewdog beer may be in for a disappointment, as the dedicated Brewdog pump is no more. I am advised that this is because less of their beer is available in cask form, and what is, is usually 'Trashy Blonde'. Their keykeg font will still supply '77 Lager' and a guest beer from the brewery and 'Trashy' will still appear on the bar from time to time as a regular guest.

Their disappointment may well be tempered however by the knowledge that in its place will be a pump dedicated to one of the outstanding breweries of recent times. Buxton beers will now be available permanently in the pub, starting, I understand, with 'English Pale Ale'. Buxton beers have appeared fairly frequently on the bar in recent times, and have been well received. One will always be available although the actual beer will rotate so their whole range is showcased. I, for one, cannot wait.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

300 and counting

It is just over 3 years since Mallinsons brewery managed to get their first beer out of their brewhouse in Huddersfield and on to the bar, this week they will be brewing their 300th gyle. A massive achievement and a testament to the hard work that Elaine and Tara have invested in their ambition.

As us intrepid Mallinson's hunters know, it has been just as hard to keep up to get all the beers the brewery has produced, checking their website they have just released their 216th different beer, and that does not include those specials they have made for festivals, and the like.

Not only are their beers usually excellent, and fly out of pubs at a rapid rate, they usually create interesting talking points with the selection of themes that they have used to name the beers. Early on we were treated to 'Wonders of the World' (fairly obvious), 'Not So Classic Cars' (a step back into our youth), and 'Longest Rivers'. We have seen pump clips of viaducts, Yorkshire Follies, Buses, and are now in the throes of the world of sidecars, and obscure song lyrics. Who said beer drinking was not an education ?

They are not afraid to try something different either, although they readily admit they are not expert at brewing anything that falls between light and dark. Their darker beers include Stouts with oatmeal, and chocolate;and milds with vanilla. Their bitters include beers brewed with about every Amercian and New Zealand hop imaginable, (but thankfully for me, not Green Bullet !) and have just produced their first 'hopsack' beer 'Omnom'.

Lets hope they continue to go from strength to strength and we can soon raise a glass to their 400 th gyle. A true local success story from two of the most unassuming people you could wish to meet. Well done !!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Beer Triangle Is Complete Again

One of the towns that I rarely reach in search of beer is Halifax. I know there are plenty of 'olde worlde' pubs there worth visiting but I have not found enough pubs with a variety of beers to keep me interested, but that may have all changed.

A couple of weeks ago, 'Dirty Dicks' opened its doors. Older drinkers may recognise the pub as a reincarnation of 'The Royal Oak' or the 'Tap & Spile', I remember it under both names and used to call in quite regularly, so I thought it was worth a visit to see how it had changed.

It is easy enough to find, if you arrive by train turn left outside the station and head for the 'Pump Room' , follow the road up past the front of the pub and 'Dirty Dicks' is on Clare Road at the top of the hill on the left, only a few minutes walk. Travelling from Huddersfield by bus it is even easier, get off the bus and the pub faces you down a side street opposite the bus stop.

The pub has maintained much of its old character externally, with its half timbered exterior. Internally it is an open plan pub with plenty of dark wood, which gives it a slightly gloomy feel, but there is plenty of seating around a central bar and it is a comfortable place to while away an hour or two.

On the bar are the usual range of lagers, and foreign beers, along with 8 handpulls. One is dedicated to the house beer, brewed by Empire at 3.8% and a bargain at £2 a pint. On my visit this was augmented by another Empire beer, and others from Old Spot, Salamander, Phoenix and Acorn, all at reasonable prices. The beers to come appeared to be others from the same breweries, but there is plenty of variety to interest the passing 'ticker'. Good, home cooked, food is also available and is inexpensive.

This could be what Halifax has needed. The third pub to make up the beer triangle, with The 'Pump Room' and 'Three Pigeons' at the other corners to give a fair selection of different styles of pubs and beers within an easy walking distance. Give it a try for somewhere different.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sair Brewery Hit By Fire

'The Huddersfield Examiner' reports that in the early hours of Thursday morning there was a fire in the brewery at the rear of The Sair Pub at Linthwaite. No one was injured but there appears to have been damage caused to the fermenting vessels in the brewery in the fire, which appears to have been unnoticed for some time.

The pub itself appears undamaged except for smoke damage and Ron Crabtree, the owner, was hoping to open as usual on Thursday night, however there is no news about the brewery, or whether the damage is such that brewing is not possible on the site.

I will update when further details are known.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

A Swift One is now mobile friendly!

Bloggers new mobile template will now appear if you are accessing this site through a smart phone or other mobile device.

Whilst only the posts and comments will be viewable, at least you won't need to squint or pinch to read them!

Sent from Will's iPod

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

KIrkburton Beer Festival

++++Thanks to those who have queried the price of the beer is £2 a pint, not a half..+++++
This weekend Kirkburton hosts its third beer festival at the Scout Hut on Hallas Rd at Kirkburton,. The event runs on Friday evening and Saturday and a £5 entrance fee, gets you admission, a glass and your first beer. All beer is priced at £2 a half. Courtesy of the 'bloke from Hull' we have obtained a copy of the beer list, should you fancy a trip out. I am a little concerned about the tasting notes for the Haymakers Tipple, wondering what a 'Larger Drinker' is !!!

Great Newsome
Finches Gold *
A Full flavoured golden bitter, long lasting bitterness provided by the Boadicea & Northern Brewer hops. Lingers with a dry sweetness on the finish.

Great Newsome
Haymaker’s Tipple
Blond - A straw coloured light ale with hints of spice & fruit (may interest larger drinkers)

Brown Cow
Simpson’s Sessions
Pale ale – A very pale, hoppy session beer. Drinks full for its strength, refreshing finish with citrus notes in the aftertaste.

Brown Cow
19th Nervous Breakdown *
Pale ale - (a one-off special). A Pale ale brewed with larger malts. Hopped with plenty of American hops and with a hint of citrus and mango.

Bird Brain
Black Swan
Stout – A very black, full bodied ale. Dark, roasty malt flavours.

Bird Brain
Great Gala *
Pale ale – A straw coloured ale. Very hoppy with a dry finish and a trace of citrus notes

Great Heck
Yorkshire Navigator
Traditional Bitter - Mahogany colour, using American Hops to good effect

Great Heck
Heaven & Heck *
Golden Ale - Combines 4 different hops varieties – Pearle, Amarillo, Simcoe & Citra.

Wold Top
Wold Gold
Blond (continental styled) Goldings & Styrian hops give a soft fruity flavour with a hint of spice

Wold Top
Mars Magic
Ruby Red - an aromatic beer. Dark crystal malts & Progress hops provide a warm red glow and smooth malty flavour.

Wold Top
Wolds Way
Pale ale - Wold grown malts with Goldings Cascade hops produce a fruity dryness that is both refreshing & thirst quenching.

Brass Monkey
Mild - A light mild with a light hoppy taste with some biscuity malt.

Brass Monkey
Light Bitter - Highly hopped, dry finish with citrus notes.

Classic Blonde
Blond - An award winning, best selling ale. A pale hoppy beer with a hint of citrus fruit
* New beers In addition 2 draft ciders will be available - Sandford Orchard’s – “Fanny’s Bramble” 4% (Flavoured with blackcurrants)
- Moorlands’ Farm - “Medium Dry Cider” 6.4% (From a Yorkshire producer)

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Sparrow Fledges

One of the city's that I rarely visit is Bradford, partly because I have spent too much of my life there already for various reasons, and partly because there has never been anything I have considered exceptional on the pub front for me to make the journey. However, on hearing about the opening of the 'Sparrow' cafe bar there, I thought it may be time to revisit and check out what I had been hearing about the place.

The Sparrow is hidden away on North Parade at the top end of the city in the Rawson quarter, about 15 minutes walk uphill from the Interchange. When I say hidden, I mean hidden, I had stood and looked at the place for a good few minutes before realising that was where I was going. It looks like a shop front, but is painted green and for the less intelligent amongst us, (e.g me !) they have signwritten the windows with 'The Sparrow' name to give us a clue.

Inside it is on 2 floors, downstairs being additional seating, toilets and an art display area, upstairs on road level is the actual bar area. At the moment this still has the look of a work in progress, with bare floorboards and small tables and wooden seating. It had the feel of a cafe rather than a bar. The bar itself had six fonts, the larger dedicated to Bernard beers, but others serving Meantime and other more unusual beers; more of interest to me were the handpulls, 4 in all, promising a selection of local beers, and those from other respected breweries such as Thornbridge, or Brewdog. On my visit though, there were 2 from Salamander, and beer from Ilkley and Saltaire as well.

The beer prices are reasonable but I found the selection a little pedestrian, or may be I was just unlucky with my timing. There is also a large range of bottles according to the beer menu, again reasonably priced. Food is simple, and cold. A bit unusual, such as bread and hummus, but again not expensive.

Would I make the trip again ? Probably not. It is the sort of place Bradford has been lacking and will hopefully do well but we are spoiled in Huddersfield, and should we want the kind of experience the 'Sparrow' offers, then the 'Grove' is a better bet with more draught beer and more and varied foreign stuff. If you want to try it for yourself, it opens from 12 noon every day, but beware, it is closed on Sundays, and being en route to Valley Parade, may get busy on match days.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

A Chance to Compare and Contrast

Visitors to the Rat & Ratchet at the moment are being treated to a veritable 'hop fest'. Rob is following up his mild festival, with 'mini festivals' to showcase individual hops, and the way different brewers use them.

At the moment there are 3 versions of 'Brewers Gold' available, with Mallinsons, Pictish, and Crouch Vale all on the bar. These will be followed, hopefully by the weekend, by 5 different breweries take on 'Citra' based beers, with Ossett, Riverhead, and Mallinsons among those included, but not unfortunately Oakham (which is still eluding me !).

So, should hops be your thing, then the Rat could be the place to go, but get there quick, they won't last long.