Years ago, it seems like a different time, when beer dinosaurs roamed the country and the big breweries dominated, a small group of men, each with their own ideas of how beer should taste, started to bring the taste of hops to the masses. One of those men was Sean Franklin.
He started brewing initially as 'Frankins' brewery (remember them?) at the back of a pub near Harrogate. He and his wife Alison then moved to new premises and Roosters brewery was born in October 1993 at an eight barrel plant. His knowledge and use of hops quickly made his beer sought after as something different to the normal fayre and the brewery went from strength to strength. Over time Roosters, and their experimental brewing arms Pioneer and Outlaw, introduced the discerning drinker to all sorts of tastes and the wonderful world of American hops.
However eventually other breweries started to get the hop bug and Roosters, in my opinion, became just another brewery. Good, but not exceptional, it did brew some beer I especially enjoyed but mostly the beers failed to stand out from the crowd. In the recent past it seems to have regained it's mojo, and is brewing beer as good as anyone at the moment. Maybe the use of hops is not as innovative as before, or maybe we have other breweries who have taken over the mantle in the hop stakes, but it's core range of beers are wonderful session ales. Possibly better suited to a warm summer day than a freezing day in winter, but nevertheless still very good.
Now brewed on an industrial unit, with Sean taking more a back seat in the brewing, Roosters goes from strength to strength. Most of it's regulars fall into the 3.9% to 4.3% range, and are light and hoppy - Roosters traditional territory. Wild Mule mirrors the subtle taste of Sauvignon grapes, Yankee is softly bitter with a hint of lychees, YPA is made with Styrian Golding hops with their fruit flavours, and Leghorn is made with four aroma hops for an interesting collection of gentle tastes. There are other beers too, including occasional specials. Cream for example, weighing in at 4.7% and blending US Liberty hops with the softness of Yorkshire water, being one.
So if you are one of those people who like their beer light and hoppy but subtle and well crafted rather than 'in your face', then Roosters could be the brewery for you. Let's face it, any brewery that once brewed a beer called 'Tachy Tim's' can't be all bad!