Abbeydale from Sheffield has been one of the my favourite breweries for some time, brewing a combination of regulars and new beers, it always seem to hit the spot with me. Their beer range is wide and covers every style, but I am especially attracted to the light or very dark beers. A trip around Huddersfield yesterday provided me with examples of each.
The first I came across, in the Kings Head, was 'Archangel'. It is not a totally new beer but one I had missed before - a 4.7% and very light in colour. It was a bit of a surprise when I drank it. With a fruity aroma I expected bitterness in the beer but it was very subtle and well balanced, with a malty caramel background. I was well impressed.
I was even happier to walk in to the Grove and find another three Abbeydale beers on the bar there, a mixture of new and old. I fancied a dark beer to start with and 'Dark Angel' just fitted the bill. Dark but not black, with subtle roasted flavours and a hint of background bitterness. Proof they can brew dark beers as good as their light beers.
Next up was one of the Doctor Morton's range, 'Ancient Grease'. A light 4.4% offering, again without any massive hop hit but with plenty going on in the beer. Another excellent balance of hops and malt giving a pleasantly rounded flavour and each mouthful seeming to bring something new to the taste. Another wonderfully crafted beer.
My final Abbeydale for the day was one of their regulars, and one that I especially like. 'Absolution' was stronger than the others I had sampled at 5.3%, and was again a light beer. Again the balance was perfect, with the hops giving a a tropical fruit rather than hoppy taste, mangoes and maybe a hint of banana coming though in the aftertaste, which was sweetish rather than cloying.
If you prefer your beers subtle rather than aggressive then Abbeydale could be the brewery for you. And should you fancy a trip through their beer range, then you could do worse than call at their pub 'The Rising Sun' out in Fulwood in Sheffield, where there are always several on the bar to sample, with examples of every style.