Yesterday I managed to track down my first beer from the new Huddersfield brewery, 'Hand Drawn Monkey' or 'HDM', in short. The name may sound familiar, as it has been operating a a beer shop on Wood St in the town centre for a few months now. It has now branched out into brewing its own beer.
'HDM' is managed by Rob Allen, the former landlord at the Rat & Ratchet, and brewing is at the old Mallinsons plant at Plover Rd at Lindley, with duties shared between Rob and Tom Evans, latterly a brewer at Blue Monkey in Derbyshire. So they should know what they are about.
The first beers from the brewery were available at the Huddersfield Camra Beer Festival, but they were collaborative brews with Mallinsons and in one case with Golcar. Their first independent brew turned up at 'the HDM shop last week, but by the time I heard about them, someone had managed to drink the first barrel so I had to wait until yesterday to try one. And pretty good it was too.
The first beer was a 4% light beer, but the one I tried was a 5% light beer based on the style of an 'IPA' but as Rob readily admits was not hoppy enough for his liking. I had no such complaints, and found the blend of 4 American hops excellent, giving a clean looking, clean tasting beer that was very moreish, a shame because of the gravity.
If you want to try the beer then the obvious outlet is the shop, but it is not always available at the moment, but when brewing becomes more regular, hopefully the beer will be more permanent and more widely available. Rob says that he intends to brew regular beers of various strengths from 4% upwards and when he has confirmed his recipes he intends them to be named rather than numbered as they are at present. His next beer, which is being fermented as I write will be a 7% double IPA, and knowing Rob, will not stint on the hops, which due to supply problems will all be of the America 'C' varieties.