Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Monarchs of the Glen travel south

Picture: Spurn Pint
Today I've clocked up some beer miles without ever leaving Kirklees. 
I've supped in Alloa, been back and forth to Falkirk but saved the delights of Loch Lomond for another day. But this celebration of Scottish beer cost me £1.30 a half and a cheap day return to Mirfield. 
I'm pleased to report The Navigation Tavern's Scottish summer beer festival is every bit as good as their last homage to the craft beer kings from North of the Border.
The Caledonian ale showcase began today and continues until at least Sunday.

The only problem was where to start, but that was soon overcome with some expert advice from behind the bar.
My starter was Brockville Pale (3.9%), which was one of 11 Tryst offerings on the 30-strong beer list. 
That led me to Beeches Cats Whiskers (3.9%) which was easily my favourite in the low ABV stakes.
Next, I was ready for a bit more heft away from light session ales. It came in the form of Red Rye (4.5%)  from Barney's Beer, a microbrewery from Edinburgh.
Normally I hate red beer with a passion but this one re-wrote my rule book. What was so good about it? Well, I'll just nick a phrase I heard tonight: "I like beers with a beginning, a middle and an end."
It left me wanting more, but  there was much more to try and I had to reluctantly move on.
And I was glad I did because it led to my beer of the night: Tryst's Sherpa Porter (4.4%). The tasting notes said it was "an easy-drinking porter, combining seven malt varieties".
My last half was Fraoch by Williams Brothers of Alloa. I'm told this is widely available in bottles at 5%, but this was a slimmed down version at 4.1%.
It had a sweet but subtle honey taste but perhaps it was not the best beer to have after a porter. In retrospect I should have finished with another dark beer like Blackhouse smoked porter from Fallen of Stirlingshire. Well there is plenty of time left for me to correct that! 

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