On Wednesday evening The Grove in Huddersfield hosted a 'Battle Of The Brewers' with a twist. The staff at the pub had been split into two groups and each group was despatched to a local brewery to help with a brew. One group went to Ilkley and the other to Roosters, the results of their efforts appearing on the bar on the evening with an open vote for the better beer.
When I called round on Thursday both beers were still available on the bar, and several others from each brewery were also on the bar, along with some key kegs but more of that later.
The Roosters beer was an IPA style, imaginative named 'Grove'. It was 5.0%. The sort of beer that the brewery is good at. A very well balanced beer and with plenty of hop character, lots of body augmented with Galaxy hops, and very drinkable.
The Ilkley version was somewhat different, being a 5.2% wheat beer, 'Weiss City'. It was a good beer, as would be expected from a brewery with their pedigree, but it just did not seem like a wheat beer, despite the slight cloudiness in the glass. The strength did give it a lot of body but there was just something missing in my opinion.
As it happened, my favourite beer was also that on the night with Roosters coming out on top.
Whilst I was at the Grove, which incidentally has been spruced up a bit in the last week and has some new beer boards, I thought I would just sample a keg version of a beer from each brewery. Ilkley have been kegging for some time and their 'Siberia' was a 5.9% saison style beer. (Saison seems the in thing in kegs at present - just as black IPA's were last year) and was a very pleasant beer, but not outstanding. Unlike the Roosters keg - they are new to kegging - which I thought was excellent. 'High Tea' was a 6.2% jasmine tea flavoured IPA. I must say that I could not really get the jasmine, but the overall beer was very good, so much so that I had to sample a second.
Hopefully if you call up in the next day of so some,if not all the beers will be available. Just give them a try and have your own vote.