Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Swansong Of Two Local Breweries - But Its Not All Bad News

Its been an odd week in the world of Timbo, mainly due to the weather scuppering my original plans to visit and write about the new(er) pubs of Bradford. It meant that I had to stay fairly local, but I did pick up some useful gen on local stuff on my travels that I thought I ought to share with you.

My first port of call was 'The Sportsman' on Wednesday. Here I found a Sportsman Brewery beer on the bar. Their '5' was a collaboration with Outstanding that had been produced for the pubs' fifth birthday and John, the landlord, had found a stray barrel hiding in a dark corner of the cellar.

A conversation about the beer revealed that the Sportsman kit had been mothballed and the brewery was effectively closed. The barrel on the bar being the last of the line. I cannot deny that they were not my favourite brewery but even then it is a shame that Town has lost one its breweries. 

When Friday came round I was laying in bed wondering how to spend my day when a reminder on my phone reminded me that this weekend was the Barge and Barrel Beer Festival. It seemed a good way to while away a couple of hours and was not too far from home.

The festival itself was held in the brewery at the pub. The barrels kept in the cold store, and the rest of the brewing equipment on show, and labelled so one could follow the brewing process. That sounds good I hear you say. Except this was another ex brew pub. Brewing here had finished a few months ago and their flagship beer made by Milltown in Huddersfield (admittedly to the Barge recipe). The closure put down to economic factors here. 

On the plus side I have heard on the grapevine that 'The Bridge' at Holmbridge has finally managed to get a couple of their test brews on the bar at the pub after a long wait. Again, weather conditions were not conducive to my tripping up the Holme Valley to check this out, but as soon as possible I will try and confirm this.

I have also heard that there will soon be bottled versions of Hand Drawn Monkey beers, as they have outsourced their bottling and kegging operations to another localish brewery.

So, after a spike in local breweries in the last couple of years, is this the start of a levelling out. No doubt time will tell. But we will be there to advise you too.   

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