Saturday, February 07, 2015

Half an hour here & there in Huddersfield


Pit stop drinking seems to be a recurring theme of mine of late.
I thought drinking dictated by tight timetables can be like edited highlights - effective but too short lived to be memorable.
That was until last night when I had a very satisfying drinking experience which I think will stand the test of time.
It started in Huddersfield about teatime when I headed for The Grove. The place was already pretty packed and seating was at a premium.
I ordered half of Weird Beard Brew Co's Hit the Lights, a 5.8% "Mixed Up IPA" hopped with Target and Aurora and then dry hopped again with the same. A very punchy start!
Half an hour later, I headed down Chapel Hill where The Rat & Ratchet looked to be doing a roaring trade. If I'd had more time I would've called in but the clock was ticking and I wanted to see if anymore Blue Bee Brewery ales had landed on the bar at The Star.
Last Saturday their Left or Right American hopped pale wowed the A Swift One team, and we were delighted to hear there were more casks from the Sheffielders in the cellar.
But last night our Holme Valley correspondent, raisathe dog, told me I had missed another Blue Bee. But there was a silver lining as he highly recommended the Mallinsons Mount Hood. 
I had a very enjoyable pint of the pale, single hopped beer in my allocated half-hour at Folly Hall's finest.
What struck me was the pleasingly bitter aftertaste as I marched back into town for a 7pm catch up with friends in The Sportsman.
I was ahead of time and had a good look round the bar, it was a veritable Brass Castle fest. There was Brass Lager, Tynecastle Hearty Ale ( a collaboration with Tynebank) and Bad Kitty.
I started with the lager first. It's quite strong at 5.3% and is said to be a traditional lager by being stored for six weeks to allow the flavours to develop. I'll fall into cliche here and say it was 'sharp' and I would drink it again. Next was Tynecastle, made by a Heart of Midlothian fan. A traditional bitter, which isn't my favourite beer style but I'm glad had it. 4.4% ABV.
But the best was saved for last, Bad Kitty, a 5.5% vanilla porter paradise. It was great to see so many of beers from this Malton based brewery in Huddersfield and long may it continue. So if you are in the vicinity, it is definitely worth popping in to The Sportsman and all the other good alehouses Huddersfield has to offer. But allow yourself more than 30 minutes per pub as you will be spoilt for choice!

Footnote: While in The Sportsman I saw more information about its upcoming meet the brewer event with Here Be Monsters, of Holmfirth. It's on Tuesday, February 17 from 7pm. Tickets, which include samples of all the beers, cost £5 and are available on the night.

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