Yesterday I had a pint of Mallinsons 'Brewers Calypso' in the Rat and Ratchet. Nothing unremarkable in that you may say. A very good brewery, and a good beer. Except that on checking I discovered that it had been my 600th different Mallinsons beer.
I must make it clear that this is not their 600th different beer brewed but the 600th I have tried - some - especially in their early days - were dry hopped specials for events and festivals and only available for a short time (in some cases, very short times !). But my milestone made me think how far one of our favourite local breweries have come since their first appearing on the bar in the Grove on 5th June 2008, aptly named 'At Long Last', and how far and wide I have been in search of their beers.
I have visited many festivals in search of one, or two beers all around the county. At one stage they were brewing beers especially for the New Oxford In Salford, and The Crescent in Salford, so several visits were made over the border. More recently I had to trek out to the Fox and Goose at Hebden Bridge for a house special there, and there has been a full brew length for the Sportsman, both of which were unique to the respective pubs.
From the outset Tara and Elaine have been the most approachable of brewers, and have been to listen to the drinkers advice or suggestions on their beers. Some of us have even been given the privilege of 'assisting' them to brew a beer. I managed it with Pete Byrne as a joint birthday present and we came out with 'A Swift One' but they have been kind enough to let plenty of others into the inner sanctum and see what sort of beer they could fashion.
Many of their beers have been themed, particularly in the early days and we have had several beers named after viaducts, buses, plants, wonders of the world, rivers and more recently birds and butterflies. They have even allowed us to use our pictures on their pump clips.
Their success can be measured in the fact that a couple of years ago they were forced to locate to larger premises from their initial site at Plover Rd in Lindley, and are now based in Lockwood Rd, and the origin two man (sorry, woman !) band of brewers has been augmented by Nick.
The beers are still excellent, and are always worth trying.And they are not frightened of experimenting a bit, but seem to be at their best with the light and hoppy stuff. So its onwards and upwards for them, and onwards for me towards my 1,000th Mallinsons beer. But that may be a year or two yet. All I can say is thank you for the experience Tara, Elaine and Nick.