We regularly speak of Huddersfield breweries on 'A Swift One' but in my opinion, one of the better breweries in the area that has arrived in the recent past is from over t'hill in Calderdale. Vocation Brewery are based in Cragg Vale, in Calderdale. If that means nothing to you, it is that bloody steep hill that the Tour de France used when leaving Hebden Bridge.
Lets face it, its about time Hebden Bridge had something positive to talk about, rather than their continual flooding. But enough of this...why do I like their beer ?
Its a bit simple really. It is because it is good, no..it is excellent. Every beer I have had of theirs, and I have had a few, has been crisp, fresh, brewed well and very moreish.
My last post bemoaned the lack of anything exception in the beer world last year, I must have overlooked Vocation because I happened across three of their beers in the Victorian Craft Cafe in Halifax a couple of days ago and was blown away.
Their regular range has a 3.9% session beer, 'Bread & Butter'. Hoppy, flowery and full of citrus fruit taste. I have had it before and it never disappoints. This time I was spoiled though as two of its stronger brothers were on the bar. 'Chop & Change' is an ever changing 4.5% bitter which seems to use the same base but every brew has a different hop, this one was with Topaz and was excellent, and I would have gladly had a second had not 'Pride & Joy' (see a theme here !) been on the bar as well.
This is a 5.3% American style pale ale. On previous occasions I have found it it has been as it said on the clip, but this was extra special, with Simcoe featured. It was brilliant, may be the best use of the hop I have ever had, certainly in the recent past. I was almost a case of leaving the car and just getting stuck in, but I relented. But guess where I am returning today ?
There are three other beers in the core range, covering every base and all equally as good. 'Divide & Conquer' is a 6.5% black IPA - very good, but not quite my thing. 'Life & Death' is again 6.5% but amber and a mix of fruit flavours, hops and malt, very complex and very interesting. 'Heart & Soul' is more of a strong session beer at 4.4% but still brings a lot to the table.
They are certainly a brewery that has hit the ground running. They have a excellent website and if you cannot locate their beers on cask, they do can their beers, so you can sample them in the comfort of your home, so why not search them out and give them a try.