Last year I made a trip across to Leeds to sample the beer festival at Mr Foleys on The Headrow, and when I heard that this weekend there was to be another, it seemed rude not to revisit.
The beers are on a mixture of stillage and handpull with around 30 available, with the majority being on the upstairs stillage. Thirds were, thankfully, available.
I arrived around 1130 am, and was the first visitor there. I bagged a table and set to work with the beer list. Sadly, I had already missed two beers I wanted which had run off the night before but there was still plenty of choice. A lot of the beers were a little on the strong side, so the third really came into it's own later in the day.
As usual I like to start with light and weaker beer and go stronger - at least this was the plan .Hopcaft 'Mashup no1' was first up, and a good start it was. One of a limited run of 16 barrels so one not to be missed. I followed with Ashover 'The Fabrick' , a totally different style of light beer but still pleasant, and I do like their new style pump clips. These two were both off the main bar so it seemed sensible to start on those on stillage.
Vocation 'Pride and Joy' with mosaic hops drew my attention and was up the usual standard I associate with the brewery, Northern Monk 'New World Zest' was a dry hopped special and a little stronger at 6.2%.. It was then that things started to unravel when I decided a change of style was needed. Almasty 'Winter Saison' was weaker but packed with the flavour I had hoped for.
Bad Seed 'Smoked Maple Ale' just did not do it for me, despite the tang of Belgian yeast, I found the Pig and Porter 'Disgraceful Behaviour' a bit overwhelming taste wise. But the Cromarty ' Ghost Town' was a porter far more to my delicate taste buds.
By this time the pub was getting busy and there were three of us at my table, all comparing notes on the beers. And we found one that totally blew us away. Gary returned from the bar with something that resembled Ribena but the look on his face when he sampled it soon dismissed that thought. Celt Experience 'The Blood Moon' was described as a blackcurrant sour. It certainly was. I tried one and it was one of the most distinctive beers I have sampled for some time. As Neil pointed out, quite rightly, not a patch on the Belgian sour beers but for an English (sorry Welsh) version it was really good once I had overcome the initial hit. I could not have drunk a lot, but it certainly did what it said on the tin.
Sadly it did taint my taste for what was to follow. I tried the 10% Anarchy 'Warhead' but although it tasted its strength it was a little one dimensional, and I decided then that my swan song should be a beer from the wood. Three were on offer, two from York and one from Ridgeside. I tried the York 'Terrier' which I thought would be the one to bring the flavours out best, but although I got a hint of the barrel it was not as pronounced as I had hoped.
But nevertheless it was a great way to spend an afternoon with plenty of good beers,at a reasonable price in good company. Thanks to Jason and his team for another great festival and the good news that he intends another later in the year. I will be there.