Friday, March 31, 2017

Beer Of The Week - 13

I know its a day early but I very much doubt any beer today reaching the heights that this weeks choice has. This week there was a Brew York tap takeover at the Sportsman. I did not attend but called in the following day to sample their range. I had encountered some of their beers before, and frankly I was/am a bit ambivalent towards them, until.....

I discovered Tonkoko.

What a surprise. The pump clip describes it as a milk stout. Well, that is true, but only a part of the story, what really matters are the other ingredients listed on the clip. Tonka beans, Coconut, Cacao nibs and Vanilla are all added to the mix and it creates an outstanding beer, at a sensible strength of 4.3%.

It isn't just me that likes it either as it won the Gold Award for the Speciality Beer at the York Beer Festival 2016, and went on to win the Overall Beer of the Festival.

But what of the taste ? The tasting notes refer to 'Bounty in a Glass' and that is a perfect description. The coconut, which is hand toasted, and coffee blend perfectly together with underlying chocolate notes. I must admit I never really got the vanilla though.

Should you wish to try it, then the Sportsman may still have some available, otherwise it is available in cans or on keg.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Beer Of The Week - 12

Since a fair chunk of my week has been taken over bythe Star Beer Festival, it seems only fair that my choice of Beer Of The Week comes from their list. I was not alone in selecting this beer, it was the first to run off, early in Friday's session.

Loch Lomond 'Southern Summit' is  a 4% light, hoppy beer. It is from the Scottish brewery that has been on the go since 2011 at the southern end of the eponymous loch. It is subtle, and not overly bitter with both Summit and Citra hops in the mix.

It seems that I am not the only one to have enjoyed this beer, as it started life as a special but its popularity and several SIBA awards persuaded the brewery to add it to their core portfolio. Look out for it, it is excellent.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Star Spring Festival

The Star at Folly Hall,Spring Festival starts Wednesday 22nd March at 5pm, and 5pm Thursday. It will be open from noon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The festival will be inside the pub this time. 15 beers available on a special bar, and apart from the ever changing selection on the main bar there will be another 15 available as cellar runs. In effect there are the same amount of beers available as usual just in different places.

Beer will be £1.50 a half and food will be available at certain times each session.

The list will follow separately.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Star Festival List.

1 Chapter Dead Mans Fist 5.5
2 Bradford Idler 4.5
3 Neptune Poseidon 4.8
4 Top Rope 8 Bit Pale 3.9
5 Loch Lomond Southern Summit 4
6 Wiper & True Rye Mild 4.9
7 Wild Card Jack of Clubs 4.5
8 Black Jack Why Me 4
9 Neepsend/Steel City Tibillus 4.4
10 Mallinsons HCP 4
11 Lincoln Green JGC Sups 4.3
12 Nomadic Pale 3.8
13 Goose Eye Goose Hop 4.6
14 Horbury What Now 4.2
15 Neptune Mermaids Purse 4
16 Horbury Ruby 4.1
17 Wild Card Queen Of Diamonds 4
18 Tatton Gold 4.5
19 Settle Yorkshire Flyer 4.3
20 Abbeydale Cavorter 3.7
21 Purple Moose Black Rock 4
22 Sonnet 43 Making a Case (#38) 4.8
23 North Brewing Prototype 3.8
24 Sandstone Celtic Pride 4
25 Mallinsons Rakaseka Citra 4.5
A Big Smoke Sunshower 4.8
B Top Rope Born To Lose 3.9
C Neepsend Peppercorn Stout 4.4
D Wiper & True Milkshake 5.6
E Bespoke Saved By The Bell 3.8
F Harbour Daymer 3.8
G Horbury Horbury 5 Hop 4.1
H Settle Blood Red Orange IPA 4.8
I Neptune Undercurrent 4.7
J Church End Sideshow 4.4
K Tatton Obscure 5.7
L Neptune Fugu 4
M Hawkshead Windermere Pale 3.5
N James and Kirkman Tickers Delight 6
O Adnams Fat Sprat 3.8
P Adnams Mosaic 4.1

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Beer Of The Week 11

This weeks 'Beer Of The Week' may raise a few eyebrows.There have been plenty of decent beers about this week but I have chosen one that I have forgotten about, and when I do see it, I often overlook it.

Yesterday it was on the bar at  the Kings Head, and with a shortage of anything else to impress me I selected a swift half of Lees 'Brewers Dark'.  Lees are a brewery from over the hills in Oldham, and have been on the go since 1828. Their beers are fairly common around Huddersfield, and they do own a couple of local pubs.

'Brewers Dark' has been brewed since 1982, so is certainly no new beer on the block, It is 3.5% on cask (oddly in bottles it is only 2.8%), and is in the style of a mild. Mahogany coloured, and with a roasted taste on the tongue, it possesses a sweetish, soft mouthfeel and hints of coffee and chocolate in the background,

It just goes to prove that even though there are brewers out there pushing boundaries in every direction there is a place for the well crafted, traditional style of beer that have been perfected through the years. Just do not ignore them, like I am tempted to do.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Beers Of The Week 10

Those of you who are observant will have noticed the plural in this weeks title, purely because it is impossible to separate them in terms of taste and weirdness.

I fully expected the beer of the week to come from a trip to Sheffield, a fairly rare occasion for me nowadays, but apart from a strong beer from Brew York, there was little to excite me, either in range of beers or in the taste stakes.

A call the following day to the Record Cafe, in Bradford soon rectified this. Two keg beers and three excellent cask ones on the bar. My beers of the week were the two keg ones. Purely because of what they were as you will see.

Mad Hatter 'Tzatziki Sour'was my first selection, purely since it was weaker at 4.1%. I have had several beers from the Liverpool based brewery and they have not been exactly mainstream. The name suggests this was similar. For some reason their website refuses to load but I know they have been on the for around 4 years. The beer itself was sour, that was a given, but it was the ingredients that caught my eye. Ouzo infused cucumbers and yoghurt in the mix. It should not work but it does and makes a really refreshing, clean tasting beer. Sour but not too sour. And fairly subtle, and tasting of proper cucumber, not essence.

I followed that with a Lost Industry beer. 'Le Mexician' was a saison style, and stronger at 5.8%. A newer brewery than the previous one, having been brewing in Sheffield for less than 2 years. I have sampled several of their beers before - good but not outstanding until this one. Roughly based on a Mexican version of a 'Bloody Mary', it contains tomato, celery and Hendersons Relish (a well known Mexican product !) and is excellent. It tasted like a saison but with a twist, and a subtle chilli kick that was pleasant and not too much.

A very pleasant way to get your 5 a day.!!

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Beer Of The Week 9

What a strange week !!! There have been plenty of interesting beers about, some surprises and a first for me, And it has been a hard job to select a beer of the week, but I have eventually selected one.

I had to visit Leeds after a message from Gary suggested there was one of the weirdest beers he had ever encountered on the bar at Mr Foleys. Northern Monk & Siren Craft have collaborated to come up with  Tropical Death Party .It is 10% and is described as a double pina coloda black IPA. Available in cask, keg and cans. Certainly not for me though.

Another from the weird and wonderful box appeared on that visit, in Tapped this time. Wild Beer provided Breakfast of Champignons a keg 4.1 % described as a mushroom sour. It was sour, a bit earthy maybe but that was all, a little disappointing.

In fact I had not realised that I had had my beer of the week the previous day in Halifax, at the Victoria. Admittedly 9% is a little on the strong side, but Track 'Santa Muerte' takes the weeks accolade, It is a collaboration beer too, this time with Odyssey, and the Manchester based brewery have thrown the kitchen sink at the beer.

An imperial russian stout style,and on cask.It is full of chocolate, and cocoa hits but it sneaks up on you with hints of pepper and chillies in the finish. Maybe not the right beer for a session but very interesting for a third.