Beefy's UK and continental beer tasting
I recently met up with Davefromtshop for a few pints in town, a bite to eat and a beer tasting at mine. Instead of doing stuffy old paper notes we recorded videos of us reviewing each beer in turn so that we could, to an extent at least, be sure what we had been saying!
The line up was (i.e in order of when tasted, not preference):
1. Brinks Rethymnian Organic Blonde, Rethymno, Crete
2. Purple Moose Snowdonia Ale, 3.5% Porthmadog, Wales
3. Bath Ales Gem, Bath.
4. Thornbridge Jaipur, Derbyshire,
5. Fullers Bengal Lancer IPA, London bottle conditioned (BCA)
6. Chiltern Lord Lieutenants Porter, Terrick, Buckinghamshire (BCA)
7. Kernel India Porter, London (BCA)
8. Achouffe brewery N'ichouffe, Belgium 2007 (BCA)
General thoughts were that the Bengal Lancer was particularly disappointing, with marmalade and biscuit flavours replacing any anticipated, and essential hops. The Brinks stood up well in the context of it being brewed in Crete to satisfy a hot climate market, but was a welcome catch since its not for sale in the UK, the Gem was a nice malty and orangey beer providing a contrast to the usual pale Northern beer styles, and the two porters were equally good with the Kernel maybe edging it for being less carbonated.
The Top 3 were :
3. Jaipur - initially seemed lacking in hops but they came up to surprise you mid drink;
2. Snowdonia Ale - due to its incredible amounts of flavour packed into such a low gravity brew;
1. N'ichouffe - a reliable classic, 10%, 750 ml bottle conditioned matured strong Belgian ale with tons of flavour and a soporific after effect.
Video evidence of me and Davefromtshop in a state of mild inebriation, to make its way onto Facebook soon, in the meantime, using the new edit settings on my blog, here is (or might be), a video summary of the winner, 3 out of the 4 times we attempted to reach this conclusion, the N'ichouffe. (note, opinions expressed in this video are those of two drunk people, and should not be afforded any credibility whatsoever).
White Lion Heeley Oktoberfest 2011
Last weekend saw 2 days (possiby more?) of music and beer, a fab mix of treats, in which the redoubtable multiroomed Heeley classic The White Lion held a beer festival with microbrewery beers and one or two regionals from round the UK. From a range of 20 the highlights for me were Enville Gothic, Hambleton Nightmare Porter, and my final and most oft ordered pint, the amazing Blue Monkey BG Sips pale ale. Had I been more than once I would have found time and room for an RCH Firebox, Moorhouses Blonde Witch, Thornbridge Jaipur, Absolution or Ossett Silver King. Overall a fantastc event which shows how a pub festival should be run.
Derbyshire real ale yomp
On Sunday I fitted in a somewhat arduously long walk based loosely on the Monsal trail. Starting in Hassop we walked up to and along Longstone edge, down into Little Longstone and visited the Packhorse. There wer 5 ales on here, including 4 from Thornbridge, and two real fires - we both had pints of Lord Marples. Up the road we felt compelled to pop in the Stables bar and I was pleased to see an excellent choice - Moor Top and Stables Ale from Buxton, and Sir Phillip and Undertaker from Wincle. This is the first time I have been able to find their beers on tap anywhere and I wasn't disappointed.
Down into the dale next we followed the path all the way along to the Anglers Rest in Millers Dale. The beer range was the same as last time so we both had pints of the Storm Silk of Amnesia. From here we clambered up onto the trail and walked to Thornbridge Station and into Great Longstone. We visited the Crispin, which has a range of 4 or 5 Robinsons beers on, including excellent Hatters Dark and their seasonal offering, Black Beauty porter. We walked into Hassop next and had a pint of the Peak Ales Swift Nick in the Eyre Arms - alas we had already missed the bus so extended our walk along Church lane into Baslow to catch the 240 home. We still had time to pop in the Rutland, a drab pastel colour fest food pub with 1 real ale available, an average Jennings Cumberland of which I had a half. Still, a fantastic walk and some great pubs and beer were encountered along the way.
Two wildly unlikely guesses this time. Firstly, an ongoing impossible to quash rumour that Ossett brewery are to open a real ale outlet in one of the empty units at West One. This is actually old news so don't be surprised if nothing happens anytime soon! And, I hear that maybe a Walkley real ale pub may potentially reopen, hopefully once again serving a decent pint. You heard it hear first! And probably never again...
Optimistically Early Advance Notice
Just to let you know that Cropton beer festival will take place at the brewery's pub, the New Inn at Cropton, in the last weekend of November - camping available! Well worth a trip I am told, more details to follow.
Take care, stay thirsty and Cheers!