here is the second part of my top 20 Desert Island beers from 1996, when I was nobbut babby. Choices eleven through twenty should hopefully throw up as many points as the first ten...
11. Jolly Boat Bideford Plunderer, Fat Cat, Sheffield, July 1995 - "it was dark, it was sweet(ish) and it was BIG. And I loved it"
12. Kelham Island Fat Cat Pale Ale, Derby Tup, Chesterfield, March 1995 - "the ideal accompaniment to a heart meal - at the Fat Cat or Derby Tup for example"
13. Mill Brewery St Patrick's Ale, Cask and Cutler, Sheffield, March 1995 - "the best St Patrick's day beer I tried, and the best stout I had for ages after"
14. Ridleys Winter Ale, Small Beer Off License, Sheffield December 1994 (consumed elsewhere!) - "one of three amazing beers I had from Small Beer in December, this wins by a whisker because it was so many beers rolled into one"
15. Titanic Stout, Tap and Spile, Sheffield June 1995 - "I was in need of a thick, robust and huge tasting dark beer"
16. Tomlinsons Richard's Defeat Porter, The Beer Exchange, Leeds, December 1994 - "I only had it a few times, and picking out a favourite time was difficult, but this was the time I probably enjoyed it most"
17. Townes Pynot Porter, The Dore Junction, Sheffield, September 1994 - "this is what made me take notice of Townes, and carrying on with the undoubted quality of this porter, they've never brewed a bad beer since"
18. Vaux Extra Special, The Grouse Inn, Longshaw, Derbyshire, October 1995 - "It was really easy to drink for a beer of that strength, and had a brilliant fruity aftertaste - I can't wait to try it again"
19. Whim Hartington bitter, Cask and Cutler, Sheffield, September 1995 - "whats best is, it tastes bloody wonderful every time. My favourite bitter."
20. Woodfordes Stout Cat, The Fat Cat, Sheffield, August 1995 - "I was a bit broke, but still opted for three pints of this inbetween sampling the other beers"
So that's it. A twenty three year old real ale drinker appraises the best of the scene between 1993 and 1995. And thank god I recorded the venues as well - I can even remember who I was with at the time on some of the occasions described (at my age!)
Once again there are some defunct pubs, like the Dore Junction, the Tap and Spile (in so far as its changed name, hands, and doesn't sell real ale) and the Beer Exchange in Leeds closed pubs entry here , as well as some rather odd flavour characteristics ticking my boxes - sweet? Am I sure this was me?
Mind you, there are a large number of dark beers in there. And across the list, there are some national brewers beers, like Vaux, and the Allsopps recreation in list one was brewed at Tetley Walker I think. The fact that I seemed to drink and find my favourite beers in the Fat Cat and Cask and Cutler almost exclusively is telling, because at that stage the Valley of Beer didn't exist.
And, once again, there are some beers that I still rate - Hartington Bitter, Titanic Stout, Townes Pynot Porter (assuming they still brew it, can't access their website properly in my browser), and the Derby Tup and Small Beer, now the Archer Road Beer Stop, still appear in the GBG. Its nice to see some consistency over the last three decades.
The final point is, how many of these beers were very hoppy?
Almost none! Only Whim's beer had any prominent hops, and there was almost no mention of the pale citrussy beers we see today. So from that you could draw the conclusion that in the early nineties, (given that I was able to write the list having tried a plethora of different beers from across the UK) regional and national beers were perhaps more popular, and the micro brewers made more "traditional" ales. I don't remember tasting really hoppy beers until Freeminer Trafalgar IPA appeared in bottles along with Burton Bridge Empire Pale Ale, both of which I bought lots of between 2000 and 2003.
Perhaps I need to do a new Top Twenty in 2012 and see how my tastes and the microbrewing world's tastes have changed.