Saturday, 19 October 2013
Blue Feather Brewery launch Iintergalactic brew
as mentioned in my previous post, I was off to a beer launch on Wednesday. Straight from work, accompanies by Mr P, we headed for the Closed Shop on Commonside to relish the first tastes of an intergalactic beer brewed by "stellar" brewers. And other dire puns.
Before plunging into the collaborative kaleidoscope of hops we started on pints of the Welbeck Harley. It's perhaps testament to the quality of the Intergalactic that whilst I am certain that I enjoyed it, as did Mr P, I can't recall much else about this pale beer. I think session beer would be the fairest description. We were, however, there for the star of the show (etc)...
The Intergalactic is a gloriously hoppy beer brewed by Blue Bee Brewery and Welbeck Abbey Brewery - hence the name Blue Feather, Welbeck brewing Red Feather, and erm, Blue Bee, well, having Blue in their name. Yet why no Bluebeck? The beer is very well balanced, with lots of citrus and bittering hops but there is also that distinctive Welbeck base - the beer was Brewed at Welbeck's premises, so maybe they used their particular strain of yeast (alas I forgot to ask).
The hops used are all space themed - Galaxy, Pilot, Stellar (a?) and Challenger. A beer made entirely of pun ingredients is a winner as far as I'm concerned - maybe they used maris otter malt, since it sounds a tiny bit like Mars? Either way, and in spite of any space theme, the blend works really well, and brewers James from Welbeck and Jon from Blue Bee can be proud of their creation. The return leg will see James and Jon creating something a little bit different at Blue Bee in the coming months.
As the beer started flowing we were joined by Wee Keefy and Jambon and Mr Stephens, and the lovely Dave was behind the bar, amongst other things helpfully reading the dry monotonous passages from a student's text book on aviation engineering, in an attempt to make it seem interesting. As always, culture and education was clearly at the forefront of the attractions on offer at the Closed Shop. Along with the beer of course.
I had about three pints of the Intergalactic during my investigations into how good it was, and also decided to get one of the Shop's fab chip butties in an attempt to diminish the impact of yet more alcohol - am not sure this worked.
Possibly as a result of the above failure, on my way home I skipped off the 52 to drop in on the Bath Hotel for the first time in a good while. Mr E was behind the bar offering excellent beery advice as ever, but the beer of choice was a no-brainer - Hardknott Azimuth, 5.8% and £3.80 a pint. I'm starting to come round to the Hardknott style now - initially in a flurry of fan boy fawning it was implied that Hardknott were the future of brewing and there seemed to be very little bad press - not that you have to have bad press, but its omission creates a concerning lack of balance.
The recently enjoyed Infra Red, tried both on cask and in bottle, gave notice of the sort of flavours I could expect and the Azimuth did not disappoint. Even after the out of this world hop line up of the Intergalactic, Hardknott still managed to excite the taste buds with a biting but not unpleasant bitterness in a deceptively easy drinking pale ale. The Azimuth was perfect end to a night of great beer from some of the better brewers around at the moment.