in October Shakespeares beer festival featured a beer from a new Sheffield Brewery, qwich was called Lost Industry. Oyl int rord (that is how I would pronounce it anyway...) was an oatmeal stout. It was in the upstairs bar and tasted good. I later found out that people thought the brewery was behind the Sainsburys at Wadsley Bridge. And I never saw their beers again.
Until, having a chat with a man in the same pub, I found out they were launching a new beer - a pineapple yoghurt sour. Tony told me he had talked to them and said that if as claimed they liked the same beer styles as him they should brew something a bit different. I can't give Tony credit for the beer, but I can Lost Industry . And I can for the other beers of theirs which I sampled at the Devonshire Cat on Thursday.
It wasn't especially well publicised, but there was a fair sized crowd of drinkers in the Dev when we arrived. There were 5 beers on, including the sour, all on keg - which I am told is the dispense method of Satan. Only its not. The other beers on offer were Biscosity, a Biscotti coffee Baltic Porter, Pacific Wheat, a 4.3% wheat beer, Chinook, a 5.7% American Pale, and Hyperion an 8.6% Double IPA.
I started on a pint of the sour - its difficult to explain how, but it really did feature a slight pineapple flavour, with something akin to yoghurt in the background, overladen with sourness. It was far far better tasting than I have described.
I spotted Jules from Hop Hideout and John from Shakespeares and chatted to them both, and Jules pointed out brewers Nate and Jim. One of them is a chef. I did not find out which. I did however talk to them for a while outside in the cold. I told them that in comparison to the Oyl int rord this new batch of beers was far better. More exciting. More innovative. More ingenious. And it was time I had another...
I bought a pint of the Chinook, and it was amazing. A wow beer. A huge hit of Chinook hops but with balance in the overall flavour, even though the hops were biting. It was a decent strength for a US Pale ale and I think carried off the style well.
Next I had a pint of the Biscosity. This was everything I expected of a Baltic coffee porter - thick, roasty, warming, with a wonderful coffee aroma. I seem to remember this beer was about 7.8% - although I had yet to try the wheat I was thus far moving up in strength order. The wheat would have to wait. The Hyperion was next on my menu.
I have mentioned before about the cost of keg beer in the Dev Cat. Its very high. When you sell Beavertown Gamma Ray (I think) at nearly a pound more than BrewDog nearby there is clearly an issue, and the Hyperion at 8.6% was virtually a pound a percent. Only the whopping Bearded Lady at 10.5% at the Sheffield Tap, Sheffield's most expensive pub, cost me more than I paid at the Dev for the Hyperion. It was a very enjoyable, tasty pint. And it was about £2.00 more than it should have cost.
Pricing issues aside, I can safely say the Hyperion was beautiful. It was however also an interesting Double IPA not least because of its type of hoppiness. It was hoppy, yes, in a well rounded way, but which didn't seem to stay throughout the drink. It was enjoyable, but not what I expected.
My last drink was the Wheat and this was exactly what I hoped for - a cold refreshing wheat beer. Just right for cleansing the palate after the might of the Biscosity and Hyperion before it.
One issue for me was, apart from the prices, the lack of CAMRA involvement in the event. Don't get me wrong, I understand that the beer was all keg, but Lost Industry as far as I know, sell in cask, keg and bottle. They are also a small independent Sheffield Brewery. Don't get me wrong, some of the attendees could have been CAMRA members, including Rob (from Hoptimism beer shop - hello again!) but there was no visible CAMRA support.
This is a disappointing message to give two new young brewers. Especially since am certain many CAMRA members actually drink keykeg beers. They may even enjoy them. The excuse that ts not cask or real and they are the Campaign for Real Ale seems to be wearing thin now, with so many breweries of exceptional beer (like Burning Sky, Magic Rock and Buxton) brewing both cask and keg.
Anyway, that aside, this was a great event featuring an aspiring Sheffield brewery and a range of interesting unusual and high quality ales for the folk of Sheffield to try. I don't know if it was a joke but the brewery said they wanted to experiment brewing a Vass - an Eastern European bread beer, and are well underway with a chocolate biscuit stout. Well done to Liz and her team for hosting the event and to Nate and Jim for producing the beers. Here is a link to their Twitter page. They are also on Facebook.
Am hoping and looking forward to seeing their beers again soon.