March 17th, 2010Beer Events
The Sheffield Tap is arguably one of the best stocked pubs in the North of England, with a regular range of Thornbridge beers on cask (the venue is a joint venture between the Derbyshire brewers and the chaps behind Pivo in York) and an inventory of bottled beers that make most beer cabinets look like a beery footnote. It’s a case of any excuse will do to persuade me to hop on the 42 minute train from Leeds, and last night the excuse was the chance to meet the team that brew Thornbridge’s beers who were hosting a Meet the Brewer session in the former first class refreshment lounge of Sheffield’s main station.
On arrival the tiny bar was busy – not quite heaving but certainly a far cry from quiet. A bustle of artisan beer fans, jaded commuters and groups of talkative drinking buddies crowded over the small tables and lined the restored bar. Tucking our elbows in we (Rob from HopZine, Tom from Reet Good Leeds and me) joined the fray to admire the array of beers on offer, a veritable beer geeks heaven Read the rest of this entry »Tags: black ipa, brewer, brewery, exposed, hops, imperial stout, jaipur, kipling, lord marples, mcconnells, raven, saint petersburg, sheffield tap, thornbridge
Wakefield’s finest are coming to Leeds in the guise of The Hop, the live music and real ale venue of Ossett Brewery’s pub armada. Situated in the Granary Wharf area of Leeds overlooking the reinvigorated quayside, The Hop will sit under two of the previously disused railway arches that are tucked away between the confluence of the Leeds-Liverpool canal and the River Aire. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: brewery, leeds, live music, music, ossett, ossett brewery, Pubs & bars, the hop
A nice piece about beer in a tabloid sized newspaper? Surely not.
Ok to be fair it’s this months ‘What’s Brewing’, but I love the story on page 10 about Martin Brunnschweiler.
More than a decade ago Martin went to visit his sister at her pub on the Isle of Man and ended up staying there to set up a brewery called Bushy’s. The paper is a bit hazy on the details (I’m intrigued as to whether he drank the pub dry and then set up because he was thirsty and what he left behind) but I like to think the Martin fell in love with the island, the pub, the atmosphere and the opportunity. His brewery has ties to the nuclear industry (and sounds like it could double up as a bunker should a Dr Strangelove armageddon arise) and the equipment is based on a headache inducing tower arrangement that requires a certain amount of agility from head brewer Curly (yes, Curly!).
The best I can do is that I have on two or more separate occasions walked into a pub and ended up 1) working behind the bar and 2) doing the dishes, but never quite made the leap to brewing.Tags: brewery, bushys, CAMRA, isle of man, Pubs & bars, whats brewing
It seems so simple, this-setting-up-a-brewery lark.
Walking around the compact, but seemingly organised Leeds Brewery with co-founder Sam Moss, it’s easy to forget that the business has only been in existence for a touch over two years.
Situated on a light industrial estate not far from Leeds’ bustling centre, the brewery is the hub of an expanding local empire that now stretches to three pubs across the town centre as well as the modern and compact Leeds Brewery HQ. The team produces three permanent beers and twelve seasonal beers; one for each calendar month. The beers are on sale across the country and also in Leeds brewery’s three self-owned pubs in Leeds city centre.
Being Leeds residents and big fans of the beers that the brewery makes, we jumped at the chance to take a day off work and visit our very own local brewers. Upon arrival the other half of the management, Michael Brothwell, was busy making an emergency keg delivery in the back of his Ford Fiesta, so it was down to Sam to take us round the modern set up… Read the rest of this entry »Tags: best, brewery, business, leeds, leeds brewery, midnight bell, pale ale, tetleys, West Yorkshire, yorkshire
September 4th, 2009Breweries
Just got back from my first Thursday night music quiz night at the Rosebud near Rothwell, South Leeds.
The Rosebud is Sam’s local pub, located on a quiet road of houses that overlook pleasant fields. It’s one of last pubs in the area that still regularly brings in guest ales and is a nice little spot for watching Leeds United with a real ale in hand.
Anyhow I met Sam and the chaps and the four us got to trying the guest ales, which were Ginger Pig by Springhead (who’s web site SEO isn’t great!), Sharp’s Cornish Coaster and Copper Dragon’s Golden Pippin.
Firstly I ordered a half (yes, it’s a school night!) of Ginger Pig which had caused an amicable rift amongst the table; Sam believing it to be a little heavy whereas the rest believing it nice and refreshing. The elusive Springhead Brewery have created a straw coloured beer that is light and, if I’m honest a little bland and watery.
Perhaps it’s just very subtle, but this beer is named after it’s core differentiating ingredient, ginger. This is no Blandford Fly by any account, but whilst it sips easy and is refreshing and enjoyable, it’s not much more than pleasant and would benefit from a little extra complexity and depth. Not that it’s bad, I can se it been ,much better on a hot day as a refreshing light ale, but just not as entertaining as I was expecting on a dark and rainy night.
Second up came Cornish Coaster, one of Sharp’s ‘Other Beers’ (again with the poor SEO – titles of their web pages could with some improvement!). Now this beer is interesting! In my notebook I simply wrote ‘you can taste the country air’ (which would have been the first line of my review had I taken a picture of it). Read the rest of this entry »Tags: brewery, Copper Dragon, Cornish Coaster, Ginger Pig, quiz night, Rothwell, Sharp's, Springhead, The Rosebud
July 29th, 2009Breweries
Scottish micro-brewery BrewDog has hit the headlines this week with its claims about the impact of its new beer Tokyo*, which founder James Watt claims is “providing a cure to binge beer-drinking”.
His claims are based around the idea that anyone that wants to get inebriated will turn to stronger beers (such as his brewery’s 6-unit, 18% ale) and appreciate the flavour so much that they will not need to turn to “mass market, industry brewed lagers that are so bland and tasteless that you are seduced into drinking a lot of them”.
Of course, this is patently untrue – and it is more than likely that Mr. Watt knows this.
BrewDog, in its brief two-year existence is quickly becoming the rock n roll star of the micro-brewery world. As reports this week have reminded us, the company has previously flirted with controversy over a name given to one of its products that refers directly to drug-use (apparently; I wouldn’t have known said term if the BBC hadn’t informed me!)
But all publicity is good publicity and this is clearly the case here. BrewDog are now probably the most discussed brewery in the country and that can’t be a bad thing for them. I personally, love their manifesto. The aim is to target the younger market and turn them on to quality Real Ale and away from the cheap, common lagers popular amongst this demographic. In terms of Real Ale popularity, it is great achievement that such a young company, run by two clearly enterprising individuals, is taking the corporate alcohol producers head-on.
What they have also done with these statements is to highlight an issue that has plagued Britain for years; we don’t know how to appreciate alcohol consumption, certainly beyond the high-culture of fine wines.
We have never had the ‘café culture’ found abroad, where alcohol is consumed in a more respectable manner, and it is this side of the BrewDog argument that is strong. Growing up in the UK, drinking beer, wine, spirits and so on, is often more focused on quantity as opposed to quality. Although specialist bars and ale houses are growing in popularity, much of the city centre remains dominated by low-standard, low-priced alcohol which has ultimately become the norm.
Therefore, if companies like BrewDog are brewing special ales, such as Tokyo* – a run of three thousand units, of which only one thousand will be sold in the UK exclusively on the firm’s website – is this really such an issue?
All this debate has done is to highlight the country’s insecurities about its own drinking culture. BrewDog won’t change that, but at least it is putting the control back in the hands of consumers to try new and innovative ales, no matter how strong they may be.