With the TS closed, the natural meeting place was the Peel. Nothing too exciting here, but we gambled on Saltaire Rye Smile which, like most rye beers, failed to set our taste buds alight. Not wishing to spend the night on that and there being a distinct sweaty smell present, we moved on.
A bus ride took us up to the Towler and some Golden Pippin. A little tired, perhaps. Was this the same barrel that they had kindly put on for us on Sunday 0030? It might explain things. Anyway, it was back on the bus for us as we headed for the Good Sam. The Pippin here was much better and we gratefully sank a few. We’d already decided to move onto the Hare & Hounds when, as if a sign from the gods, the Pippin ran out.
The Dogs didn’t disappoint, with a good mix across the board. First to catch our eye was one of the elusive Pictish single hop beers. These get tickers frothing at the mouth and some non-tickers as well. Being a long time Pictish fan, I’m always keen to try them, but sourcing them is difficult. Needless to say, Bobek was another variety I knew nothing about. The beer poured exceptionally light (0.5 on colour scale) and clear. There was a strong, unusual (juniper?) aroma which led onto a delightfully rounded, continental style lager beer. Not surprising as my hop encyclopaedia tells me that Bobek is grown in Slovenia and is a mild aroma hop. Certainly this offering wasn’t as bitter as some Pictish beers can be, but none the worse for that.
From a new beer to a new brewery-to me anyway. Backyard are based in the Midlands and their Blonde (4.1%) was pleasantly buttery. A very new brewery is Art, who have only been brewing since September 2008 I believe. Situated in Dorset, their Dark Brut (5%) was complex, seemingly a Belgium-style winter ale. Yeast and spice are all present and whilst I can see a lot of people liking this, it wasn’t for me. Much more to my taste was Outlaw Wrangler which we enjoyed a few pints of.