The ramblings of Tyson as he sups his way through life's bitter vale of tears.
Beer of the Week & Hawkshead Beer Festival
For the first time, there’s been a tie. Ossett Oregon Pale, sampled in the Art Picture House, was a beautiful blend of fruit and bitingly dry hops from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. And then there was the incomparable Fyne Jarl with its full on Citra experience. This was served yesterday in superb condition at the Hawkshead Brewery Beer Festival.
Not unexpectedly, there was no shortage of excellent beers at Hawkshead as they were showcasing SIBA’s 2011 Medal Winners. I didn’t personally have a bad one all day, but I did sample the Foxfield Unzipped which was drawing a few complaints and found it to be full of unpleasantly diacetyl flavours.
The rest of the beers were uniformly good. Pick of the bunch? Well a lot of people (including me) were impressed with Stringers Yellow Lorry. This was a fine example of the use of Amarillo hops. Using both Amarillo and Citra was Hawkshead Citrillo. This tropical fruit hop delight was very moreish indeed. As was Bowland Admiral which was bursting with floral hop tones. And Marble’s collaboration with Whim-Utility Special-was very impressive as well.
An excellent festival and an enjoyable day out that ended with some more Hawkshead Windermere Pale and a nightcap of Phoenix Arizona in the Art.
The Kimberley Workingmen’s Club in Stacksteads, Rossendale is the stuff of legend. Few, outside of those interested in such things, have heard of it and fewer still have visited it. Even many locals aren’t aware of its location and yet internet forums are full of people willing to travel across the country to visit a genuine slice of social history. Established in 1897, the KMC started out as an afterhours drinking venue for quarry workers. Legend has it that it was carried down into the valley on poles. There are various theories about its South African connections-there is a Kimberley Street close by, but what we do know is that surprisingly little has changed since those early days. Once you have got up the steep hill, over the dirt track and through the gate; you are confronted with two very small rooms. There’s probably just enough room to squeeze all 36 members in. This helps to explain why visitation is strictly by invitation only. We were privileged to enjoy a special Sunday ope…
London is a strange town. Or so the Jam said way back in 1979. And indeed it is. However, despite the early closing, congestion and lack of decent pizza, there are actually people who work and live there. And everyone from the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers to the British Guild of Beer Writers hold their piss-ups there.
So it was once again that I found myself wandering the lonely, mean streets of the Big Smoky with nothing in my pockets but hope and fortitude. Now, one has to make careful preparation before attending a function such as the BGBW awards. And, being one for correct form, I did my bit by having a little tour of the capital’s watering holes.
Conveniently, the Euston Cider Tap had just opened the previous week and I was the first in on that day. The very helpful barman kept me company until I was joined by some chirpy cockney sparrows newly arrived from Manchester. After sampling sparkling, still and some Normandy cider, the bonding was complete and I…
This is an unusual beer from the Kernel Brewery that I first tried at the Port St Beer House, Manchester, some weeks ago. That was after a few scoops, so I was looking forward to trying it fresh.
The basics: Kernel are a small brewery based in Druid St, London. This is a 6.5% IPA and is bottle conditioned. It poured a cloudy burnt orange/gold colour with little carbonation and only a slight head. A little like my last sample to the doctor. Thankfully the aroma was much better with definite marmalade, fruit and just a hint of coffee. Taste: Full bodied and rich. This is not an easy drinking session beer for the uninitiated. Starts with a classic IPA taste of oranges and powerful hops before the coffee kicks in which gives it a fair smack of bitterness. Finish: You really get the coffee effect in this. A sharp, lingering bitterness that sticks to the back of the throat. Conclusion: A good attempt at something different. Not for everyone, but I enjoyed the level of bitterness. One to give…