Showing posts from February, 2012


Monday night saw a sell out crowd attend the Port Street Beer House for a meet the brewer with Brodies. Not so long ago, you rarely got to sample their beer north of Watford. But now, thanks to a distribution deal with Boggart, their wares are reaching an even more appreciative audience.

The evening started with the origins of the brewery and then, via a few anecdotes, proceeded to highlight several of their beers. They are unashamed hop devotees and that certainly came through in the beers. You can check out some photos from the event here.
Citra: This is a very interesting 3.1% hop-bomb. Packing 6kg of Citra into such a low vol beer proved too much for some, but I lapped it up. Will I be proved wrong and forced to eat Eddie’s, the eager legal beagle, tartan long johns when a 2.8% version of this appears?
Hoxton: Excellent amber ale that was quite “meaty” and full of Citra and Galaxy hops.
Dalston Black IPA: A tasty variation on Hoxton that highlights the Galaxy hop.
Romanoff: A 13% barl…

Ramsbottom Beer Festival (2)

Well the tables and chairs are empty, and the glasses packed away. And the results of the festival are:
The Good
(1) A good venue with a separate room for escape from the music. All beers were served by handpump and sparkler. As God intended.
(2) Allgates & Acorn beers
(3) Lots of money raised for the RNLI

The Bad:
(1) No cooling for the beers: opening the windows does not count.
(2) The quality of the Tandleman sound-alike competition: think more Taggart and less Sean Connery.

The Ugly
(1) Black Edge Pike: homebrew.
(2) Potbelly Pigs Do Fly: homebrew made with dough balls.

Ramsbottom Beer Festival

Today sees the start of Ramsbottom Beer Festival. Hosted by Irwell Works Brewery, it takes place in the rather grand Ramsbottom Civic Hall. We’re promised 50 real ales mainly from Lancashire breweries with a few foreigners from Yorkshire thrown in. 

Opening hours are 12-midnight on both days and there will be food and bottled beers available also. Entry is £2.50 or £2 with the magic CAMRA card and that allows you entry to all the sessions. Music is promised for Saturday and proceeds are going towards the very worthy cause of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Proposed beer list
Acorn Barnsley Bitter 3.8 Acorn Delta 5.5 Acorn Yorkshire Pride 3.7 Allgates Marynka 4.1 Allgates Summit 4.5

Physician heal thyself

Barely a day goes past these days without the media bombarding us with scare stories of binge drinking, out-of-control, revellers dragging the country down into Hades. Recently Alistair Campbell waded into the debate with his own sob story designed to scare the middle classes off their Pinot Grigio. Of course, we all know there’s very little substance to these claims, but it’s useful propaganda for a government hell bent on further prohibitionist measures.

But it appears there may be a problem after all. Well in certain quarters, anyway. MPs have always enjoyed 24hr cheap booze in the parliament bars and it was with some reluctance that they allowed the plebs the benefits of deregulated licensing. After all, who are we to be entrusted with such dangers? So it’s with no little irony I read about Eric Joyce and his antics in the Strangers Bar of the House of Commons.

Mr Joyce, Labour MP for Falkirk, was apprehended by the police on suspicion of assault after an incident in the bar at ar…

Meet the Brewer: Emelisse

Last night saw the folk of Manchester given the rare opportunity to meet and sample the wares of a bona fide Dutch microbrewer. Emelisse aren’t too well known around these parts, but are a major player in the burgeoning Dutch scene and some of their beers have appeared on the bar in the Port St Beer House.

The reason for head brewer Kees Bubberman & co to make the trip from their base in Kamperland all the way to the Marble Arch was simple: beer. They’re here to brew some collaboration beers with the Marble brewery. The most interesting of which promises to be Earl Grey IPA. And yes, it is brewed using Earl Grey tea.

But what would any meet-the-brewer event be without some sampling? So, in no particular order, and without the use of a safety net, here’s some of the ones I recall sampling.

Blond: Hazy with a sharp and refreshing bite. Brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops. A favourite amongst many, including me.

Rachbier: Made with five different malts, this was less smoky than you might exp…


Chester is a lovely city and you can easily while away a day exploring its historic and cultural gems. Or you can choose to get pissed in one (or more) of its many real ale outlets. With 48 to choose from, it’s probably better for your legs-and liver-to be somewhat discriminate in your choice of venues. 

Never mind six of the best. Here’s nine of the best that were put through their paces on Saturday.
Marlborough Arms
An interesting, narrow, one-roomed pub on St John Street that specialises in Stonehouse beers who are based in Oswestry, Shropshire. Sunlander, described as the first summer beer of the season, was tried and its tropical fruit and dry, but not aggressively hopped, nature was adjudged to be very conducive to calming our midday thirst.

Brewery Tap This very impressive Jacobean property is must stop on any tour of Chester. Run by Spitting Feather brewery, it features their beers as well as a range of guest beers. The Citra infused offering from Yorkshire Dales was excellent and …