Monday evening saw the great and not-so-good head to the Port Street Beer House for a meet the brewer session with Kirkstall. Launched last year, they are an up-and-coming outfit based near Leeds on the side of the Leeds and Liverpool canal.

Although it was billed as a “meet the brewer” and he (Alex) was there, it was the gaffer, Steve Holt who did most of the talking. He gave a confident presentation that eschewed the basic malt-hops-yeast makes beer spiel and concentrated on the specifics of Kirkstall Brewery.

This was all for the good; as it’s safe to assume most of those assembled knew the ABC of brewing. What people are interested in (well I am, anyway) are what the brewery’s story is and what’s in their beer. Steve was obviously passionate not only about the Kirkstall beers, but also about the local heritage and the history of the original Kirkstall Brewery, Which all made for an entertaining and informative evening.

Kirkstall Pale Ale
Inspired by American Pale Ales, but tempered more for the British palate, the well-balanced mix of malt and hops gives an enjoyable fruit edge to the beer. A good start.

Black Band Porter
Another enjoyable beer. Dark and full of chocolate and coffee notes, but surprisingly smooth.

Three Swords
It should actually be three daggers, but that’s Yorkshire folk for you. This utilises three hops to give a good, crisp, citrus hop bite with an appealing dry finish. My favourite of the evening.

Generous George
A rare one-off brew named after a local character “Polish George”, this 6.5% beer has been dry-hopped with Marynka hops. It was described as “unusual” and it was. By Steve’s own admission, it was served rather fresh and will benefit from further maturation. Has the potential to be very good but, as tasted, was too boozy.

Dissolution IPA

Not served at its best: cloudy and yeasty from the cask. However, this recent silver medallist winner at SIBA is a class act normally and if you see it on the bar, I’d recommend trying it.

Served last, this 3.6% dessert beer is brewed somewhere-Steve remained tight-lipped over exactly where-in Belgium. It caused something of a split in opinion. The minority opinion was that it was fruity and refreshing. While the majority felt that the tartness gave way too quickly to a syrupy sweetness. Why not try it and see what you think?
Next month: Hawkshead


Anonymous said…
I think you find its Black Band Porter not Black Hand. Peter
Tyson said…
Oops. Stubby fingers strike again.
johng said…
i have had the fruit beer and was impressed with this attempt by a British find its a rebadge beer from Belguim is a shock.

Popular posts from this blog

The Kimberley Club

British Guild Beer Writers Awards & Camden Brewery

Breakfast Beer Tasting: Suke Quto Coffee IPA