Thursday, June 16, 2011

Supermarket beer!?!?!?!

I was having a conversation with @Tuff86 today on twitter and we were commenting back and forth on supermarket beer. After my first real experience with real ale I found myself in the massive place that we all know as asda and wondered down the beer isle. It was quite weird for me seeing all these beers and spirits in a store that is like my wal-mart in the states because well we just don't have it there. When walking into asda you still find the over produced lager and other type of things but usually at the end of the isle there is a little slice of heaven for us beer geeks. Real ale that doesnt carry the real price (if that makes any sense). Its perfect for the person curious about what real ale taste like if only they could muster up the courage to put the greatness into their cart or basket and just give them a try. Now I've found some real gems in these stores some I can remember some I can't, I've also found some right trash in that particular section but hey there is no rule saying that all real ale is going to taste magical. Now if your like me and like trying new brews then you can do no worse than the supermarket and then gradually move towards specialist beer stores like The Beer Ritz in Leeds and even online with So if your on the fence about trying real ale give it a go and try multiple styles of beer and find your favorite there is more out there than just LAGER.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lets Talk About The Summer Wine Guys!

    As I was sat at work today I had a little taster of a new seasonal ale, Polestar from SW brewery and I thought to myself have I ever had a really bad beer from these guys?
I thought and thought and thought, there were beers that were not to my taste, but I don't think Ive ever had a beer that didn't come across as clean and crisp regardless of my personal opinions of the taste of the beer. Now Ive tried from what I can tell pretty much every single beer from Summer Wine and can think back and remember almost each and every one of them which is a feat in itself. I was first introduced to these brews one day at work when the first Nerotype hit the pumps and have tried every single once since and I must say they all have flavour, they are all different, they all keep you wanting more and want to make you seek out these beers when going in and about the pubs of Leeds. First came the Simcoe then a came Columbus followed by Bravo and finishing with Herkules which shows the guys at Summer Wine are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of brewing and that's something to be admired and respected. Herkules has yet to hit the pumps at the Foleys but it should be on soon and I for one am looking forward to the last brew in the series.

They have also an Imperial Stout coming on board in the coming weeks called Cossack, I for one am pinning high hopes on this beer and hopefully I will not be let down because I am a lover of stout and porters. If this beer comes across with the crispness of the other beers in their range then we are all in for a treat.
They are also doing a bit of an experiment with kegged beer they recently had a launch of their 7cs IPA which has pretty much every hop that starts with C put into and drinks more like a 5 percent abv than the 7 its labeled. I will admit when it first hit the UK craft brew line at Foleys I for one was not as impressed as everyone else but it has grown on me like a good whiskey, give it time to mature to the line and gain some body we know and love from kegged beer and damn it they have done it again. Nick at has said everything there was to say about the 7Cs IPA so go and take a gander at his take of the innagural keg at Foleys.

Now on to my two favorite beers from these guys the Barista Stout and the Teleporter. I tried the Stout for the first time a couple of weeks ago at Cross Keys Leeds after a heavy night of drinking the night before, this was just was the doctor ordered as they say. Strong expresso flavors infuse this beer with that coffee flavour that just kicks you in the face and says "Oy get over that hangover and start the day off right". After this beer I felt that my hangover was gone and I could get that second wind I was looking for to finish my American friends trip off on the right foot. Now Im not saying at all in the least this is that hangover cure that we all look for when we made that lovely decision for that last pint, but it does bite the hair of the dog back in that special kind of way that lets your body know who the boss. Now with the teleporter this is my Eleanor (if you’ve seen Gone in 60 Seconds you know what Im talking about, if you havent then just ask and I will explain.) Everytime this beer hits the pumps all I can do is have a small taster of the goodness that is this 10 malt porter. I first saw it last November in a pub that I cant remember but I said to myself tomorrow Im coming back and getting a pint of that black goodness, but being a new dad that was put on hold. Then boom 2 weeks ago it hit the pumps at Foleys and I thought I was in luck but this happened and that happened and by the time I got back to Foleys alas it was gone. I will find you and I will drink you and I will review you when the time comes Miss Eleanor.

So in closing I know that if you guys stay passionate about the beer and brew because it’s something you love to do, then people will be looking for your beer for years and years on end. Seriously you guys just keep doing what your doing keep innovating and keep inventing and your bound to take over a little portion of the beer lovers market.

Note: As of writing the final Nerotype has hit some pubs in the north and has graced the UK Craft Keg Line at Mr Foleys in Leeds.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Buxton takes over The North Bar in Leeds.......

Now I didnt even plan on going to Buxton takes over north bar launch today but as I was walking by to catch the bus I decided to walk in and to be honest Im glad I did. Its good to see a brewer that sticks to their guns and brews beer that they are proud of not a beer that is safe and boring. Tonight I tried a 5.5 black IPA (black rock) which Im guessing is a new craze among brewers and a 6.8 Double IPA (axe edge) that was surprisingly drinkable. They also had moor top and another beer that has escaped me so Im sorry. I normally shy away from the IPAs because the bite of some IPAs just make the damn things undrinkable.( I can hear the scoffs and can see the faces of the fabulous beer bloggers in Leeds over that last statement.)  I sat down with some of the beer bloggers of Leeds and Dean from Foleys and we sat and discussed the flavors of the beers well they discussed and I listened my palate doesnt compare to some of these quote unquote beer geeks. If you read my blog know that you will not get tasting notes but you will get my honest full opinion on the beer and if its drinkable.

Now on to the beers
Black rocks the most surprising Black IPA that ive tasted in a while this was not overly hoppy it was very drinkable and just overall a pleasure for your tastebuds.

Now to the star of the show the Ax Edge seemed to be everyone favorite in the entire bar a double IPA that drinks like a typical  Pale it doesnt seem like a 6.8 abv it drinks more like a 4 abv so its sneaky like a ninja. It easily goes down the throat and explodes with all types of flavor and hits every note that your looking for and some that your not. Everything that Zak Avery said in his video blog of this beer was spot on and his dangerously drinkability that he dubbed on this IPA is right on the money. I had the where withall to only drink a half of this beer but if you looked you could just tell this was the patrons beer of choice some of us got to sit down with the owner of the brewery whose name escapes me at the moment but he has some plans to do special brews with batch numbers and bottle numbers which is exciting. Dont hold me to that last statement but he seemed pretty confident that he plans on doing some unique type beers that got mine and some of the guys mouths watering and looking forward to a chance to taste something truly special is the distant future. Since I forgot his name I probably dont qualify but it was still something new to hear and something exciting to even be apart of.

So in closing:
Buxton Brewery is on the up and the beers they are producing are high good quality beers and hopefully they will be hitting a hand pump near you in the not so distant future. So as a new blogger to this town of leeds let me be one of the first to thank the North Bar and Buxton for putting on a great tasting event that got most of us licking our chops at a new brewery and some new brews.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Beer why argue?

 As of late I have been reading many blogs having to do with the UK beer debate between some of the many awesome beer bloggers and the fantastical CAMRA. I am going to throw a question out there and ask what some of us have brewing in the back of our minds....... why trigger a debate or arguement about beer? This isnt any arguement that Im trying to get into but I have to wonder whats the point in it really. Beer is the sweet nectar from the gods forget all that wine hoopla the passion and the patience it takes to brew the perfect brew and to pour the perfect pint whether it be from keg, cask, or homebrew is something to be marveled at not debated over not argued about but to be embraced and celebrated. I never thought I would get to the point of having to write about the greatness of beer, again regardless of where it comes from or how it hits the pint glass. The great debate is a mute point from the all knowing CAMRA they shouldnt feel threatened by the keg-a-lution if anything the members should get on board with it because it can only mean steps forward in the future on beer which is what CAMRA as I came to believe in my 2 years of living in the UK stood for. We as beer drinking go out not to get drunk but to enjoy proper beer I know that I could quite happily go to Mr Foleys in Leeds and get a pint of ghost ale from york brewery and then happily switch to a keg beer like Flying Dog Raging Bitch at the North Bar in Leeds followed up by a trip to the ever so  popular beer haven of Bitz Ritz in Headingley and spend a couple more pounds on beers from across the world and not feel bad about any of it. I guess I  shouldnt have an opinion on any of this being a yank and all but Im a changed man since Ive moved over here becuase in the states we dont even know what hand pulled ales are everything is kegged with the exception of the small mirco brewerys we have in the area. I joke with the customers at Foleys and tell them if you put a hand pull in front of the average bar worker in a the city Im from they will look at you funny because all we use are kegged over-produced beer.

In closing guys you know as well as I know the debate of kegged beer vs casked beer is stupid and has no merit in this beer drinkers opinion because a good beer is going to be judged on taste not the type of vessel it was poured from.

All comments are welcome just dont hurt my feelings.