Friday, September 30, 2011

My final chapter of my beery week with the parents.

Now here is the end to this series of writing I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed trying to remember all the beers and good times I shared with my parents over the past week.
Okay then the soppy stuff over with on to the hoppy goodness that concluded the liver killing week.
Ive saved this part of the story for this blog but I must have spent more time in the local beer shop this week than I have ever spent in there since Ive found out about it, the place in question is Beer Ritz in Headingley. Now then my Father and I visited this haven at the very least 3 times in the week that he was here and picked up some fantastic brews. Here are some examples I'm not going into tasting notes I'm just going to list some of the beer we decided on.

Buxton Axe Edge
Darkstar Expresso Stout
Magic Rock High Wire and Cannonball
Punk IPA, 5 Am Saint, and Hardcore
Wensleydale Porter
Hardknott InfraRed
St Peters Honey Porter
Robinsons Old Tom
Schneider Weisee Hopfen-Weiss
Kernal Imperial Brown Stout and Export Stout
Gwynt y Ddraig Farmhouse Cloudy Scrumpy
Meantime IPA
Wychwood Hobgoblin
and just to top it off I think we bought a couple bottle of Jever and I'm sure I'm missing some.
Needless to say it was quite a week and many beer we drank and to be honest I wouldn't change any of it.

Friday came and it was sad seeing that my parents would be leaving on early Saturday morning but they got to see their granddaughter for the first time and it was all smiles. That afternoon we brought Lydia shopping and walked into town for some last minute gift shopping. So one last trip to visit The North Bar which was enjoyable to say the least. It was Oktoberfest so we indulged a little bit on the wares they had on tap first up was a half or Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest which just wasn't my cup of tea I think I'm getting tired of all the hoopbla about Sierra Nevada because in the states they are just known as that fail safe if they have no other beer. Oktoberfest for me was quite boring and uninspiring so I needed to try a couple of more before we left. I tried the Paulander Oktoberfest it was quite pale but an easy drink and I bought my Mom a Paulander Salvator which she seemed to enjoy because for the first time in a week she finished her pint off faster than my Dad and I. I bought my father yet another pint of Black Band Porter by Kirkstall and like he said you can never have to much of a good thing. So we sat and sipped or gulped in my Mom's case and again watched the world go by wishing we had more time with each other but I wanted to show my dad one last good beer. My mom opted for some sort of cider that I didn't catch the name of but my dad and me opted for a bottle of aged Orval seeing that this was my first Orval I wanted to make it a good one. We once again got a great pour from Jim and got the sediment in a shot glass and put it to the side. After drinking half of the beer we dumped the shot into the glass and you can instantly tell the difference I prefer the sediment in the beer rather than out of the beer personal taste and thats the best thing about beer drinking everything is up to your personal taste. We said our thank yous to Matt and Jim at North and decided it was time to go home but we did have a quick stop off into Gerry's and checked out their beery offers and bought some bottle for one last back garden cigar. We picked up Adnams Broadside,Wadworth Swordfish, and Brewdog Trashy Blonde and 77 lager. So this was the end to our week and the end to a great vacation. I really hope you all enjoyed following me on my beer journey with the parents and hopefully I will see you in the pub.

The Final List. Some may be duplicates
Kirkstall 3 swords
Kirkstall Black Band Porter
Kirkstall Pale Ale
Brewdog Hardcore IPA
Brewdog 5 am saint
Brewdog Punk IPA
Brewdog Dark Tokyo Horizon
Brewdog Avery/Brown/Dredge
Brewdog Trashy Blonde
Brewdog 77 Lager
Magic Rock High Wire
Magic Rock Curious
Kernal Export Stout
Kernal Brown Stout
Temptest Brave New World
Beer Here Dark Hops
Stone Russian Imperial Stout
Gadds/revelations Cat Double IPA
Orkney Oyster Stout
Darkstar Espresso Stout
York Centurions Ghost
Dark Star Hophead
Schinder Weisse Tap 5
Paulander Salvador
Orval 1 year
Ridgeside Single Hop
Copper Dragon Challenger
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout
St Petersburg Honey Porter
Brooklyn Lager
Leeds Brewery Pale
Leeds Brewery Best
Black Sheep Riggwelter
Adnams Broadside
Batemans XXXB
Batemans Old Perculiar
Wadworth Swordfish
Old Tom Old ale
Red Willow Smokeless
Red Willow Ageless
Red Willow Fathomless
Odell St Lupin
And again as I said above I'm sure that I'm missing out on some but when you drink that many in a week you might lose one or two.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A very interesting beery week with my parents Part GROVE INN

So Wednesday was the second most anticipated day of the trip and it started out with a bang. We started it off with a lovely walk into town to meet my fantastic wife only to catch the bus to Roundhay Park and eat at the Roundhay Fox. The beer selection there isn't that great but we decided on a pint of Leeds Pale it wasn't great but it wasn't bad either after having some horrible beers on Monday night I will take a safe bet with something that I know. After hanging out in Tropical World and getting to the house we picked up our bus passes and off to the train station we went for my very first trip to The Grove Inn in Huddersfield. Joined by a plethora of beer writers and beer geeks alike which included Rob from Hopzine, Leigh from The Good Stuff, Zak from Are You Tasting The Pith, Dean from @mrfoleys, Toby from Red Willow Brewery and everyone's favourite brew bitch Brian from the Grove. We were missing a few but I'm planning another go in November so get ready guys that missed out.

The evening started tame enough with a couple pints of Magic Rock's High Wire which hell was a fantastic start to the evening. I have always liked this beer ever since it graced the taps at Foleys I think I tried this brew before any of the others and it is by far my favourite Magic Rock Brew. Then the fun started we noticed the board I decided it was time to loosen up and try something a bit out of my comfort zone we tried a third of Thornbridge's Dry Hopped Barley Wine 9.4% which was in one word fantastic. Now I'm not normally into my Barley Wine's mostly because it has the word wine in it but damn if this beer didn't change the mind of this stubborn beer drinker. It had a silky smooth flavour that lasted just enough time to tempt you to drink faster and so I did and picked another brew from the endless list at The Grove. So scanning the board again  we decided on another third because I just didn't want to get that drunk knowing that the parents were wanting to have a couple more beers when we got back to Leeds. As we were sipping on a Gadds/ Revelation Cat Back to Basic Pacific Double IPA 9.0% ( man that was a mindful to try to remember.)  I know this was a good brew but sadly I cant really comment on it because I just don't remember the flavours but it was hoppy and it was tasty so if you see it DRINK IT. As we were drinking that beer a couple of bottles were being passed around the table which included Fathomless an oyster stout made with  actual oysters from Red Willow Brewery now even Toby the mind behind the brew said it was just freshly bottled but in my honest opinion it was dark sweet and a damn fine stout and I for one am counting the days till it hits the pumps at the regular haunts in Leeds. Next was yet again another third but this time of a brewery I have never ever heard of Temptest Brewing Co with their Brave New World IPA 7.0% which was again another hoptastic beer that made me wish I had more time and more money to drink a couple of halves of this beauty. I must say thanks to Brian for persuading me to give this brew a go because if it wasn't for that I wouldn't have even given this beer a second look. So after we polished these down my dad wanted to try a Pilsner so given the company we were in I suggested an Avery/Brown/Dredge from Brewdog and well like most of us he enjoyed the hell out of it and asked that I send him some in the beer trade we will be doing in the coming weeks. So from my Dad Mr. Avery you guys did a hell of a job on the beer and it tasted great (his words not mine.) We also bought a big bottle of Stone Imperial Russian Stout and shared it out with the people that were left. So we savoured our moment in the grove shook the hands of everyone that left and a special thank you to Toby for leaving my dad and mom a bottle of Fathomless to bring home and show people in South Carolina that craft beer is alive and well in England and its not all stupid pump clips with silly names. To finish out our night at the grove we shared a half of Beer Here Dark Hops 8.5% which was kind of like a Black IPA but it most regards it wasn't. 

While on the train back to Leeds we talked about Tetley's Brewery with Dean and trashed the fact that its closed down to possibly make way for an art exhibit I mean its cool if you like that kind of thing but its been such a staple in our fair town it would just be a shame to use the building as anything else but to brew beer. Off we went to Mr Foleys for our second trip to the goodness that is this bar to sample so more Red Willow Brews this time it was Smokeless which I think is one of the better porters on the scene at the moment it just goes down so smooth and is another beer that makes me think of food. A good chili with this a half of this poured in and the other half for personal consumption it would make the chili a bit smokey but I think it would complement the spiciness of my chili just perfectly. To end the evening we decided on three different beers and a couple of measures of whisky. The beers in question were Brewdog's Hardcore IPA 9.2%, Odell Brewery St Lupulin 6.5%, and a bottle of Red Willow Ageless 7.2% The whisky we all enjoyed was an Auchentoschan 3 Wood which smokey fruit flavour went down a treat as we retreated to the taxi waiting outside and went home. All in all the night was a great success and I'm already looking forward to trying to put another night together very very soon.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A very intesting beery week with my parents. Part 2!

So Sunday started with a bang with it being the day we celebrated the one year mark of the birth of my daughter and her christening. We had loads of people show up and I cant really afford to supply everyone with craft beer so I bought one of the only over produced lager I could stomach and that was 1664 while a certain beer blogger brought some San Miguel. This was a day I wasn't looking to be a beery snob I was just there to enjoy family and friends and to celebrate the day my life changed for the better.

 That was until Mr Dean showed up with a plastic bag full of Beer Ritz gold. I didn't want to steal any of his beer but there was a simple but yet fantastic looking box in there so I got curious and pulled it out.  It was a nice black box with three different breweries on it and a bunch of not so positive reviews, the bottle in question was Black Tokyo Horizon by the lovely guys from Brewdog, Mikkeller, and Nøgne Ø.
Now I like most of you reading this was going to somehow someway get my hands on this beer just to give it a go and see what these 3 brewhouses could do with a little collaboration.  The reviews as I said above have not been great but I personally and the 3 guys sharing the bottle seemed to agree it could be due to the fact that 4 of us shared the bottle and only had about 2 and a half mouthfuls a piece but I personally enjoyed it. Black Tokyo Horizon seemed to be just Tokyo on steroids and I personally love Tokyo I haven't had the pleasure of trying the other 2 brews that inspired this one but the couple of mouthfuls I had I really enjoyed, it made me think of food like a good steak marinated over night and grilled to a perfect medium rare with a baked potato and a bottle of Punk.  After all that goodness was done and with the party drawing to a close  everyone was gone and we cleaned up. Thank you to Dean from Foleys and Leigh from LeighGoodStuff for coming and celebrating that perfect rainy English day with us.

Off we went back home and off to the local shop to pick up some more beer which was a challenge, what could I possibly pick up from the local shop that would show my Dad what England had to offer so I picked up some classics. We picked up some Theakstons Old Peculiar, Triple XB Batemans, some Abbot Ale and 3 or 4 bottles of Guinness but not the black oil as you would think I could find in the local shop but some Foreign Extra Guinness and at a bargain as well £1.55. Sadly after we got back to the house after an exciting day we all crashed after our first Guinness and saved the rest for some other day.

Monday morning came and what else are you going to do on your holiday but open a beer at 11:40 in the morning. My dad enjoyed his Abbot Ale while I took it slow and had a bottle of Darkstar Expresso and we sat in the back garden enjoying the sunshine and planned our day. We knew we had to get some meat from my wife's requested BBQ on Tuesday so we made the plans to bring the family into the market and we to Mr Meats and picked up 3 racks of ribs and a Boston Butt which is the front shoulder if the pig. Picked all that up for a reasonable 40 pounds and went for a lunch at nando's and we all made fun of the beer selection and went home.

Monday evening was another kettle of fish indeed while we started with a couple of pints of Ridgeside Pale at The Hop where I saw a strange thing an extra cold cask of Yorkshire Blonde more on that another time and a couple of pints of Black Sheep Riggwelter at a unnamed bar because my experience there was awful. A short walk later we went to a pub Ive heard of but never been to hidden under the high rises just passed the dark arches The Grove Inn. We sat in one of the back rooms and enjoyed a couple of pints of Kirkstall's Black Band Porter talked some trash about American Football and my father and I both agreed we very much enjoyed this pub and the feel of it.

Off to The Adelphi after that to end our night where again we enjoyed some fine beers and some not so fine ales. Two pints of Brooklyn Lager that were indeed quite tasty but didn't sit right for whatever reason but hell they had a beer garden of sorts and we were allowed to smoke cigars and talk a little more trash about anything and everything in particular. We ended the night with a couple of pints of Leeds Best and some unnamed Lager that wont be sad in this blog post.  So that's Sunday and Monday Tuesday didn't hold to much because of the massive hangover but Wednesday was another story and will be told on another day. Here is a hint for whats coming...................

Monday, September 26, 2011

A very interesting beery week with my parents! Part One

Over the past 6 days I think I have drank more beer than I have done in the first 18 months that I have been in the UK. My Mom and Dad came over to meet my daughter Lydia for the first time and the beery goodness began almost as soon as they stepped off the train. Before even dropping off the luggage at the house we entered two of the best pubs Leeds has to offer those being The North Bar and Mr. Foleys.

First up something simple and light my Mom went with the ever so popular Kirkstall 3 Swords and sipped that while my Father drank the brown ale that Zak Avery and the Great Heck Brewery brewed up while I enjoyed my favourite of the Brewdog beers 5am saint. As they were sipping and I was gulping seeing that it was one of my first brews in almost a week we sat and watched the busy people of Leeds walk by the window and laughed because for the first time in 18 months I was able to enjoy some beer with my parents.


Then came the all to painful walk to Mr Foleys to show them where I worked and enjoyed some more damn tasty beer. I had a Brewdog Punk IPA, Mom had an Brewdog Alice Porter and Dad had a Jever because he enjoys Pils so I got him one of the better ones on the beer scene. We finished by sharing yes sharing a half pint of Centurion's Ghost because I wanted them to try the beer that set me on my way to the wonderful world of cask ale. Wouldn't you know after Mr Foleys was finished we again had to take the journey back to North to pick up the luggage and thought "hey why the hell not lets go ahead and try some more beer" so Mom opted for Brewdog's 5 am saint Dad opted for a bottle of Magic Rock Cannonball and I decided that it was almost Oktoberfest so I went for a Schneider Weisse Tap 5. So again lazily sipping our beers we gathered out things and were heading out the door and I noticed something different on the last pump clip I knew they had it but I just didn't know that I would get to enjoy with it being North Bar and the the amount of people they get in but there it was Flying Dog Centennial IPA so I naturally split a half with my dad while mom went and smoked a cigarette and although super tasty we didn't have to time savor it and sadly finished a half in 4 sips between the both of us and ran to catch our taxi.

Now for the finale of our Saturday adventures when we arrived home I had a couple of beery treats put away for there visit. Late afternoon it came to be and I decided to get out some bottles that I bought from the accessible Beer Ritz in Headlingley before they arrived into Leeds. First up were some Kernal Brews the 4's IPA and the India Export Stout, some Old Tom and a Darkstar Expresso Stout were all opened to celebrate them getting to the house safe and sound and that is were Saturday ended.

This will be a continuous blog about the week we had and will include my daughters birthday with a special guest Black Tokyo Horizon brought by Dean at Mr Foleys, A trip to the Grove in Huddersfield with all types of beery folk and a couple more trips to the now locally famous Beer Ritz.