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Showing posts from March, 2012

MOSI Beer Festival

I wouldn't normally write about beer festivals. But then again I wouldn't normally go. I have a strange relationship with beer festivals but I don’t think I am alone in this. I had a grand baptism to them, as my first came when I was 19 and it just happened to be the National Winter Ales Festival in Manchester. This was when it was still held at the old co-operative building and was a huge event. I was a starry eyed youngster, still dipping my toe into the ale pool, but I held this event with such regale. Hundreds of beers, lots of merchandise stalls and a lot of people.   I followed it by going to many across Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire that same year, and enjoying the merits of each one, big or small. But as I aged my cynicism grew. Soon I was seeing the downside to them. My last NWAF came two years ago where I left early, annoyed that most of the beers I’d wanted to try had already been and gone. The problem is that the none 9-5 working CAMRA lot steamroll

Beer or Pub?

               My three favourite pubs are not my favourites for beer. And vice versa. But is it possible to have both? A debate for another time, perhaps, but it got me wondering about certain chain pubs.                 I assume, perhaps wrongly, that most regions have their versions of Hydes and Thwaites. They are the big brewer boys that control a lot of your real-ale-serving local pubs. They have their own brews, they are nationally renowned, and on the whole you accept them and expect them to be good putatively.                 I should start by saying that this blog stems from a tale of success for a local Hydes pub of mine – The White House in Stalybridge – that recently won a CAMRA pub of the season award. It was thoroughly deserved. The pub now has a good range of 8 cask beers on and has sourced many away from Hydes brewery. The d├ęcor is nice and has become the cynosure of the town.                 I congratulate the pub on achieving all this through, presumab

Local Beer Night

At present my bottle stash has a very continental theme and is full of the weird and the wonderful. Whilst out yesterday I added to it with Japanese and more American beers. Which is why on Friday it was nice to try some more traditional beers and so I treated myself to a local beer night. I had bottles in from my two local breweries – Millstone and Greenfield, as well as one from fairly local and new brewery Wilson Potter. I also rounded off with a Marble beer, because they are local too and fitted in with the theme I started with a very local brewery and Greenfield’s Uppermill Ale. I get the chance to have Greenfield on draught regularly and their Black Five, Icicle and festive poison Rudolph’s Tipple are excellent whilst some of their traditional bitters can be average for me. So when I saw their beers in the shop I chose the Uppermill Ale being one I hadn’t tried before. It’s a pleasantly clear looking amber beer that smells darker than its shade. There's plenty of roasted