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Showing posts from October, 2012

Another Beer Festival: A tale of Two Brothers

Last week I told of how in the Friday I went to Indy Man Beer Con and loved every second. In nine years of beer festival involvement it was easily the best I’d ever attended. What I didn’t mention was that on the following day I got up, hangover intact, to go to Huddersfield Oktoberfest Beer Festival, an annual event that, for various reasons, I’d never attended. I wasn’t there to compare and contrast, knowing this would be a different form of festival, but I was excited nonetheless. I was attending with, amongst others, my Uncle who became the somewhat controversial focus of a post regarding a certain organisation last month. So how was it? Answer: a crushing return to reality. I’ll focus on the positives first. This was a well organised, well thought out festival. The venue was practical and roomy. The beer selection was nicely varied, retained a local feel (but in the Yorkshire area that still provides great variety,) and was appropriately extensive. The keg/bottled be

Indy Man Beer Con - it was THAT good

I think the last few articles I’ve written regarding beer festivals have always mentioned how bored I’ve become of some of the annual ones;   in the same old routine, same locations, same problem with keeping enough decent beer for the people who could only make it at the weekend to try. So, like so many others I’ve seen discussing it online, I was pretty darn excited when I heard about the Independent Manchester Beer Convention . It just so happened to fall in beautifully with a week off work I’d booked much longer ago and so I decided to head for the Friday afternoon Lite session just to be one of the first through the door. Any reservations I was having about the event when the adverts first arrived (too many people were selling it to me as a celebration of “craft”) were dismissed once the location was announced as the Victoria Baths . Being born and bred in the Manchester region, I’ll admit the building was not one I knew much about but others did and, after speaking t

Brewery Bias

I’m probably not the first person to do such a post but it was something I thought about the other day whilst drinking, and mentally criticising, a beer from Flying Dog brewery. It struck me of how much I was praising a beer that was, when I stripped everything back, a bit of a disappointment. Yet I was nothing but complimentary about it. I love Flying Dog and hadn’t been disappointed with any style they’d done up to that point. They are, in point of fact, one of my favourite breweries. I suppose everyone has their favourite breweries. Mine would include the likes of Abbeydale , (because they were the first brewery I fell in love with) Millstone , (because they are my local but also make consistently great beers) Red Willow , (because I’ve never had a bad beer by them, cask or in bottles, and Ageless remains my favourite beer of this year) Flying Dog , (still my favourite Americans) and De Molen . I tend to never be disappointed by any of these and am always excited to try somet

Evening with Schlenkerla at Port Street

ANYway...... There’s no doubting that smoked beer has long been an acquired taste. It’s not exactly a “go-to” or necessity in a brewery’s line-up and there aren’t many on the market compared to many of the other styles. But I’m a huge fan. I was from the moment I first tried an Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen as a 19-year old at the 2006 National Winter’s Ale Festival in Manchester. “It smells and tastes like gammon,” I remarked. And who doesn’t love gammon? It remains affectionately known throughout my group of friends as “Gammon Beer” and for years it was the first thing I searched for in a pub’s bottle fridge. With the arrival of the new wave bars and breweries, my fondness for rauchbier had started to move to one side. But when I saw that Port Street Beer House was hosting a Schlenkerla based evening, mine and my brother’s long standing obsession rose again. It was a cracking evening, beginning from the moment we arrived at the bar, shortly before 5.30pm to be rem