>Belgian Bier Fest @ North, Leeds
Regular TGS loafers will know that North is one of my favoured beer-palaces, and it simply wouldn’t be right to let one of thier famous Belgian bier-fests slip by without dropping in. North do this sort of thing very well indeed; over 100 different beers to try, most of them bottled, with a few exceptions on tap – whilst keeping thier standbys such as Sierra Nevada Pale and Roosters YPA (possibly one of my favourite brews of all time) in case the Belgians got too much for you…
So, we kicked back and worked our way through the menu. First up was Blanche De Bruxelles (draft, 4.5abv), which I enjoyed immensely; pale straw colour, a familiar witbier aroma but a very light, long taste with a massive citrus kick. Lemons and Oranges cut through this one and result in one of the most refreshing beers I’ve had in a long time, and I’ll be seeking out again.
Picking purely by name now, the Zinnebir (bottled, 5.5abv) by the Brasserie De La Senne caught my eye. Much darker in colour but another good choice – woody, piney aromas with a spicy yet hoppy flavour initially; although after a few sips that Belgian frutiness popped up again. This would be great with some formidable cheeses! I’ve picked up a bottle of thier stout for the beer-cellar.
Finally, for balance, it was the turn of Bacchus’ Frambozenbier (draft, 5.0abv). I’m partial to a Frambozen or Kriek on occasion, but this one left me a little flat. The beer looked amazing – deep purple-red colour with a massive strawberry jam/redberry nose – but for me, lacked a little body. If you’re looking for a thirst-quenching summer frambozen then this is for you – but I prefer a little more depth.
It was then time for some food. Another excellent, different evening from North, who should keep these festivals coming. What about an American/Canadian Beer Fest next, boys?