Category Archives: Mallinson’s

>The Week in Beer

>It’s been an uber-busy week at work, and although I’ve not found much time to post, I’ve certainly found time to enjoy a few quiet pints whilst on the road.

First up was a leisurely lunch at Porterhouse in Covent Garden, where I found Porterhouse Red to be a decent accompaniment for my lunch, full of body and a sweet/smoky nose. I love Irish Reds, probably because I don’t get to taste a lot of them in Leeds, so this is always a treat. Despite the brickwork and brass bringing back memories of a Hersbrucker Pils-fuelled hangover(a vicious one at that), I always try and visit PH when I can. At least I know one place to get a decent pint in London.

Curiosity got the better of me when it came to dropping in at The Betjeman Arms in St Pancras. I was expecting a brick-hewn, cosy pub – instead I walked in a gastro-palace of labyrinthine proportions, full of iners and a much-depleted range of beers. Likewise, Sharp’s Betjeman Ale (what else?) turned out to be a thin, crisp, refreshing pint with more than a hint of spice on the nose, rather than the standard ‘brown’ beer I was expecting. Although pleasant enough, I walked away from the Betjeman feeling slightly unfulfilled, both in environs and beer quality/range.

Luckily, Crouch Vale’s excellent Brewer’s Gold came to the rescue when further north. A gorgeous pale-yellow in colour, it bursts forth with citrus and grass-led hop aroma, which follow through to the taste. A great session beer, and one that I could drink all night, especially when the nights get balmier.

Further north we had the chance to sample Mallinson’s Volga Porter – which, despite being a little thinner in body than I like my porters – turned out to be a smooth, chocolate-led pint that warmed and satisfied in equal measure. Mallinsons may turn out brews at a stunning rate, but I’m yet to taste a bad beer from them. Consistency is key, guys, consistency is key.

>The Midweek: Cheddar Ales’ Goat’s Leap

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…I’ve been wanting to try some of Cheddar’s range for a while now, buoyed by hearty recommendations from the likes of Boak & Bailey and others over the last year or so. So when Foley’s started stocking, I was quietly happy.

Not only that, but Goat’s Leap turned out to be what I hoped it would – outstanding. True to style, it’s a big IPA with a sweet, toffee-centric body, but with a light yet astringent ‘Green’ hop attack going on in the nose, along with a pleasantly long and refreshing bitter finish. At 5.5% it’s one to maybe keep your head around, but I could happily drink a lot of this. Kudos to both Foley’s and Cheddar. Top marks for pump-clip design, too.

I must have been on a Hop mission during last week’s session, because I also managed to finally try a beer made with Motueka hops. I confess to a bit of a blind spot – as both a homebrewer and beer nerd – when it comes to NZ hops. Mallinson’s Motueka is a single varietal beer, and they’ve kept the malts to a simple Pale option in order to let the hops shine through. And shine through they do – a smooth pint with a citrussy, distinctly Lemony edge. I was expecting something more floral and maybe even earthy based on what I’d read, but the aroma and finish were pure zest. Very nice indeed. Learning through beer sure is refreshing.

>The Keighley & WV Railways Beer & Music Festival 2008

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Right – another weekend, another Beer Festival. Love them or hate them, you at least get a chance to try as many beers as possible in a short space of time. Why a short space of time? Because once there, you kind of want to leave….

Anyway – it’s not about the people there, it’s about the beer. And that’s why I love beer festivals – because I am like a child in a sweet shop. Still. At my age.

This one, an annual event, but one that includes a pleasant ride on a steam train on the beautiful Keighley & Worth Valley railway, is one of the better ones. I did plan to have a pint of Taylor’s on the ride but to be honest, the tiny beer carriages were rammed. No bother – ten minutes later and we’re in Beervana.

The Oxenhope tramshed the festival is held in makes a nice change – the hulking steam trains make an interesting backdrop to boozing. The blues and jazz bands playing make a pleasant sound – although not particularly conducive to conversation – and the beer selection is excellent. In fact, my quest to finally taste Thornbridge’s Jaipur IPA ended here. And boy, am I glad it did. An excellent beer; sweet as hell to start and then drying out to pucker the lips and deliver that grassy, hoppy bitterness true of a true IPA. I know it’s jaded now, almost a year after notoriety, but I loved this. Gimme more.
Dark Star’s Hophead impressed, as did Mallinson’s Conkered – a rich, malty mild that certainly hit the spot. Oakham’s JHB followed much the same style – very nice indeed. Second only to the Jaipur, Salopian’s excellent Oracle deserves a mention. Flowery hops and a crisp, pale profile really stripped the palate back and refreshed after a couple of milds. Good work – one brewery I’ll be keeping an eye out for.

Looking around, I noticed the breadth of beers showing at this weekend jaunt. Goose Eye’s Bronte gained a thumbs-up from our drinking party, as did O’Hanlan’s Port Stout – which admittedly looked delicious. I had my eye on a few beers which I didn’t get to try; Triple FFF had their (surely prohibitively?) named Pressed Rat & Warthog going great guns, Milestone were pouring a raspberry wheat beer, and Durham had a massive selection, including one of my faves, their Amarillo. Greenfield also deserve a mention for seemingly (in my head, at least) naming a beer after my current fave Leeds Utd player – Delph Donkey (What next? Beckford’s Best? Becchio Bitter? Ankegren Ale?) – add to this a decent bottle bar and – most importantly – Roast Pork Sandwiches – and you’ve got one pleasant Saturday’s drinking.
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