Category Archives: Saltaire Brewery

>Autmunal Pickings; Tumblers and Blasts

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Yep. It’s here. Officially. We are in Autumn (in fact, Winter’s around the corner) and incidentally, my favourite season for beer. This might sound strange coming from a self-confessed Pale freak, but Autumn – and Autumnal Beers – are so varied, from Strong Pales to Porters and Stouts, that I really look forward to October. Plus, as a cooling, slightly chilled Pale is to Summer, a full-bodied, warming Strong Mild or Stout is to Autumn. However, you don’t have to default to the more obvious darker beers – so here’s a pick of what I’ve been enjoying at home for the past month or so.
First up is Brooklyn’s Winter Ale (6.0abv). I guess it’s Brooklyn’s take on a Scottish Ale, and I like it. True, it’s not quite as full-bodied as we are used to in the UK, but there’s plenty to recommend; a biscuity, satisfying blend of malts in the body, and a restrained hoppiness that makes a nice change for Brooklyn; a touch of spice at the end rather than a full-on hop assault. One I’d like to try on draught; preferably on a chilly Autumnal, New York afternoon. I’d had this in the cellar since Spring, and it held up perfectly well.

Sierra Nevada’s Tumbler (5.5%abv) is a relatively new addition to their stable. The label and legend on the neck is Sierra Nevada at their idyllic best; talk of long afternoons and falling leaves. The beer itself is an odd one; the nose is all cola, black pepper and cloves, but this doesn’t really translate into the taste of the beer. There’s a savoury, almost vegetal note which fades to a sweet, maple-led finish – along with more restrained hopping. I’m not saying I didn’t like it; far from it – it’s an interesting beer, although I’d like to drink some more before I can fully get my head around it’s taste.

My final American beer is Dogfish Head’s Raison D’etre (8.0% abv). I love Raisin in beer – it’s a flavour we don’t do enough over here but I can always rely on DFH to produce something flavourful and rich. Crystal-clear Mahogany in colour, the nose is herbal at first before that rich, sweet vine fruit note pops up. On the sip, however, things are a little less sweet than you’d expect – there’s Demerara/Burnt sugar there, and little drying coffee on the edges. It’s much less cereal-led than Cain’s Raisin, for example – much more in the ballpark as, say, Chimay Red. My bottle was a little short in the way of head, although carbonated fine – again, another beer I’d like to sample on Cask (if such a thing exists!).

Ok, onto beers from our fine shores. Rodham’s beers are micro in the truest sense – produced by Michael Rodham in his house, and sold through a very limited selection of outlets, mostly in Yorkshire. I picked this up in the Temple Newsam farm shop, where I understand Rodham works in the grounds. Old Albion Porter (5.5%abv) is probably his best beer in my opinion; a porter which ticks all the boxes – slightly smoky, sweet, satisfying and rich with a firm, biscuity malt spine. You might not be able to find this one easily, but if you’re going to seek one out, seek out Old Albion. It occasionally finds it’s way into beer festivals – one assumes when Rodham finds time to brew it!

Autumn doesn’t have to mean dark – Orkney’s Orkney Blast is a perfect example of a warming, satisfying beer. An Award-winner (and rightly so), it’s one of the most complex golden ales you’re likely to find in the UK. Juicy malt, with a herbal (Thyme or Rosemary?) note running right through the taste, your tastebuds try to process that lot when a massive tart hop profile hits you right on the end of the sip. One of my friends actually thinks it’s more along the lines of an IPA than a ‘Strong Golden Ale’, and I can see where he’s coming from. It’s an aggressive beer, but one that begs to be enjoyed slowly, as the nights draw in and that heating gets turned up.

It’s not all bottled fun – BrewDog Edge remains my stand-out beer of the season so far, and Wetherspoon’s Autumn Beer Festival (on now) will see the beer popping up at a ‘Spoons near you. Saltaire’s Harvest Moon is one of the best beers they’ve produced for a while in my opinion, and York’s excellent Centurion’s Ghost should be doing the rounds a little more often now. Rooster’s Mocha Stout is also filtering through to handpumps near you right about now – speaking of Rooster’s, their peppery, gingery Pumpkin Ale pretty much sold out in a couple of days in Leeds from what I understand. I liked it; but obviously it divided opinion. Personally I thought it was one of the better Ginger and spice -led pales I’ve tried. Good work, lads.
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>Ilkley’s Mary Jane Inflitrates Parliament…

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Kudos to local boys Ilkley Brewing Co – thier pale thirst-quencher Mary Jane is now a guest ale in the House of Commons, just to top off an award-winning few months. Good work. Other local tidbits – keep an eye out for some excellent sounding one-offs from Rooster’s in the next few weeks, including an UK-hopped IPA & a Whiskey-Barrel aged Stout, amongst others….popular Saltaire are holding a beer festival on September 17th – tickets will be available from Saltaire Brewery directly from 1st July…Great Heck Brewery have bought O’Donaghues in Wakefield, so there will be a regular outlet for their beers there – as well as an upcoming launch for the newly minted Ridgeside Brewery, who are currently brewing their first batch of beer…and finally, moving out of Yorkshire, belated congrats to The Highland Brewing Company, whose wonderfully complex Orkney Blast has won Champion Beer of Scotland at CAMRA’s recent national real ale festival. A fitting award for a wonderful beer.

>Thorne Dutch Pale/Saltaire

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…Apologies for the lack of activity recently but I’m incredibly busy at the moment, with work and sorting wedding stuff out – but with it being Cask Ale week and all (What? You didn’t know?Shame on you…), I’ve been substituting lunch for Beer and getting some midweek drinking done.

Thorne’s Vermuyden Pale Ale (4.7%) has been the pick of the beery bunch. I’ve sampled Thorne’s Best before and found it to be solid enough, with a nice depth of flavour, but I really do like this self-proclaimed Dutch Pale – although what makes it Dutch I’m not quite sure. Straw-coloured, with a fresh, zingy grass-like hop aroma up front, the body is nicely cereal and incorporates a little hint of almond towards the end. It’s a good example of a pale with actual depth of flavour.
Thorne are a hard-working community Brewery set up by enthusiasts – if you want to know more about their beers then jump onto their page via the link above. And if you see any of their beers knocking about this week, give them a try.

And finally some news for Saltaire fans – the ever-popular brewery are expanding their bottled range, with Blonde and Siba Gold Award-Winning Triple Chocoholic hitting the shelves soon. Huzzah!
Edit: Anonymous – yep, you’re right. Looks like I need to lay off the lunchtime beers! Edited, needless to say.

>The Midweek – Saltaire and Fuller’s

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…Two great, great pints enjoyed this week at The Palace.

First up, Saltaire’s Texas Brown which, ludicrous name aside, is a formidable beer and one that I hope they brew a lot more of – they get through a lot of brews, those Saltaire fellas. A huge, malty, complex bitter, with a toffee and caramel nose and a massive hops hit at the end of the gulp. Verrry nice, verrry moreish – but at 4.7%, very warming too.

Next up, Fuller’s Chiswick. Call me slow on the uptake, but this, I liked. I sometimes can be guilty of passing up ‘big’ brewers in favor of smaller ones just for the ethics of it but I am really glad I chose this. A classic, creamy pale body with a great floral/peppery hop aroma and light enough that it disappeared at record speed. I’ll be trying this again, no worries.

>Garlic & Mushroom Pork with Herbed Roast Potatoes

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This easy to make, quick recipe has a cosy, wintry feel – perfect for these darker, colder nights. It’s easy to make but looks great, and tastes pretty good, too!

You will need:
One pork tenderloin, cut into inch-thick medallions (you should get about 8 medallions)
Roasting Potatoes – about four per person
Goose fat
Olive oil
200g Double Cream
Butter
Garlic (4 Cloves)
Seasoning (Salt, Black Pepper, fresh Thyme & Rosemary, chopped)
Fresh Parsley, chopped.

1. (For the roast potatoes) Preheat the oven to 200C – Chop the potatoes into chunks and dust in plain flour. Add the chopped herbs, coat, and then transfer to a roasting tin. Add the goose fat, and roast for about 30 mins, basting with the fat every ten minutes or so.
2. When the potatoes are cooked, Slice the pork into medallions, about half an inch thick. Heat your griddle pan until hot, and then sear the pork on each side. When cooked to your liking, take off the pan and leave to rest.
3. In a good pan, melt one knob of butter, and add the chopped garlic. Leave to sauté for a minute or so, and then add the chopped mushrooms. Add a little more Olive Oil, and then turn down the heat and add the Double Cream. Season with crushed black pepper and warm through.
4. Arrange the pork on the plate and pour the sauce on top. Serve with the potatoes and some steamed greens such as Spinach and Runner Beans.

There – I said it was easy! I served this with Saltaire’s Goldings Ale – light, golden, fragrant and sharp, the beer offers enough bite to cut through the strong garlic and herb flavours, yet is mellow enough not to overpower. Saltaire are producing some great beers right now – in fact, I enjoyed a couple of pints of thier Rye Smile only last night – a great, fresh session ale. Cheers!

http://www.saltairebrewery.co.uk/

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