April has been a busy beery month for me so I apologise for not updating as often as usual.
It all started off with the 40th Newcastle beer and cider festival at the university of northumbria student union I was involved in building the bars and tapping close to 200 kegs.
I could do a whole post on some of the beers available but I shall keep it brief my top three beers of the festival were (in no particular order)
Mordue – code red 40
Mordue won the battle of the beers for the third time with this effort previous winners being radgie gadgie and workie ticket. A traditional English red elevated by fruit flavours and nice finish
Hop studio – fire and ice billed as the antidote to dark winter ales it’s a pale beer with loads of dark fruit aromas and a kick of vanilla I liked this so much as it was completely off the wall
but ballanced well and just worked
Anarchy brew Co – offspring a blonde ale mixing Brittish American and Belgian styles
Honerable mentions to Cullercoats brewerys life begins at 40, last year’s battle of the beer winners hop and cleaver profondo rosso and tiny rebels stay puft marshmalow porter
As a thank you for my help at the festival (see new years resolutions post one down) I was rewarded with a mystery coach trip that turned out to be to Masham, Yorkshire and the Theakstons brewery. Theakstons have been making beer in Masham since 1872 and the beautiful old buildings that make up the current mainly unchanged brewery shows that.
At the end of a entertaining tour we got to the tasting, I had the best tasting old peculiar that left me pondering why can’t beer ever taste as good as it does at the brewery elsewhere, I know some don’t look after the beer very well but this was like a completely different beer. I also got to try the rest of the range including a old peculiar craft ipa hybrid with hops grown in the car park that was a interesting and not altogether unpleasant drink but not a patch on the original.
In 1987 the brewing juggernaut that is Scottish and Newcastle bought theakstons and moved brewing elsewhere until four family members bought the name and brought it home, but in the years in-between Paul theakston stood down as chairman and started a new brewery on the other side of the village and black sheep brewery was born.
Our tour of Blacksheep was very interesting in a modern building built with tours and guests in mind complete with bistro, one of the more interesting points was as Paul passed the brewery to his sons they immediately made the final change that dad never would and put black sheep in cans. After a taste test it was decided that Paul couldn’t taste the difference either, they now also produce a range of craft beers to sit alongside Blacksheep bitter and riggwelter.
I think the summary of the village is one of a history of brewing and of family with each generation adding a mark to the brewerys and over time changing to meet demand but somehow keeping standards high and that’s worth respecting.
So full of beer we chambered onto the coach for the two hour journey home but there was a final suprise lined up
The tan hill Inn is the highest pub in Britain at 1732ft above sea level this world famous Inn serves a good range of real ales and homemade food on top of the Yorkshire moors to tourists and regulars alike.
Overall a fun month of beers and one to remember, if you are interested in helping out at the beer festival and getting a spot on the thank you trip all Camra members can sign up on the festival website formz a few months before or keep a eye on the Camra branch Facebook account.
If you are not a Camra member I would while heartedly recommend it your £22 a month membership gets you £20 of weatherspoons real ale or cider vouchers quarterly magazine as well as a large range of discounts at a number of retailers, free or reduced entry at beer festivals and you can come to our many branch social outings Aswell.
That’s it for this month
North by north yeast