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Showing posts from April, 2015

Recap: York

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Well there is really only one place to start AND finish a crawl in York. And luckily that place is at the train station. The Tap has quickly established itself as one of the best outlets in the country. Is it the impressive conversion of a Victorian tearoom? Possibly, but the fact that it has 18 pumps dispensing the water of life doesn’t hurt, either. Also boasting a large range of ales-10-is Brigantes on Micklegate. This Market Tavern pub was refurbished in 2013 and looks either (a) clean and contemporary or (b) sterile, depending on your perspective. The chief talking point here, however, was the autovac: a device unknown in the civilised land of Lancashire. I’m not keen on these cost-saving devices as they return the drip tray contents back into the beer line; although they do tend to deliver an aesthetically pleasing pint in the process. The Blue Bell on Fossgate is, of course, known for its nationally historic interior. That and for always being rammed. Uncomfortably warm in there…

Recap: London Brewpubs

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London has many beer wonders to keep the travelling imbiber amused. From the crème de la crème of craft beer bars to the olde worlde charm of Sam Smiths pubs. From shiny brewery taprooms to shiny sparkling brewpubs. And it was the latter of these that was the focus of our last excursion into London Murky land.
First stop was the White Hart at Mile End Road in the heart of the East End. Forget about the fictionalised Eastenders view of the area with cockney barrow boys peddling their traditional wares. This is the real East End with a dazzling cosmopolitan array of sights and sounds. Coming out of Whitechapel station, you do pass a genuine slice of East End history before you reach the brewpub. The Blind Beggar pub is notorious for being the venue where Ronnie Kray murdered George Cornell in 1966. More prosaically, it’s also outside of where William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, held his first open air sermon. Of beery note, it also used to be the brewery tap of Manns, of B…

Flying Shuttle To Close

There has been much wringing of hands locally at the news that town centre pub the Flying Shuttle is to close. The Bury Times broke the story here and although they obviously never read this blog or indeed their own archives, judging by the factual errors, you can read between the lines to see where the problem lies. Now the Shuttle has had a somewhat chequered history as I made clear back in 2008. However the fact remains that it is in a great location and reeks of untapped potential. The notice of its closure caught people on the hop as it was assumed that as it was so obvious what needed doing with it, that it was only a matter of time before Thwaites revamped it.
Bury is now ranked the 3rd most popular retail destination in Greater Manchester with only the city centre and the Trafford Centre being more popular. On one side of town lies the multi-million pound development The Rock whilst on the other side is the famous Bury Market and the shopping precinct. The flying Shuttle lies b…

Breakfast Beer Tasting: Mikkeller Sort Gul

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Well what better way to banish memories of the Easter break than with a breakfast beer? This morning it’s a beer from our old friends Mikkeller. Sort Gul comes in a 330ml bottle and is a 7.3% black IPA. Indeed the approximate translation is “Black Yellow” which kind of gives the game away. It was quite lively and poured dark mahogany with a fair-sized tan head. The aroma was very promising indeed: bold tones of chocolate, coffee, berried fruit-winberry, plums and a strong undercurrent of citrus infusion.  These characteristics are somewhat reversed in the actual taste. There is a solid backbone of dark chocolate with a hint of roast coffee but the hop element really pushes forward. There’s plenty of grapefruit, lychee and a pithy orange peel kick that delivers a really crisp hop-led assault on the taste buds.
Tyson says: Excellent from start to finish. This really delivers the goods as far as black IPAs are concerned.