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Trof And Brewdog Festival, Less Is More For Ale And Other Stories

Neil Sowerby's August Beer Round-up

Written by . Published on August 20th 2012.

Trof And Brewdog Festival, Less Is More For Ale And Other Stories

NOT content with introducing Manchester to the full range of their craft beers in their own Peter Street bar, BrewDog have teamed up with the Trof chain to host a beer and food-matching banquet in the Deaf Institute’s Victorian Music Hall.

Music Hall at the Deaf InstituteMusic Hall at the Deaf Institute

The one-off event takes place from 7-10pm on Thursday, August 23. The £20 a head ticket includes half pints of BrewDog's award-winning draught beers such as 5am, Punk IPA, Hardcore, Dogma and Lost Dog plus some rarities. Dish pairings will include:

• Mini Yorkshire puddings with pork and sage chipolatas. Matched with 5am hoppy amber ale.

• Punk IPA battered haddock goujons  (Punk IPA)

• Mature cheddar cheese rarebit (Hardcore IPA).

• Individual Lancashire cheese hot pots, pickled cabbage (Dogma, a heather infused Scotch ale).

•  Cheeses and chutneys (Alice Porter).

• Frosted chocolate brownie. Matched with Lost Dog, ‘an imperial porter with notes of red berries’ created in collaboration with Californian brewery Lost Abbey.

Tickets direct from here

AT this this year’s CAMRA Great British Beer Festival overall Champion across all categories, was Coniston’s No.9 Barley Wine, a potent 8.5 per cent brew described by the judges as ‘having fantastic finesse, reminiscent of a fine cognac.’

The brewery based behind the Black Bull pub on Coniston Water made its reputation by winning the competition in 1998 with the quite different Bluebird, a pale hoppy session bitter.

Congratulations to our own Dunham Massey Brewery for winning a gold in the Speciality Beer category for their Chocolate Cherry Mild.

Silver in the same section went to Little Valley, the organic brewery based on the moors above Hebden Bridge for their Hebden’s Wheat.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Little Valley brewer Wim van der Spek has just created a unique speciality – Ampleforth Abbey Beer (7 per cent), the first English Abbey beer for 450 years.

It has been commissioned for the Altrincham Bottle & Cask Festival, held over the Bank Holiday weekend (August 25-27) at Altrincham Brew House (formerly Le Trappiste). Full details here.

The festival aims to raise money for Stockdales a centre for those with learning disabilities in Hale. Toby and Caroline McKenzie of Macclesfield’s Redwillow brewery have donated  a kilderkin of their Endless, renamed StockdALE, all proceeds going the the charity.

I met Caroline the other week at a Harvey Nichols Foodmarket open day. She was promoting their bottled Wreckless, which the store is now stocking. Great choice by Rick and the team there. Redwillow, which has just celebrated its second birthday, is the brightest newcomer to the local brewery scene with a series of expressive beers (all ending in -less), which compare well with the benchmark Thornbridge and knock spots of BrewDog in terms of style and subtlety.

4.8 per cent golden ale Wreckless showcases the quality. Loaded with Citra and Amarillo hops, it’s hoppy and aromatic yet perfectly balanced. For the full hop attack, I’d suggest Ageless, also on the HN shelves. Click here.

Redwillow BottlesRedwillow Bottles

That little gem, the Microbar in the Arndale Food Hall stocks a much larger range of bottled Redwillow and the Mark Addy pub down Bridge Street always has at least one on the pumps. (Check out the Microbar for an evolving bottled beer selection – Brodies and Tryst are currently on the shelves).

ANOTHER new brewery has just launched, according to CAMRA mag Open Times. North Reddish-based Ringway is the project of a Geordie exile called Paul Alderson, who is firm against the ‘hop monster’ in ales in favour of trad bitters and quaffable session ales. I’m looking forward to trying them.

I have finally caught up with another newcomer that isn’t quite. Blackjack ales are brewed by Rob Hamilton, once of Marble, using the old 4.5 barrel brewing kit that was in the Marble Arch. He’s even brewing in railway arch premises close to Marble’s new brewery. And do they resemble the ‘mothership’ products? The pale, characterful Blackjack New Deck (4.2 per cent) certainly reminded me of a lighter Lagonda.

Blackjack beers can be found across the city centre freehouses – the pump clips feature two playing cards. This is a gamble that could definitely pay off.

Roll out the barrelRoll out the barrel

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