Thursday, 3 May 2012

Return of the Mac...

After a little break I thought it was time to hit the world with the second official blog. Duh duh DUH…!!!

In this episode we will bring you a review of a recent beer fest, reviews of some of our recent/past beers and also a general overview of everything us.


The beer fest in question was the Slip Inn (York) beer fest running from the 27th April – 29th April. This was the first time that I’d visited this particular beer fest but myself and Kerry had visxited the pub previously and was impressed.

Situated close to the river, The Slip Inn generally hosts 5 real ales on a rotation basis.

This being the first beer fest I’ve been to this year I felt that, mainly due to the presence of Brass Castles Bad Kitty, I must try this fest.

I was disappointed. Now this was not due to the fest, as you will find out, but more that Bad Kitty wasn’t ready… My love in the real ale world was not here… HEARTBROKEN…!!!

Ok, well, let’s say a little about the fest itself. It ran on a token basis. It ran on a £10 token sheet basis with an additional £2 per glass price (£1 was refundable on return of the glass – Why return a beer fest glass? : Gareth)

The outside bar stocked the majority of the ales with 2 very friendly staff, the female being very friendly working her way through the ample amounts of ale available.
Heaters where provided outside and where welcomed due to the constant downpour.

One thing I have noted is that a lot of fests are stingy on their portions of ale serving less than the half required. This was not one of them. A good half plus some was served and welcomed to the weary traveller and gulped down with all the enthusiasm of Elvis’s biggest fan on his last tour date.

As the afternoon built up, being there from 3 when the fest opened, the atmosphere built and built and a lively selection of customers appeared. A certain gentleman in question.

Following the ale circles I have come across a gentleman who is trying to have 800 Real Ales within a year period. Now bear in mind that this is April, he had already hit the 520 mark and was going strong. (I daren’t mention that he is a bus driver too… Eep…)

Right time for the beer…

Bridestones Black Jack – 4.5%
This is a light but very caramely ale with hints of smoke and haze. It is easy to drink and would fall into the category of a session beer. 

Truefitt Ironopolis Stout – 4.7%
Light and smokey with subtle hints of vanilla. Caramel follows and lingers on the taste buds finishing off with a delicate liquorice taste that complements the sweetness that came before.


Northern Hit and Run – 4.5%
This is a hoppy but fruity ale with a definite note of Raspberry. A slight tang and bitter quality is left on your cheeks gaining enough balance to compliment the sweetness in this beer.


Hadrian and Border Ouseburn Porter – 5.2
Well rounded, rich and creamy cocoa which creeps through the ale giving it a much well thought out taste. While hints of bitterness creep through this ale is remarkably moreish and a delight to drink.


Treeboom Beat No. 1 – 3.8%
Slight citrus notes in the nose which lead to an odd combination of sweet citrus and bitter coriander on the tongue. The overall taste has the lasting impression of something a 1945 veteran would have been sucking on in the blackout days. It is spiced and sweet which lead to Christmas and the memories that remain and yet this gives it more of an appeal.#

Rudgate York Chocolate Stout – 4.9
Now this is an interesting beer. For all those people who have lived close to the Nestle factory you will know what I mean. Sweet yet bitter, inviting but pushing you away in the same intricate sweep. A move that brings you closer to her bosom but yet you still remain at that distance, wanting more, longing for that glorious taste. This is a truly remarkable ale brewed but Rudgate. LONG LIVE YCS…!!! (And I don’t say that lightly…)

Now time for Ales gone past…

Last year we (Me, Kerry, Ian, Rod and Jay) hit the York Beer Fest. This was mine and Kerry’s first time and was we impressed. A vast amount of beer, some good food and some great company. I can’t wait till this years…

What I can do now is give a brief overview of the beers I sampled and the other beers people sampled during our afternoon. (We were a little drunk by the end.)

Yorkshire Heart Brewery JRT Best Bitter – 4.2%
Light and citrus finish.

Brass CastleBrewery Bad Kitty – 5.5
Chewy chocolate vanilla porter with hints of dreaminess and heaven. A delight to savour and a pleasure to drink.
(I’ve been chasing this drink since last fest and not had a pint yet. York Tap have it on this week…Cross fingers…)

North Riding Brewery Bountiful Mild – 4.5%
Special version of Fat Lads Mild with coconut .

OuseburnValley Milk Stout – 4.4%
Liquorice and slight coffee.

Sportsman Pigeon Bridge Porter – 4.7%
Liquorice and blackcurrant finish.

YorkshireDales Smoked Porter – 5.5%
Dark with smoked malts.

As you can see I have limited tasting notes for these (blame my company for our drunkenness) but I chose these for a reason. All very good ESPECIALLY the Bad Kitty which had become my all-time favourite beer and a Micro-Brewery (Brass Castle Brewery from Pocklington) that I champion everywhere I go and at any point I can.
It was recently showcased at the Hull Beer Fest and the Slip Inn, York Fest and continues to grow and draw in lovers every time it is allowed out into the world for us to savour and bask in its glory. A must even if you do not like dark ales. If this is not featured at the GBBF (GreatBritish Beer Fest) I will be disappointed by the organisers…!!!


The following list is the other beers that where tried by everyone else with us.

Ascot Anastasia’s Imperial Stout – 8.0
Brew Co. Holy Smoke – 4.9
Brown Cow Captain Oates Mild – 4.5 (A personal favourite)
Elland 1872 Porter – 6.5
Haworth Steam Ironclad 957 – 4.3
Magic Rock Dark Arts – 6.0
Malisons Amarillo – 4.2
Scottish Borders Dark Horse – 4.5
Steamer Wine Saison – 6.0
Steel City Darkthrone Sorachi Porter – 4.5
Thornbridge Browne – 4.3
Welbeck Abbey Earnest George – 4.2

Well thats it for now I think... Time for sleep or maybe a few more...

Gareth & Kerry

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