Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Manchester Born and Brewed



That's the strapline of Hydes, one of the big four family owned independent brewers in Manchester. Perhaps less well known than Lees, Holt's and Robinson's, nonetheless it has been around since 1863. Behind the Fort Apache exterior deep in Moss Side, it looks very traditional, but it houses a very modern and flexible brewing plant producing mainly traditional ale. It brews currently well over 100,000 barrels a year including the cask version of Boddington's, once the Cream of Manchester and now, sadly, irrelevant to any serious beer drinker. The brewery trips are superb and generous.

Our CAMRA meeting last night was held in the Merry Monk in Rochdale, a GBG pub selling three of their beers. Most of us drank the luscious Mild, Owd Oak Dark (they also do a light mild) though some were on bitter and one or two on Jekyll's Gold. The Owd Oak was superb. Dark, creamy headed with some hops and fruit and a slight lactic edge. Very moreish. Greater Manchester is one of the last places in the UK where you can get good mild fairly easily. I drink it a lot and know how lucky I am to be able to do so.

5 comments:

Jeff Frane said...

You are lucky, you bastid. How come you didn't take me anywhere I could try Hydes?

If I had access to beers like the Lees Mild (and Bitter) I'd be nearly as rotund as you.

Tandleman said...

Jeff. Sorry. You are!

Matt said...

"It brews currently well over 100,000 barrels a year including the cask version of Boddington's, once the Cream of Manchester and now, sadly, irrelevant to any serious beer drinker."

Is this an indictment of the Boddingtons coming out of Hydes Brewery, bemoaning the loss Strangeways or both?

Tandleman said...

Neither!

Rednev said...

I recall a Hydes brewery trip around 15-20 years ago when we shown around by Mr Hyde himself, who in my view had decided to have some fun winding up CAMRA purists. When asked what he thought was the best form of dispense, he replied "electric pumps into oversized glasses". When asked when the beer was at its best, he said "as soon as it's in the cask", and wouldn't accept any argument about maturation.

Since then, I've sometimes thought he had a point about dispense; there'd certainly be no arguments about short measures. But then we'd never get that past the "wicket" brigade, would we?

Great brewery trip.