Wednesday, 24 September 2008

An Hour Out

A phone call from the landlady of our pub. Do I fancy an hour out in Huddersfield, as she has to drop some stuff off to a friend that runs a JDW there? Considering my plan had been to mooch aimlessly about the house, why not?

The Cherry Tree is a particularly soulless version of the JDW genre, but it was bright and busy. The clientèle was mixed and cheerful. The staff were mature and knew their customers. No-one smelt of pee as far as I could tell. Now Huddersfield is a competitive place for good beer. The place positively hoaches with it, so the Cherry Tree majors on good cask ale with a decent choice both on and coming. I tried a half of the dependable Roosters Yankee and one of the Bora Bora from Elland. The barman asked me if I could identify the unusual ingredient. We agreed it was likely to be chocolate malt. The beer was heavily hopped and brown. I didn't care for it much, thinking the chocolate taste unbalanced the beer more than a tad. Howard Town Monks Gold was more than a touch hazy, but tasted fine.

We had only an hour and a half before the meter ran out. My companion was on the soft drinks and coffee, but she had landlady like things to do later, so that was our lot. I was tempted by the barmaid (a smashing lass in every way) into trying some wine, as it was all on offer. Any wine for the price of the house stuff. Errazuriz Carmanère was so rich and luscious, it filled every corner of my mouth with jammy berry fruit and peppery spice, but the star of the show was old world. Chateau Neuf du Pape (Caves St Pierre) was well structured, silky and complex. I could have had another. OK I did. The landlady bought a bottle to take away. At £7.95 it was £6 and more below its usual JDW price and worth it.

So a rare foray into wine drinking in a pub for me. It will be back to normal tonight. I am visiting Outstanding Brewing at Bury. Tyson will be there. I'll say hello for you.


Paul Garrard said...

You're on a slippery slope. Wine in a pub?

MicMac said...

Yeah - surely that'll your CAMRA credentials out the window? ;~) What's it worth to keep schtum?

(Hi Pete, hope you're OK - how was Outstanding?)

a swift one... said...

Just noticed your photo of the board with it's colour description for each beer. This seems to have become a standard thing in real ale pubs in Huddersfield in a little under two years. The Rat goes for an A-E code with A being the palest (though it's possible to have an A+ etc). A similar asterisk code can now be found at the Grove. I guess it prevents a lot of time wasting at the bar by those who can't figure it out for themselves. I have heard people come into the Rat, ignore the board and ask if Ossett Pale Gold is a dark beer - honest! I mean FFS!!

Joel said...

Wine in a pub?! Next thing you know you'll be singing the praises of Southern conditioning!

Tandleman said...

I would NEVER go that far and the wine was a bit of a "one off".