The lure of cut price beer brought large numbers of dedicated drinkers to a fairly anonymous industrial unit in Bury. This is the home of Outstanding Brewing Company Limited. By the time I arrived, a merry band led by Tyson, had been attempting to drink the place dry before the main body even got there. No problem though. Supplies seemed ample.
Dave Porter, the brewer and co-owner (who can certainly organise a piss up in a brewery) talked us through the plant and philosophy of the place. He has two brewing plants. A small 3 barrel brewery and a larger 30 barrel production plant. He teaches brewing from this location, constructs new breweries and in addition to the brewing operation, bottles and kegs beer on the premises. While cask ale is his main market, he will produce beer in other forms on request. All of his normal eleven beers are available as either cask, keg, Real Ale in a Bottle or filtered and stabilised in bottle. He also produces lager. Nothing will be under 4.4% abv as Dave feels the sub 4.4% part of the market is saturated enough. All beer is produced to vegan standards.
So what of the beer? The two cask ales on offer on our arrival were Blond (4.5%) and Standing Out (5.5%). Blond was citrussy with good body, but not heavily hopped. It was very drinkable. Standing Out was, as the saying goes, "dangerously drinkable" with good body, warming alcohol and a good hoppy nose. Later as things deteriorated and judgement became clouded, a bock and a strong barley wine were trotted out. The barley wine as particularly good, with warming alcohol and a very hoppy, bitter taste. Somehow I missed trying out the bock. I also enjoyed the Pilsner Lager (5%) which had perfumy hops and great drinkability.
Dave is still tweaking his recipes and getting his production right, but watch out for these beers. They are good now and will get better!
We left at eleven. I got a text from Tyson waking me up, shortly after half past two in the morning. He had just left the building.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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