Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Grim up North?




I have two brewery trips this week. Rather unusual to have two in a week, but it'll be a change. First on Thursday night a welcome return to Millstone, just out of our area in Mossley, where Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cheshire boundaries meet. Their beers are hoppily superb, their hospitality legendary and their enthusiasm for what they do infectious.

On Saturday it's the much newer Green Mill in Rochdale. I haven't been there before, but I've largely enjoyed their beers, so look forward to trying them at their freshest. That's just two of the excellent breweries in Greater Manchester. Come to think of it, three of the best micros in the country are here. I'm talking about Pictish, Phoenix, and Marble. We really are blessed in Greater Manchester to have so many top notch breweries producing cutting edge, drinkable beer and of course, just across the wild frontier, there is West Yorkshire with even more good stuff from Mallinsons, Elland, Ossett and many more.

Our snooty Southern Jessie neighbours can just wonder at the bountiful magnificence of it all as they choke down their predominantly warm, brown, flat, hopless slutch.*


*Thick mud of a wet nature, soil that has been mixed in with rain and then walked through to create slutch. Maybe a Lancashire expresion. - The Urban Dictionary

22 comments:

Jeff Pickthall said...

You seem to imply there is such a thing "cutting edge, UNdrinkable beer". Could you be more specific?

Tandleman said...

No I don't imply that though I suppose it may well exist.

Jeff Pickthall said...

I've never heard of slutch, and I'm a genuine born and bred Lancastrian.

Cooking Lager said...

Don't be telling the world how great the North is, you'll have the soft southeners moving up to promised land. Keep telling them it's grim, rains a lot and the only food is fried.

Tandleman said...

Jeff - Can't say why it isn't known to you. My mob in the pub use it when the lane is particularly muddy. Maybe it is a Southern Lancashire thing? I just don't know.

CL

You are thinking of Scotland.

haddonsman said...

I've just spent a week round the likes of Huddersfield, Manchester and Sheffield. Beers were often good. Even better when the sparkler was taken off...

Tandleman said...

To each his own.

Tyson said...

Aye "slutch" is believed to be a local corruption of slush-itself a variation on sludge.

It's actually possible to remove sparklers??? Can't think why you'd want to, mind you, but it's good to know.

Woolpack Dave said...

I've had Millstone beers, quite nice for a session beer. Didn't quite rate them in the "cutting edge" category though. Perhaps they are compared to the Manchester family brewers.

Removing sparklers is important for cleaning - otherwise I'd super-glue mine ON.

haddonsman said...

We had Dobber at the Marble Arch, Manchester - one pint with sparkler on, one with it off. Have to admit, the latter tasted better for longer.

Southern Sam said...

Superb beers avaiable up north and some great places in which to drink them. However, surely its only a matter of time before they shift most of it to the more lucrative market where folk don't have a £2.40 limit per pint.

After all, Bordeaux and Champagne would hardly be what they are as wine regions if they relied merely on local peasants as their main market.

Tandleman said...

£2.40 a pint in free houses? I wish.

Woolpack Dave said...

Oh blast, I've got Barngates Moth Bag at £2.30 a pint on at the mo. I'll have to put my prices up.

Gazza Prescott said...

I know what slutch is and I'm from Mid-Cheshire so it's a North-West thing methinks.

The aforementioned tour around Huddersfield, Sheffield and Manc reminded me yet again just how shit anywhere south of Crewe is for pale, hoppy beers... with sparklers, obviously. I just can't see why people would want to drink muddy brown beer without any hop presence? or should we call it slutch...?

Paul Bailey said...

"Warm, brown, flat, hopeless slutch" - that sounds like fighting talk to me Tandleman. At least we can enjoy our beer without having to drink our way through an inch or so of meringue first!

And where did this snooty Southern Jessie nonsense come from? Envy? or is it that Northerners still have a huge chip on their shoulders?

ps. Southern Sam is correct in what he says. After all why are Timothy Taylors shipping, and selling, increasing amounts of their beer south of Watford? Where they lead, others will surely follow!

Paul Garrard said...

I'm neutral being neither from the north or south. Give me a golden (not too) cool eastern ale everytime.

Nice to see the Andy Capp cartoon - I used to draw Andy over and over in my school text books. Much better than concentrating on the lessons.

Tandleman said...

Paul B - It was slightly tongue in cheek. But only very slightly as there is a serious message here. No need either for beer envy, which is my point. If you guys want to drink flabby HOPless (though the Freudian "hopeless works too") - fine.

When I read some bloggers eulogising the awful London Pride and contributors agreeing with it, I despair. OK. You haven't much choice, but honestly.

Oh and I guess TT see an opportunity. Who knows what that'll do for other Northern brewers? Nowt I'd guess.

Tandleman said...

Gazza - Slutch it is. Though appropriately and not obsessively obviously.

moleha4 said...

Eh oop, whereas I certainly welcome beers from the likes of Pictish, Thornbridge, Phoenix, Acorn, Ossett/Fernandes in the likes of the Wenlock, Old Fountain, Edgar Wallace there are i.m.h.o good golden and/or hoppy beers to be had from southerners such as Dark Star, Crouch Vale, Red Squirrel, Triple FFF, Twickenham, Goachers, Meantime, Brodies etc. And for every Shepherd Neame there is a Robinsons (allegedly).

Tandleman said...

Good point and absolutely relevant too, but the issue is that they are much rarer beasts dan saff both in the breweries that brew them and the outlets that sell them.

Paul Bailey said...

Thanks for your response Tndleman. Yes, I appreciate the initial comment was just that little bit tongue in cheek, but this North v South beer thing is a hoary old chestnut that we could argue about all day.

I have to agree with your comment about London Pride, having had a pint this lunchtime (it was that or GK IPA!), but like one of your other correspondents said there are a lot of very good beers available in this half of the country as well. Breweries like Dark Star and Hop Back are obvious candidates, but then so are Harveys, Goachers, Larkins and Whitsable - to name just a few locally.

As for pale, hoppy beers, well the style was invented by the likes of Exmoor and Hop Back - and where are they located? in the South of course! Pale Northern beers such as Boddingtons and Theakstons USED to be hoppy as well, but this is no longer the case.

I'm off out tonight, hopefully not for a pint of Slutch!

wittenden said...

This north/south thing is a bit tedious: I was at university with a professional Yorkshireman, and the topic was debated over many pints of Norwich Mild-turned out his favourite Yorkshire beer was Sam Smith's Ayingerbrau, bless him.
The beauty of our English ale is the variety:one day I'll pine for Goose Eye's No -eyed deer-silly name, excellent beer, the next I'll want Harveys or Larkin's. Sometimes I'll nostalgically imagine drinking a pint of Paine's-deep slow as the midland rivers: yes, slutchy!