Thursday, 29 July 2010

Hopping Mad


My ongoing central heating problems have been driving me to obsession, but a welcome distraction was offered yesterday. I don't drink that much during the week, but a suggestion from my mate John of a quick afternoon pint seemed to me to be just the thing to chase away the blues.

The venue was the ever excellent Baum in Rochdale. I spotted Acorn Green Bullet on the bar and made a bee line for it. I wasn't disappointed. The excellent body, lingering resinous hoppiness and insistent bitterness throughout was just what I needed. John was drinking Shipyard Independence Ale which he rated highly. I had a taste. Damn good. Simon the owner couldn't say who brewed it, but thanks to Rabidbarfly and Tyson, I know now it is brewed by the Shipyard brewer Alan Pugsley at Marstons, though thankfully at Banks' not Burton. No sulphur for me thanks. The story is here if you wish to read it. I had a pint and again it was superb with good hop presence throughout and another lasting hoppy finish. Alas these were just a temporary hiatus in my domestic heating problems.

I returned home to greet my central heating guy who still couldn't make the connection from my controller to the boiler work. Oh for a few more pints of Acorn or Shipyard at that point. Still, I had the compensation of looking back fondly at two superb beers and a pleasant interlude from the irritating obstacles that litter life. It was a reminder too that a quick pint with a mate in a pub, particularly when it is unexpected, gladdens the heart in a way that opening a bottle of beer at home never could.

11 comments:

RedNev said...

Final sentence: I couldn't agree more.

ShadowHider said...

Can't disagree with you about the Shipyard Independence. I had 3 pints of it on Tuesday evening. The only surprise is that you managed to stop at one :-))

Erlangernick said...

Glad to know I'm not the only one who had trouble identifying this one! I enjoyed it at the Bridge Inn in Menai Bridge a couple of weeks ago, alongside the Marston's Old Empire. The Independence was one of the very best beers of our Welsh holiday.

I thought I'd remembered incorrectly when I tried looking it up at home and came up with Shipyard in Maine though. Nice to know the story. (Might be a bit weak for the Yanks though.)

Jeff Frane said...

I'm amazed that the Shipyard brewed in the UK deserves your praise. What they brew on this side of the pond is largely pathetic.

Tandleman said...

Jeff - Maybe scaling it down to a swoopable 4.2% is the trick? No idea what the Yankee products are like, but this was good stuff.

Leigh said...

Yep, I tried this in York last week and, once finished, ordered another. Lovely beer. and again, yes, the sentiment is spot on.

Erlangernick said...

Wasn't at all Ringworm-y. It's not like US Pugsley beers. This one's brewed at Banks's, but their webbie age verification thing just redirects me back to the Shipyard blog.

Banks ain't a Ringwood brewery, is it?

Tandleman said...

Ringwoodiness is a peculiarly American obsession, but the answer is no. Prolly.

Erlangernick said...

I'll have to explore some Ringwood beers next time I'm on the islands, since every single Yank-brewed one I've had has been as if a sockback had been used instead of a hopback. With dirty, stinky socks.

Gazza Prescott said...

"Banks ain't a Ringwood brewery, is it?"

No, but they own Ringworm.

And I'd not bother tasting any, they've been kak for years.

Jeff Renner said...

Pugsley/Ringwood beers in the US suffer universally from smothering diacetyl. Happily, our local Pugsley brewpub (Grizzly Peak in Ann Arbor, Michigan) switched more than a year ago from the Ringwood yeast to WhiteLabs Essex, which I brought over from Ridley (RIP) and provided to White Labs. Wonderful improvement!