Not many who read this will know of Brendan Dobbin. Many will know of the Marble Arch and the Porterhouse Breweries though. Brendan designed both of them in their original incarnations. He was an advocate of heavy hopping and more than that, long before it became a usual thing to do, twenty years ago, he used American and New Zealand hops in his brewery in the bowels of the King's Arms in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester. (That's the rough one, not leafy Chorlton-cum-Hardy in case you are wondering.)
I knew Brendan a little as he supplied the pub I used to drink in, which sold among other beers of his, Ginger Beer, a forerunner of many. His bottled lagers (all done laboriously by hand) were interesting too (the diat pils had an OG of 1040 and an ABV of 5.5%) and his Guiltless Stout cocked a snook at a certain large Dublin brewer. His Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, later changed under threat of legal action to Yakima Grande was the stuff that set him out from the crowd. If you tasted it, you'll remember it. He even brewed an ESB as I recall. Famous "scooper" Gazza Prescott, now of Steel City Brewing rightly has him down as one of his "hop heroes". You can read what Gazza says here. There is also some interesting background about the area the pub was in. If anything Gazza is kind to it. It was decidedly scary.
The guy was a legend and still consults and builds breweries apparently, though he was also known to be growing bananas in Ireland! Why this nostalgia? The labels again. When I visited Brendan many years ago for a tour round the brewery, he gave me a few labels. Some of them are in the photo.
So was the micro brewing revolution started by Brendan Dobbin? Maybe not, but he was a pioneer and where he went, others have followed. That's worth raising a new world hop filled glass to surely?
Guinness took Brendan to court for alleged infringement of copyright. Read about that here. I won't spoil it for you by telling you who won.
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.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
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