Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Return of a Legend. Dobbin's Yakima Grande Pale Ale


Readers of this blog may recall my admiration of one Brendan Dobbin, who some say, and I'm among them, pioneered artisanal "beer with a difference" in this country.  I first wrote about Brendan in this blog post dated 6th December 2010.  It was titled "The Start of the Revolution?". I urge you to read that post in conjunction with this one.  It deserved far more comments than it actually achieved and will set the scene for what I'm about to tell you.

Courtesy of my good friend John Clarke - also an early advocate and admirer of Mr D - I hear that the beer that made him a legend throughout the beery types of Manchester and far beyond, is set to return.  The beer is Yakima Grande Pale Ale and believe me, it is the stuff of legend.  It will be brewed by Conwy Brewery in North Wales, under licence, to the exact Dobbin recipe.  The man himself has been responsible for supply and set up of Conwy's new brewery in Llysfaen, where a new 25BBl brewery designed by Brendan, has been installed.  The beer, under the famous Dobbin brand, West Coast Brewing will, excitingly, use the original Dobbin yeast.  The letter, to John and his colleagues, is reproduced with his permission.

Hi John, Mark, and Phil, Please allow me to introduce myself my name is David Worsley, I am the sales representative for Conwy Brewery Ltd in North Wales and have been in the brewing industry for the last 46 years, with Hydes Anvil Brewery in Manchester and since 2012, with Conwy Brewery, I thought it might be nice to let you know that an old cask beer favourite will be returning to the North West of England in early June. As you may already know our wonderful cask ales are already a great favourite in and around the North West especially in Manchester, Stockport, Chorley, and Bolton, we have teamed up with Brendan Dobbin to produce this wonderful cask ale using his original recipe the Malt, Hops, and yeast strain, it will be sold under the West Coast Brewing Banner. Brendan was along with yourselves of course key to reviving cask beers in the 70s, 80s and early 90s with both his West Coast Brewing brand of cask beers and his Firkin Brewpub Chain and we were only too pleased when he assisted us in installing our new brewery equipment and allowing us to brew his beers under license through the West Coast Brand. We are positive this wonderful beer will be well received as it was over 20 years ago and I would ask you all to spread the word that Brendan s beers are back where they belong giving true cask beer drinkers a taste of the past brought to them from North Wales No 1 Brewery.

Details of this wonderful beer are as follows; Dobbins Yakima Grande Hoppy Pale Ale, ABV 5.0%, I am sure the good people of the North West will once again be very pleased with this unique cask beer.

I do hope you find the above of interest, but if you would like any more details or information on any of our beers or services, brewery tours also catered for, please do not hesitate to contact me.

For those that wish to try the beer, and there will be many I'm sure, John tells me that the beer, which is only being brewed tomorrow, will be available at Stockport Beer and Cider Festival, which runs from the 29th to 31st May at Edgeley Park Stockport.  John said "We have ordered two firkins for Stockport Beer & Cider Festival.  It may not arrive until the Wednesday so is unlikely to be on sale before Friday night or Saturday (so it has time to settle properly - there will be a programme note to that effect). 

So there you have it.  A chance to actually taste one of the beers that started the beer revolution in this country.  History recreated.  All roads lead to Stockport.

You really can't overstate Brendan's importance in British Brewing in the early 1980s.  I'm sure too, that Conwy Brewery, who know their stuff, will make a good fist of it.  I wrote about them here.  This development may also lead to more of Brendan's beers re-appearing too.  Yippee.

25 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

Mention its cloudiness or lack of and you'll be deluged with comments...

Bailey said...

Astonishing, and very good news indeed.

Tandleman said...

Indeed.It is a well know fact that you can't get taste or hoppiness into a beer without it being cloudy. Let's face it Dobbin got that wrong!

Curmudgeon said...

On a more serious note, I can't imagine it lasting very long.

Cooking Lager said...

Any beer recommended by both the Tand and Clarkey is worth a right good swally on, ta fellas. Shall have a skin full.

Pete Kobryn said...

I was beginning to think that I'd never taste another of Brendan's beers again! so this is very exciting news to me. Absolute top bloke and master brewer extraordinaire! :-D

Phil said...

Just wow! Let's hope they do bring back more of the West Coast range - there was enough of it to choose from! I have very fond memories of their Tsingtao-alike lager and their alcoholic ginger beer (Marble Ginger is a pale shadow). Then there was the Gui***ess stout...

I'm surprised at Conwy being the brewers to do it - most of their beers are brown & malty in a way which reminds me of the first beers I ever drank, back in the 1970s. They're very good beers, but they're not hopmonsters. Really looking forward to seeing what they & Dobbin come up with.

The Beer Nut said...

I'll just put a quiet note in here that three of Brendan's recipes are available to drink every day at The Cotton Ball, a brewery he set up last year.

Tandleman said...

Indeed I recall you mentioning it somewhere.

I assume though there is no replica of his original beer, yeast and recipe?

If so, you've shot my fox.

The Beer Nut said...

Hmm. The blurb for Kerry Lane Pale Ale says it's an award-winning Dobbin recipe but I've not been able to find out which one. Either way I doubt it's a forensic recreation, so your fox saunters on regardless.

Tandleman said...

I suppose, strictly speaking, it is Conwy's fox. In this I'm just a nostalgic fanboy.

Erlangernick said...

If I book a ticket and fly in for this, will you fend off Cookie to hold a pint or two for me? Historic significance and all that.

Anonymous said...

Brendan did win loads of prizes so that pale ale could be one of many,I have to say im excited about this news, i hope they brew dobbins ginger beer that was a favourite of mine

beersmanchester said...

Oh my! I shall be - as the young 'uns say - all over this! You have my undying gratitude....as long as I manage to lay my lips on some!

John Clarke said...

Well let's see. It was a very hoppy beer for its day - it will be interesting to see how it compares with today's stuff. Will it be a case of "so what was all the fuss about then?".

geordiemanc said...

The beer will also be available at Chorlton Beer & Cider Festival, 3rd - 5th July (when it won't be quite so young.
www.chorltonbeerfestival.org.uk

Tandleman said...

John. Maybe, but still. It's Yakima Grande.

Jaime said...

Dobbin's mark is far and wide in brewing so nice that his biggest brew is returning… his legacy has been earned

Leigh said...

You reckon there's any chance of it being rebrewed? I can't make these festival, and would love to at least taste *this* version.

Hodor said...

Hodor

Anonymous said...

Yakima Grande on sale at Albion Ale House, Conwy this weekend.

John Clarke said...

Leigh - I don't think this is planned to be a one-off so you should be OK

Curmudgeon said...

Hmm, a good beer but rather darker than I remember and had a kind of resiny hoppiness.

John Clarke said...

Trying it side by side with a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale the two were very close in terms of both taste and colour. Neither has the initial hoppiness that I recall from the "old" Yakima Grande but that might be down to the passge of time and the large number of very hoppy beers I've had since. Cutting edge in its day but not now (but still a very good beer)

fatcontro11er said...

I idolised Brendan for his beers and would love to try any replications of them, ive even tried brewing them (cmp[lete stab in the dark)but my time spent in the beer house marble arch kings arms I regard as well invested! I even got a barrel of dobbins ESB for my 18th!!!!!!
Is it still being produced im back in Manchester from derry first weekend in dec!!!!!
Cheers