Way back in December last year, I mentioned I had CAMRA business at Sam Smith's Yew Tree, just outside Rochdale. A committee meeting took me there again last night.
Old Brewery Bitter is still served from wooden casks. At 4% abv, it is a decent strength without being overwhelming. Just edging the top of the "ordinary" bitter band or, if you like, just missing the "best" sobriquet, it is a very malty brew, full bodied, with slight forest fruits, just a hint of woodiness and a nice clean, malty bitter finish. I don't think it has the sheer drinkability that an ordinary bitter needs to have, but it is a good old fashioned brew when on form, which it was last night. I quite enjoyed it.
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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