A chance to visit one of Britain's best up and coming breweries doesn't come along all that often, so consequently last night's trip toMallinson's Brewery in Huddersfield was very well subscribed. Prominent in a very eager CAMRA throng were such luminaries as Tyson the Beerhound and two of the most interesting brewers in the North West, Dave Porter of Outstanding (who built the Mallinson Brewery) and Tony Allen of Phoenix, who can brew a decent drop when he puts his mind to it. He puts his mind to it a lot.
A cask of beer awaited us on arrival. We eyed it slightly uneasily. Silent mental arithmetic decreed this was going to be a dog eat dog situation, made more so as the pale, hoppy, fragrant nectar slid all too easily down our eager throats. It was interesting to listen to the brewster, Tara, as she outlined how she came to brewing (through beer ticking and home brewing actually) and how she had become fascinated by hops. Her philosophy is quite simple. Most of her beers are between 3.9 and 4.2 percent alcohol as "that's what sells". Almost all are pale and brewed using very pale ale malt or lager malt. She also brews a mild from time to time and some stout. The mild is distinctive she says. (Her forthcoming chocolate stout with Green and Black Chocolate sounded very interesting too and might just have a hop kick.) She doesn't brew brown beer. Explaining, Tara said there was two reasons; one they are boring and two; she is no good at them. You can't say fairer than that.
After the introduction, we got down to the serious business of emptying the cask. When we had done so, a collective sigh of relief went up as another one appeared. All was well with the world. What about the beers you ask? Well they were both pale and deliciously hoppy, with a cornucopia of different hop varieties in them. What more do you need to know?
The subsequent visit to the The Commercial, Slaithwaite wasn't at all bad either.
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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