Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Lees Please

The lovely E has been home from London for nearly two weeks and despite great intentions to get out and about, we have largely not done so. With the exception of a trip to see the Landlady in the depths of Delph and a quick foray into Rochdale, beer wise it has been an unmitigated parade of Lees, either in bitter format, or as Middleton's, their Royal Wedding Ale.

While I enjoyed Thwaites Wainwrights (not nearly as hoppy as usual) chez Landlady and more challenging beers at the Railway, Baum and the Regal Moon, it was good old fashioned malty Lees Bitter that I supped most of.  Simple, unchallenging and straight down the neck stuff. Most of that was in my local with our friends and I'm not doing much by way of being insightful to say that's what appealed most. In great company, beer slides down very well indeed and Lees Bitter slides down better than most.

Of course my Lees interests range wider than just swigging the bitter. Talking to two different  Lees Landlords gave the same comments about their seasonal range. Three months is too long for each beer. The novelty has worn off before the new guest appears, making it harder to shift. This isn't helped by the fact that Lees drinkers are a conservative lot and very loyal to the bitter. Another gripe is that already, the scheduled non appearance (well you know what I mean), of the Christmas special Plum Pudding this year is already causing wailing and gnashing of teeth from publicans and customers alike. It's a great beer and the feeling is that cask Manchester Star, a recreation of an 1884 Lees beer hitherto exported to the US in bottle only, is likely to be too strong at 6.5% to appeal. Beer geeks of course would no doubt disagree and ought to make their plans for a trip north now and I do hope Lees drinkers give it a fair chance.

Still onwards and upwards. I have a CAMRA meeting tonight and I dare say it will be back to hops.


Velky Al said...

I can get the Manchester Star in my local bottle shop, and what a lovely beer it is as well! On the seasonal front, 2 months should be enough, and as the publicans have pointed out, should keep people coming back out of curiosity.

RedNev said...

Nothing wrong with Lees Bitter. Popular standard bitters are often scorned by some ale bloggers, but such beers are often the bread and butter of a brewery's trade, and the preferred drink of those who want beer to slide down as an accompaniment to chatting with their friends. Not everyone wants to be "challenged" by their drink.

Graham said...

The Thwaites Signature Range is a pretty good example of a family brewer doing imaginative seasonals. They are changed every month.

RedNev said...

You're right about Thwaites range; I've enjoyed all the ones I've had.