This is a beer blog, so occasionally I talk about beer rather than pubs and beer, or beer politics - yes my friends such a thing does exist, as evidenced by recent twitter outpourings. But no mention here. This post is all sweetness and light.
On Tuesday I popped into the award winning Baum in Rochdale to say hello to Alex Brodie owner of Hawkshead Brewery, who was there to do a "Meet the Brewer" session. Regretfully I couldn't stay long due to a prior engagement, but it was good to see him as always and to have a pint. Knowing I'm an unashamed fan of his beers, Alex was surprised I hadn't tried my chosen beer before. Iti is Maori for "small" and is described by the brewery as New Zealand Pale Ale's little brother. A souped down version of NZPA? Will that work? The answer is an unequivocal "Yes." At 3.5% it is a belter, full of luscious New Zealand hops and surprisingly full bodied from the low colour Maris Otter barley used. Seek it out. In fact, seek out any Hawkshead beer.
On Thursday, I encountered the legendary Hawkshead Windermere Pale once again in the Angel when out discussing Manchester Beer and Cider Festival business. It is not that though to which I wish to draw your attention. A couple of us finished off with a pint of Se7en Brothers Brewing Stout. Dark, full bodied, touch of roast, some resinous hops and sheer drinkability that belied its 5.2% strength, made this another to recommend to you. Se7en Brothers (see what they did there) Brewing is a newish Salford brewery run by, er, seven brothers. On this evidence I'd watch out for them. My colleague has had their IPA and he thought highly of it.
There you are. Two recommendations you know you can trust, just in time for the weekend's boozing. That's good isn't it?
Alex, who is actually a Rochdale lad (he left when he was five though) was very favourably impressed by the Baum. That's also good as is the fact his event was a sell-out. Sorry, but the Se7en Brothers Website has no useable, relevant images to regale you with.
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. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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.
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
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Beer samples are welcome, but I cannot guarantee a good review. You, the brewer, on the other hand can.
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