Perhaps living in Manchester (well nearly) I should be aware of Hydes Brewery's seasonal range under the "Provenance Brewing from Hydes" banner, but sadly I wasn't. That was corrected last night, in emphatic manner, in our temporary Wednesday night HQ, the Flying Horse in Rochdale. I arrived just after nine to a fairly busy pub, still adorned with its full Christmas decorations, lights gleaming cheerily and incongruously. On the way I had passed and noted the merrily twinkling Official Borough Christmas tree, shining out in the pissing rain. Enquiries revealed that this delay is to include and celebrate Ukrainian Orthodox Epiphany, which apparently is a big thing in Rochdale and will delay official end of shenanigans until the 19th of January. I may of course be having my plonker pulled, but there you go - that's what I was told. Don't say I never tell you anything useful.
Recommended to me by the landlord, Hokkaido is a pale, hoppy, citric little number, containing that most difficult of hops Sorachi Ace. In my experience Sorachi Ace is a hop that you love or hate and it displays itself to me as either revolting - or bloody brilliant when it is done right. Variously described as "having intense lemony flavors, Sorachi Ace also runs the gamut
from white flowers, dust, and tea, to bubble gum, dill, and coriander.
This hop is ideal for IPAs, saisons and wheat beers." As it happens, Hydes had used it for a pretty straightforward hoppy golden ale and boy did it work. I always feel that Hyde's beers can be relied on for their wonderful full body and so it proved here. Nothing wishy washy at all, but a backbone of malt that stood up to the hops particularly well. Lemony, slightly herbal (coriander) and very moreish, most of us switched to it. I stuck with it until chucking out time. It was a great decision and also, to the delight of some, on offer - I know not why - at a mere £2 a pint.
On this performance, Hydes is well overlooked. I must correct that with more frequent visits to Manchester.
The full Hydes range for 2016 is here. Worth a look I say. The Regal Moon, our usual haunt, is still closed after the flooding. I'll keep you informed of progress in due course.
The title of this post is a nod to the Beer Nut and one of an occasional series.
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.
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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