Hoppiness, Hoppiness…

24 02 2011

“This might be all there is?” It’s 7:15pm on the 16th February 2011 in the Bacchus Newcastle, and we are looking around to see who is here for the unveiling of the latest creation by Yorkshire Dales Brewery. There are only eight people we recognize, but we shouldn’t have worried. A steady trickle, then a flood of Newcastle beer aficionados appear congregating in the snug.

Yorkshire Dales Brewing Co has been in existence since 2005 and brew out of Askrigg, North Yorkshire. They have developed a reputation over the last few years for producing quality beer of many varying contemporary styles. They are one of the most prolific breweries I know, Rob Wiltshire, head brewer, reckons they have brewed 193 beers in five years. Many have appeared at the Bacchus in the last two, first of all a steady stream of good beers, then an excellent eight course beer/food match event and finally a dedicated handpull in the bar has seen the brewery established at this venue. This relationship has also brought some excellent collaboration beers with Andy (the Bacchus manger) assisting: Stout Of This World, a sweet vanilla stout and the robust barley wine – Dead Mans Hill. A number of their brews have also appeared in other local hostelries most notably the Newcastle Arms.

This ‘Meet the Brewer’ event was to celebrate the unveiling of Cautley Spout, the first of eight ‘two hop’ beers, which will be a theme for the next year. As Rob explains on the Yorkshire Dales Brewing Co Site (http://www.yorkshiredalesbrewery.com/)

“In the addition to all the special beers I plan to brew this year will be something a little different. I feel single hop beers are very one dimensional. So to create a series this year of something exciting I will brew 8 brand new ales of varying beer styles, bringing together complimentary hops from around the world”

Cautley Spout, is a 3.7% golden ale using Amarillo and Cascade hops. Initial smell is sharp citrus, and initial taste confirms this with an instant bitterness balancing through the sip and ending with a pleasant sweetness. The first impression was quite good (considering I prefer the dark side) and I could imagine this being a refreshing change on a warm afternoon.

Rob also talked briefly of the second ale ‘Sedbergh Silver’ due out in early March, a heady mix of Chinook and Sorachi. This interested many in the crowd, but I fear may be a little too hoppy for me.

As we munched on the food match of Onion Bhaji’s and (Rocket Fuel) Piri Piri Prawn filo Wraps, Rob answered many questions from the brewing process to the design of his iconic pump clips. As always his answers were informative and he came across as someone deeply passionate about his art.

An excellent evening and I look curiously forward to trying the rest of the two hop ales.

HH

Linked here is the pdf detailing the beers planned in this series (kindly sent to us by Eric)

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