Monday, 4 December 2017

Riverhead Brewery Tap, Marsden

Marsden is well known in beer drinking circles as a stopping off point on the beer train. Our approach to the town was via an older form of transport. We entered along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal after a very pleasant walk from Huddersfield itself and descended through the town to the Riverhead Brewery Tap.

The first thing that I noticed was the prominent Ossett Brewery sign on the wall. Ossett have a record for buying up smaller breweries and then letting them continue to brew their own beers whilst providing an outlet for Silver Queen et al. We were not in town to drink the very fine Ossett brews so we homed in on the local delights which occupied half of the 10 wickets on the bar.

I started with a pint of Butterley bitter whilst my mate Bob started with a March Haigh. He helpfully informed me that the beers were named after local reservoirs. Butterley is a traditional amber coloured bitter and  @ 3.8% ABV would make an excellent session beer

My second was a very pale bitter called Happy Valley whilst Bob opted for a strong ruby coloured ale called Redbrook. The Happy Valley @4.0%ABV is a lovely blonde beer with hops that linger on the pallet.

Stepping up a gear we both went for a pint of stout. Black Moss stout looks like Guinness but has a lot more flavour and plenty of body despite having an ABV of only 4.3%

A second stout proved  irresistible

All the time we were in the pub there was a constant stream of regulars, hikers and dog walkers calling in for a mid afternoon beer.

Dogs are most welcome in the bar and whilst we were there they were all well behaved, especially our Meg who had walked up from Huddersfield with us.

We could have happily spent the rest of the day in the Riverhead Tap but we had a train to catch back to  Leeds. If you are in Kirklees then a trip to Marsden is a must. A lovely town with a lovely pub.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Sheffield Taps, Sheffield

I like beer. I like trains. I also like breweries. If you combine all three then I am a very happy man. For  my first drinking session in the steel city I chose the Sheffield Tap which combines all three. Station bars have enjoyed a revival in recent years and the north has many fine examples ( Stalybridge, York and Harrogate all spring to mind.) I am adding Sheffield to that list.

We arrived at Sheffield station after a day walking in the Derwent valley which is thirsty work! A short walk over to platform 1 led us to our destination.
The entrance to the Taps is directly off platform 1 which is convenient for people who are just in Sheffield to change trains (as we were). The inconspicuous entrance leads in to a gorgeous bar.
The high ceiling gives a great sense of space but the eye is drawn to the superb bar in dark wood with eleven handpumps in banks at either end of the bar with a set of continental taps in the middle. It took a while to check them all out. For my first pint I went for Headless, brewed in Macclesfield, which is a very palatable session ale. Al joined me getting Headless whilst Bob went straight for a pint of Jaipur from Thornbridge!

We tucked ourselves in a corner and watched the world go by (in trains) from our window looking out onto the platform.After my first pint I went exploring, There is an equally impressive lounge with a small bar further down the platform and, behind a glass screen, is a small brewery owned by the Tapped Brew Company..

I tried a pint of Mojo , brewed next door, which was lovely, before finishing with a pint of the ubiquitous Jaipur which, as Bob assured me, is wonderful.

Having watched two trains to Leeds (our next destination) pull out from Platform 1 while we were quaffing we reluctantly decide to head north. However we did so in the sure and certain knowledge that our next trip to the Peak District would include a refreshment stop on Sheffield station on our way back.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Hogshead Brew House, Sowerby Bridge

The beer scene in Sowerby Bridge is in a state of flux. Good pubs folding and new ones opening. However a brewery and pub has opened in an old industrial building now called the Hogshead Brewhouse.

The building is only ten yrads from the main drag through the town and there is a public car park opposite. Inside there is an immediate sense of space with the bar, festooned with handpumps, over to the left.
The space is so great that I failed to notice all the brewery equipment. The barmaid helpfully pointing out that it was behind me. There it was behind a glass screen, an 8 barrel brewery in all it's glory.
All this sightseeing was thirsty work so we decided to sample what was on offer. I started with a pint of White Hog which is a very palatable pale hoppy brew which slipped down very nicely. At 4% and containing Magnum, Amarillo and Simcoe hops it makes an ideal summer session ale.
 I decided on a pint of porter for my second drink. Old Schnozzler, at 5.3% is a rich dark ruby porter. It tasted of coffee and chocolate! Very interesting and also totally thirst quenching. They brew it all year round - I guess it would be perfect on a cold winter's evening.
Although it was early on a Sunday evening the pub was doing good business. They also do food but we did not try it.

I wish we had had more time to sample the other beers such as Six to Eight Weeks which is a traditional bitter or Hoppy Valley which is named after a television programme. It was not to be as we were booked into the curry house opposite. Still I am looking forward to a return visit in the near future as the Hogshead Brewhouse is worth it.