Which is actually a bit of a poor title as it wasn't anything like that, I was honoured to have some excellent company to try out some of the nicer and out of the way bars and public houses in the centre of Leeds, thus avoiding the Hen Nights with large phalluses (phallii?) wandering the main areas of the city, as well as starting the night with excellent curry. And then there was the following morning where there were pancakes - it's been about nine years since I had pancakes at any point of the day, let alone cooked for me at breakfast with lemon and sugar on hand.
I digress, this is a beer blog after all, and I'm guessing that people aren't that fussed about what I ate so much as they come to read about the ales imbibed. Ales were imbibed, conquering heroes were spoken to (no, really, both gentlemen that made up my company have conquered areas of the workplace and deservedly so) and good craic, as I believe they say in Ireland, was had. And how could I forget the morning conversation in the kitchen that followed the night out - brilliant as always!
Ahem, yes, onto the ales. Would you like to know more?
link) did the last time I was up in Leeds, but it was certainly a worthy successor to that home brew. Alas, this time, I had none of my own to return the favour. However, given the strength (7.2% ABV ish) and also the strength (in terms of quality) of this ale, that was perhaps for the best!
here) it wasn't the same. No real character in this one, as an IPA it did the job it was supposed to do but it didn't really measure up to the Bubba's and it didn't set the world alight either. There wasn't anything more exciting on tap either and so our happy band elected to try somewhere else.
here). It was full and smooth, with a minimum of fuss from the carbonation and a smoothness that came from being pulled at the bar, as one would expect, but without the creaminess that I find usually accompanies such an ale from the tap. And that was very much to the credit of both the ale and the bar staff. Decent enough, and refreshing, very much a summer ale that the wind and the rawness of the evening did a little to undo. The overall impression from this ale, and I'll confess that I was getting light-headed by this point, was fruitiness.
In fact, it fulfilled the almost expected fruit-beer element that I have going on. It looked very much like a raspberry ale even though it was about as far as one could get from it.
Don't get me wrong, a half was very welcome, just a little foolish I feel given the strength of the ales so far! In many ways, this was like a wheat beer, being cloudy and full-bodied, but it remained light and airy overall.
link). At 4.5% ABV this was a welcome break from the strength of the evening (and in part why I had one) but it did not adversely affect it in terms of taste. Good deep red colour with full hops on the nose, as the night seemed to do as a theme, before passing neatly into something akin to a decent bitter. It put me in mind of Up and Under (here) from Shepherd Neame with the red colouring of the Late Red (here) by the same. Still, very much held its own under the onslaught of IPAs from the evening and was a nice way to finish the evening off. Smooth mouthfeel, decent aftertaste and light enough that it didn't end things on a poor note. Mind you, between you, me and the gatepost, I was very much in the throes of being deep in cups by this point so I'll confess that I have little memory of it beyond my notes - though my notes definitively state that I would have it again.
Not as much time spent with the family of my good host this time, which was a shame, but I had to get back as the Boy had been moidering about me not being home and deserved to see me at least for a little while after my weekend away. Hopefully I can convince both my host's family and my other companion to come visit my end of the country and show them some of the nice hostelries here. In the meantime, I think my favourite of the night was the stout, Pressure Drop, but, as it was so out of place amongst the IPAs, I suspect the real winner has to be Bubba's IPA.