Monday, 22 June 2015

Time for a quickie !

 I know, I know. You've been missing my appraisals, occasional diatribes and comic genius that I have offered on here, until just lately (okay, maybe a bit over the top with the comedy reference!), in my reviews of boozers, brews and my life in general. The truth is, and I struggle to see how, all my spare time I used to have seems to have dissipated, vamoosed, buggered off, if you like, leaving my over creative right forefinger little time to tap away, artistically, at my laptop keys. I have very little time to use it for any function at the moment (before you start thinking thoughts, I mean picking my nose !). Never mind, I will valiantly strive onwards.
Celebration Time
So, I am happily settled into my new job, adjusting to a new shift system which, oddly, will seemingly go against what you read my opening paragraph, by giving me an extra day between shift changes than my previous employ (?). We have still been out and about, but somewhat less than we had been before our recent trip “Darn Sarf” to Kent. The usual haunts have been visited, but, sadly, one of them, The Parity, on my last excursion to this, one time, favourite, failed to produce a single pint fit for sampling, from it's four handpumps. This meant a pint of “John Smith's” keg and an early finish to that little session. One pub we re-visited, for the first time in several years, was The Empire. We had just arrived home from Kent, grubbed around on the allotment plot for an hour, before deciding to venture out to The Wheatsheaf for a couple of beers. I relaxed with a pint of Cameron's “150”, a Celebration Ale to commemorate 150 years of brewing by this Hartlepool based brewery. A 5% version of “Stongarm”, with a bitter-sweet taste and well hopped finish, I found this a quite pleasing Ruby coloured Ale, and a fitting tribute to the North East Company's sesquicentennial anniversary. T'other 'Arf chose the 4.1% Daleside Best Bitter, “Old Leg Over”. A rather sweet brew, with fruits coming to the fore, and a pleasing dry finish. As we savoured these, we were quite surprised to see my brother and his family at the bar. After the initial greetings, we were asked if we were going to our niece's 40th. Unfortunately, we had not received our invitation, so knew nothing of it. That is how 2 near scruffs ended up in The Empire, dressed VERY informally for a birthday bash. Never mind, we were warmly received and enjoyed this family occasion. The pub, in Runswick Road, is a typical 2 room “estate” pub, geared very much to the locals and their tastes. It used to serve “Tetley's” and “Hobgoblin” on cask, I was informed, but these are a rarity now. I had to satisfy myself with “Guinness Extra Cold” , a most bland of stouts, but beggars can't be choosers, as the saying goes. A great night was had by all, which was more important than the wares available. The following week, or so, I managed to get into The Yarborough Hotel on a couple of occasions, and, luckily, experienced some differing beers. I happened to bump into an acquaintance from my taxi driving days on one afternoon. Mick, a fisherman for many years, was a regular fare for the company I worked for, and we had a good yarn about the fishing industry. It is so sad that the industry on which Grimsby was built around, prospered on and has taken so many men to an early, and in most cases, a watery grave, has now, almost, disappeared. From the days of well over 200 deep sea sidewinder trawlers being registered and regularly sailing from the port, less than 10 smaller North Sea boats now bear the famous GY prefix on their number. I shall not go on, but will always feel that certain politicians happily sold us down the river.

Back to those beers. Firstly, Moorhouses “Farmhouse”, this 4.6% Saison style beer has a sweet aroma, rather like damp cardboard. This is followed by a slight berry taste and then a big Grapefruit finish, with plenty of zest. This is beer packed with punch. Over the last few weeks The Kelham Island Brewery, from Sheffield, has had a good representation of it's Ales on at The Yarborough. 2 new ones I have tasted recently are “California Drinking” a 4.8% American style Blonde Ale. The flavour of this dark hued beer is malty, slightly easing towards cinder toffee, followed by a light fruity hint, orange zest comes to the fore, but also a touch of woodiness. Quite a complex brew, which is very easy drinking, as the balance is just right. “Gentleman Death”
Baltic Porter at it;s best.
was another from this excellent brewers. At 6%, this extremely dark Baltic Porter is unbelievably smooth and silky, with a lovely malty taste. The backtaste is a mix of dark chocolate and, almost, a cappuccino coffee. I found it quite irresistible and moreish. I was also fortunate enough to savour “Dark Age” , a 4% Mild from the Celt Experience. The initial taste is quite sweet, with chocolate, caramel and spice combining well and adding a hint of bitterness into the medium finish. One beer I was a little disappointed by was “Posh IPA”, a 5.4% “Goumet fruity IPA” from Yeovil Ales. This beer had a slight fruitiness, medium bitterness, which leads to a bitter-sweet, rather short finish. I wouldn't say it was a bad beer,no, not by any means, it just didn't seem to lift itself from first taste to finish. And that is about it with the cask beer reviews for now, although T'other 'Arf and I have had another couple of sojourns to the local hostelries over the last couple of days, which I shall write about soon, and I also have a bottled beer review to follow, but until then, once again Cheers and keep it “Real”