Mashtun and Meow: Sheffield Beer Blog: April 2018

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Happy Birthday Brew York!

Brew York celebrated their second birthday this last weekend, and having been fans of theirs from their very beginning, we just had to pop by their taproom, based right within the city walls of York, to join the party.

We've been consistently impressed since their inception by the level of balance they seem to have found between easy drinking, more traditional cask ales which suit the historical City of York and many of its locals, and the experimental, innovative and unique - often with pleasingly hilarious names. They've progressed massively in just two years and to top it off,  co-founders Lee and Wayne are lovely chaps as well.

As well as it being their birthday, this week Brew York have launched a crowdfunding campaign to support a new phase of expansion which includes the installation of a street food kitchen and a pilot kit. Work on the space for this is already well under way and formed the main area for guest bars and food offerings at the birthday party.


We arrived in the early afternoon and started off gently with a Debaser Berliner Weisse, 2.8%. However, not content with offering just one version of this beer, there were FOURTEEN different syrups to choose from to add to them - we sampled pomegranate, passion fruit and lemon. Then it was on to a Juice Forsyth session IPA, chosen for the lols of the name but bursting with flavour and an excellent beer even without the punnage. It was great to catch up with the guys from Fierce and Mad Hatter over a couple more beers as well, along with delicious Asian-inspired food from Street Cleaver.


We couldn't go home until Laura had tried the total dreamboat combination of her favourite Brew York beer and her favourite all time cocktail - an Imperial Tonkoko White Russian! As the photo evidence below shows, it lived up to the astronomic expectations. Beer cocktails, or "Hoptails", are firmly on the agenda as part of the expansion and we can't wait to find out what other concoctions the team come up with (so much so, we've pledged on a masterclass as part of their crowdfund, get on board guys!).


The event was a triumph - a brilliant showcase of everything Brew York can do (they had 8 casks and 21 kegs of their own on offer), with a great choice of guest breweries, food and cocktails, and a chilled and friendly atmosphere. The current tap room is an asset to York in its own right (it's even got a little beer garden right on the banks of the Foss) and the new space will only serve to enhance and amplify this.

Happy 2nd Birthday Brew York, we look forward to watching you continue to grow and develop for many years more.

Cheers,

Laura and Jim

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Wingin' It...

We've got a week off for our anniversary this week, so it felt like a good time to embark upon the noble quest of perfecting the cooking of the humble chicken wing. Wings have to be one of the best accompaniments to beers so we thought we would put together a couple of recipes of some of our favourites and suggested beers to pair with them.

We always buy our wings from our favourite local indie retailer, Mr Pickles, as all of their produce comes from within Yorkshire and they place great emphasis on sourcing all their meat ethically. The chicken is free range and comes from Loose Birds farm in North Yorkshire.

Each of the recipes below is for 12 wings, to serve two as a main course.

First up is a classic wing, the buffalo!

Marinade

2 crushed garlic cloves
2 chillies
Juice of half a lime
Hearty dash of Tobasco
1 tbsp Sriracha
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp each of smoked and hot paprika
Large pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Coating

100g cornflour
Pinch salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1 egg

Blue cheese dip

2 tablespoons of creme fraiche
75g blue cheese (we used Yorkshire Blue)
1 tbsp mayonnaise
Squeeze of lime juice
Pinch of salt

Method

Combine the ingredients for the marinade with a dozen chicken wings, and set aside in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight if possible to allow all those flavours to work their magic.

Before frying, combine the coating ingredients excluding the egg. Whisk the egg separately, dunk in the wings, then roll liberally around in the dry coating mix. The cornflour will help give these wings a real crunch.

Deep fry your wings for around 7-10 minutes in batches, making sure not to over fill the pan, as this will stop the wings from cooking properly. Keep warm in a preheated oven (180°C) until everything is fried.)

For the dip, crumble the cheese and whisk together with creme fraiche and the mayo, then add the lime juice and salt to taste.

To serve, load the wings onto your plate with a generous heaped tablespoon of blue cheese dip. You'll probably have too much dip, so make sure there's some celery in the fridge for a snack for supper. We decided not to scale down the recipe because surely nobody in the world believes too much blue cheese dip is a bad thing. We made a potato salad with chives and capers to serve alongside.


Beer-wise, a bold IPA is a perfect companion for these wings. You'll need something with a good punchy hop character to stand up to the spice in the wing coating and cut through that rich creamy dip - we chose Brew By Numbers 65/01, their first double dry hopped IPA brewed with Citra and Columbus. Piney and citrussy, it worked exactly as intended alongside the wings.


Next up we've gone for our household favourite, Korean style wings. Again the below is a recipe suitable for 12 chicken wings.

Marinade

1 tbsp Gochujang (fermented chili paste)
1/2 tbsp fermented bean paste
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
4 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 crushed garlic cloves

Quick Kimchi

Salad:
1/2 a head of Chinese leaf
1/2 a red pepper
3 spring onions

Dressing:
1 fresh red chili
1 tbsp Gochujang paste
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 crushed garlic clove

Method

Heat all of the ingredients for the marinade together in a saucepan, then pour over the wings and leave to marinate overnight.

Before cooking, make the kimchi. This recipe is for a quick version of this side dish, but it's still pretty damn delicious. First chop the Chinese leaf into pieces around 2cm square and leave to rest in salted water for at least 10 minutes, before rinsing well with fresh water. Chop the pepper and spring onion into similar sized pieces and add to the Chinese leaf. Combine all the dressing ingredients together and mix well, to a loose dressing. If you can't get hold of Gochujang then chili flakes and and chili oil can be used, but really the main character of the wings and accompaniment is helped along by this fermented paste so it's worth the effort of seeking some out. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, mix well and leave to sit whilst the wings cook.

Pop the wings on a baking sheet and grill under a high setting for around 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes to help them cook evenly and and encourage a crispy skin.

Serve the wings with a hearty pile of the quick kimchi. (The rest of the kimchi will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for 7-10 days).


This works best with something really crisp and refreshing to drink - we selected Galleon, a dry hopped lager brewed by Fuller's in collaboration with Fourpure for last year's Fuller's & Friends project. The clean character of the lager works to offset the heat of the wings and cuts across the palate nicely without detracting from all those delicious Korean flavours.

Overall, we couldn't choose which we liked best and decided quite simply that we're all winners in the wing off. How do you wing it?

Cheers,

Jim & Laura

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Northern Monk: Death and Glory

Northern Monk need no introduction, having produced a wide range of excellent beers since their inception. Death and Glory, released simultaneously in January this year, caught our eye as they are
some of the first beers released under the watchful eye of new Production Manager Colin Stronge (previously of Buxton Brewery) - and obviously we're suckers for the big boozes. We drank them to celebrate the start of our anniversary week off, and here's what we made of these two behemoth releases.

Glory - Triple IPA, 10.5%


Invitingly aromatic, from the nose alone this could practically be mistaken for a glass of fresh pineapple juice. More pineapple on the palate alongside ripe mango and melon with a silky caress of caramel, it's soft and sweet with a sumptuously full mouthfeel. Although we weren't drinking it at it's freshest (the best before date is next month, although at less than three months old and tasting this good we'd argue it could have longer on there) it was still absolutely bursting with an abundantly tropical hop character. Very easy drinking for the ABV and ridiculously well balanced. Glorious indeed.


Death - Imperial Stout, 12.0%


This is a BIG beer. A rich, sweet, aroma reminiscent of black treacle fills the room, let alone the glass, as soon as you pop the can. On drinking, the high ABV is definitely apparent but it manages not to overwhelm the palate, having a nicely balanced yet heavy roast character. There's freshly ground coffee with two sugars and just a dash of cream alongside decadent dark chocolate and just a hint of dried red fruit and berries. The finish reminds you that this is a boozy beer with a lingering, bold residual sweetness sitting proudly alongside a lasting bitterness.


No, we didn't Black and Tan them. Sorry.

Jim & Laura

Bonus Beercat: Tosin displaying relevant expressions to suit these two very different beers