Mashtun and Meow: Sheffield Beer Blog: Ilkley brewery
Showing posts with label Ilkley brewery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ilkley brewery. Show all posts

Monday, 20 March 2017

Sheffield Beer Week 2017 - A Round-Up

Sheffield Beer Week is over for another year and we've flung ourselves in absolutely head first this time! Here's a quick overview of the events we attended...

A relatively quiet start to the week for us as we joined in a twitter hour with @catsontap. We've long been fans of beercats Rosie and Milly, and our Tosin is a regular on their page too! We kicked off with something pretty special brought back from our trip to Brussels last year - Cantillon Kriek 100% Lambic Bio. Face-puckering, fruity and a glorious treat to kick off the week. We also imbibed Cloudwater's Seguin Biere Brut, reminiscent more of a wine than a beer and utterly delicious.

Every week, Sentinel Brew Co host a film night, wittily titled Brew-vie Tuesdays. We've not made it down to this before but in conjunction with Sheffield Beer Week they decided to show "Beertickers: Beyond the Ale". Filmed in 2008 in and around Sheffield, it was so entertaining for us to look back at the beer scene as it was around the time we both first properly got into real ale, with many a familiar face amongst the footage! Great pizzas and popcorn, too.

A Lervig tap takeover at the Rutland Arms kicked off our evening, with the highlight being Sippin' Into Darkness, a chocolate martini imperial stout at 12%. Bold, boozy and tasted like a Double Decker chocolate bar fondue.

We then headed up to Brewdog for the Mad Hatter meet the brewer event and bumped into the team from Weird Beard. Plenty of beery chat and a lot of laughs were had.

An even bigger night for us on the Thursday. First off we hit up the Beer Engine's North vs South beer and food pairing, featuring four beers each from London based Fourpure and Fierce from Aberdeen. The food at the Beer Engine is some of the best in Sheffield as far as we're concerned, and a new guest chef brought in to create the pairing menus for this event elevated the offering to an even higher level. The highlight for us was Fierce's Tropical Tart, a beautifully light and tangy passionfruit sour, served with spicy prawns and crab laksa.

A short walk back to Sentinel for a tap takeover hosted by Yellowbelly Brewery where we sampled their collaboration with bloggers Wayne and Janice from IrishBeerSnob, Juice Wayne - a Rock Shandy IPA, inspired by an Irish soft drink and bursting with oranges and lemons. It took Laura until Sunday to realise that Juice rhymes with Bruce...

Finally we headed up to the launch of Abbeydale Brewery's new Brewers Emporium range at the newly refurbished Devonshire Cat, which was buzzing with a vibrant atmosphere and presented a great range of progressive beers to choose from.

We started the day with a Beer Writers Breakfast hosted by the The Can Makers, giving us an insight into a truly up and coming portion of the market and with tasty pastries from Sheffield based Percy & Lily's. It was the first day of the Beer Now conference, ending with a trip to Beer Alive festival. It was the third time we've attended the festival and it's been scaled down pretty drastically this year. It's a shame that this resulted in a rather lacklustre beer selection - the lack of involvement from brewers directly, which was a great feature of last year's festival, was missed.

A full on and inspiring day at the Beer Now conference, kicking off with Bob Pease of the Brewer's Association, who gave us useful insights into the American beer scene. Our favourite part of the day was undoubtedly the Live Beer Blogging featuring beers from Abbeydale, Ilkley, Lost Industry, Sentinel, Sharps, Thornbridge and Twisted Barrel - a frenzied hour of tweeting, chatting, learning and drinking.

A raucous coach journey later and we were treated to BBQ and beers at Thornbridge Brewery, a brilliant evening where we also discovered that table football is never going to be our forte!

The Beer Now conference was wrapped up, with inspirational talks from Richard of Ferment magazine, Jules of Hop Hideout and of course Sheffield Beer Week fame, and Andy from the excellent Elusive Brewing.

FINALLY, we trekked up to the Greystones for a special edition of Karma Citra, pairing a selection of Tiny Rebel beers with some super spicy Caribbean food. Always a brilliant event and a fun and laid back end to a very hectic week.

To finish, it's worth mentioning that our festivities during the week didn't even scratch the surface in terms of the amount of events running. We really were spoilt for choice, and have been left feeling very lucky to live in a city with such a thriving, varied and exciting beer scene. A mighty round of applause to Jules Gray for co-ordinating everything... we're already looking forward to finding out what Sheffield Beer Week 2018 will bring! But first, a lie in and a green smoothie are most definitely in order.


Jim & Laura

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Meet the Brewer: Ilkley Brewery

A couple of weeks ago, we headed down to the Sheffield Tap for their Meet the Brewer event with Ilkley Brewery. We're both big fans of Ilkley beers so it was great to have the chance to sample ales from across their range, as well as being able to chat to the team about their work.

The night began with Ilkley Gold, one of the regularly brewed core range beers with a strength of 3.9%. This beer is designed to be an easy drinker, with a great subtlety coming from the US and Slovenian hops. Like all their ingredients, specialist hops are something that Ilkely strive to source from the best producers and suppliers.

Lotus IPA had a little step up in alcohol content at 5.6%. Lotus is a similar colour to the previous beer but by no means the same. The summit hops sing through in the distinctive way that comes with an IPA. Produced in a traditional way, the beer is not dry hopped which produces a more rounded beer. Ilkley produce their beers in a variation of styles across their 50,000 pints a week. With the craft beer movement gathering speed and introducing all sorts of wacky brewing methods to the UK, it's great to see a brewery doing such innovative things using traditional techniques.

The third beer of the evening, Siberia, was a rhubarb saison, named after the location of the fruit's original place of cultivation. A nice little fact that we discovered at the event is that all the rhubarb is chopped by hand, in the various kitchens of the brewery's employees... just showing the level of care and personality that goes into Ilkley's beers and also why it isn't brewed as often as you might wish.

De Passie was sampled next - a White IPA flavoured with passionfruit, which is a collaborative brew with Dutch breweries Rooie Dop and Oersoep. A stunning beer that really delivers on its fruity promise, made with 3 different hops that are added to bring out the best flavour of the passion fruit juice. A real hit on the night and a perfect drink for a balmy summer's evening.

We then moved on to the wildcard beer: Derby Day - a 7% mint stout. Other stouts using mint that we've tried before have tended to couple the flavour with chocolate, producing a sweet and sticky beer that seems to provoke a strong reaction in the drinker. The Ilkley take on a mint beer by contrast is much more savoury and arguably more palatable to the masses despite the high ABV.

The final beer of the night just so happened to be possibly our all-time favourite beer and an absolutely mighty drink - The Mayan. This is a chilli chocolate stout that doesn't aim to punch too high with either flavour, although both are very much apparent. The result is a balanced beer tingles subtly on the tongue with a flavour that lingers for around 15 seconds... just divine.

From being able to see first hand the passion and attention to detail that goes into the Ilkley range, it's clear to see where their almost exponential growth has come from. With exciting times and further expansion to come (plans are in the pipeline for a bigger brewery and a visitor's centre), we can't wait to see what they'll think up next.