Wednesday, 18 March 2020

SIBA Beer X 2020

SIBA beer X is an event I have never had the experience of venturing into. In the city of Liverpool it hosts a wide range  of suppliers and influential bodies from across the brewing industry. It also features various seminars, and a range of beers from Independent brewers across the nation.

Entering as brewers at SIBA beer X you find no shortage of folk trying to sell you stuff. We spotted lots of familiar faces from the likes of Murphy's, Crisp Malt, Charles Faram, Holdens and more. We also got to witness the Charles Faram Wellhopped World Series awards. Featuring the highest rated newly developed hops. You can sample the hops and beers brewed with hops on the Charles Farams stand. I also happened to bump into the bloke who developed and grows both First Gold and Sovereign hops. I do like First Gold hops. 

Farams Will presents the Wellhopped awards

Daya Brewing's Something Good 2 was a good display of Harlequin hops. Punchy tropical and resiny with some underlying British spiceyness. Ledbury Golden Ale, brewed with the new Euro variety Most was subtle with nuanced summer fruit a little reminiscent of a Styrian Golding.

I also managed to catch some of the Seminar from Carl Heron from Crisp Malt but overall it was the awards that were the star of the show. Daleside Lager winning bronze in the Bottle/can session lager. Sadly our other entrant and previous awards winner Monkey Wrench didn't claim any silverware this time but was on good form. Fellow Harrogate brewers Roosters won Bronze in Bottle/can 5.5-6.4% category and other names from the North East/Yorkshire cropped up from the likes of Acorn and Hadrian and Border. All in all it was a great day and night enjoyed by all including myself and general manager Adam. Hopefully next year we will achieve nomination again.

Monkey Wrench sits by abandoned single use glassware. A anti-Covid19 measure.

Cheers! From the Weyermann stall

Monday, 9 March 2020

Harrogate Beer Festival 2020

Harrogate Charity Beer festival is one of the biggest events of the calendar year at Daleside. Organised and run by Harrogate Round Table, the 30th Harrogate Beer festival featured live music, food and breweries from across the region at the town's Crown Hotel.

Sponsored by both Daleside and Theakstons both breweries were well represented. Keg beers were also available from Cold Bath Brewing, Theakstons and Daleside separate to the cask bar. My initial venture into the trade session involved much exploration. Memories of Harrogate Beer Festival from 2010 were a little sketchy. Everything was easy to find but my initial question was where was Emily? I know she got in late in the game and was nearly forgotten. Eventually she was spotted with her makeshift pumpclip...

One of the two casks in existence of Emily 

Gravity fed from cask and conditioned nicely. Emily was very drinkable for the 5.5% abv. Fleshy fruit and tropical flavours dominate. Underneath there's some banana, apple and spice underpinning the dry finish. Emily is approachable but complicated and arguably better aged a bit longer.

Moving on it was good to try Daleside Stout again. I don't manage to try every seasonal we brew from on trade. Turning Point Disco king was a very pleasant IPA with lots of perfumed sweet citrus and pine from the use of Mosaic and Chinook hops. An all round quality West Coast style IPA. 

Rudgate Brew 28 Cry Wolf was also citrus, hop forward with lemongrass late on whereas Roosters Little Changes came across savory and quite traditional tasting for a new English hop variety beer. Theakstons Old Peculiar is a classic as always that's rarely encountered on cask. 

Another to mention was Theakstons Peculier IPA. An all round good beer that doesn't really tick the boxes of contemporary keg IPA. It's more of an ESB. On the whole I didn't manage to try everything on the list and given  I was getting served a few accidental pints instead of halves managed to get through a fair volume of beer. The all round impression was of a classy, well presented beer festival and a great night. 

Friday, 28 February 2020


The 80-litre trial brew plant is a relatively new addition to the Daleside kit, invented by former brewer Matt Bloomer. Although quite basic it's still more impressive and easier to use than my former 20-litre home brew kit.

This time round I would be brewing an experimental brew that might make the upscale or might be just for the hell of it. It will be featured at Harrogate Beer Festival 2020 March 6th - 7th.

Emily is a dry-hopped apricot Saison at 5.5% brewed with Galaxy and Cascade hops and an apricot puree. The abv would have been a bit lower if it weren't for underestimation of the aggressive nature of saison yeasts.

Late hops going in 

The fermentation temperature on this was let go a little as with many traditional Belgian ales though didn't go past 26 °C.

The name Emily bears no specific reference to anything although I did know someone called Emily at Uni and she was from Yorkshire but the name was more to do with it being one my favourite girls names.

On tasting Emily is dry and boozy with up front tropical banana and fleshy apricot going on. There's some spicy phenolics and hot alcohols underpinning it that the fruit partly masks but I'm hoping they age out. Overall I was quite pleased with Emily, she had some rough edges but I do look forward to trying her from the cask at Harrogate Beer festival.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

On the Dray

Scenic views en route to Danby

In recent times due to the absence of certain staff it has fallen upon me to play the honorable roll of dray man. This has involved ventures out to far away lands such as Cramlington, Sunderland, Hartlepool, Darlington, Richmond, Boroughbridge, Whixley, Knaresborough and even the Toon.

In the drop zone

With it being about eight years since I was let loose in a van it was good to re-visit the basics. So after the sat nav's landed you within a 50 yard radius of the pub its time to exit the vehicle to find the actual pub then work out where to actually put the beer. Planning a dray run seems easy, until you factor in certain venues opening/closing at certain times. Then rush hour traffic and the van's weight limits.

Saying goodbye: the cellar is the beers' final destination

The dray man can be the eyes and ears of the brewery concerning direct customer relations. You also get to develop skills at manoeuvreing casks around tight cellars whilst routing out empties. I've often thought the roll would be great portrayed in a video game in the style of Grand Theft Auto (North Yorkshire). Virtual Dray Man 3: 'Drop Zone 2020' would feature variable Dray men first character options (as well as unlockable bonus dray men past and present). It would cover various theatres of distribution including South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Tyneside, Darlington, Ripon and many more where you can gain points for collecting empties and not getting caught in the bus lane. The idea might need more work before before going to major game producers.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Key Lime Wheat

Key Lime Wheat is key lime pie influenced wheat beer featuring lime zest, oats and lactose. The first Daleside new release of 2020 it's a soft, sessionable, American style wheat with citric notes at 3.8%.

Lime zest 

As it happens Key Lime Wheat started its life in the 80 litre trial kit as I has never brewed one before. The inspiration came from desserts. Key Lime Pie is one of the greatest desserts on Earth alongside Sticky Toffee Pudding, Banoffee Pie, Baklava and obviously the cheese board.

Hops going in. Took some concentration to get this pic holding the phone in the other hand.

An entertaining brew day. Some judgement was required in the upscaling of ingredients. Often it's found X grams of ingredient Y for a 20 to 80 litre trial brew, when it's then multiplied up by so many thousand litres (for the commercial kit) gives an over the top number. Nonetheless I'm pleased with this one. Having ventured into brewing territory I don't usually enter I found this to have a better drinkability than I originally thought for a speciality beer.