Allendale is a brewery that has undergone a lot of product development recenty. It was a long time back now when Allendale gave me my first valuable work experience in an actual brewery. For that week head man Tom Hick showed me some of the trials and tribulations of running a ten-barrel brewery in an old farm building with only two or three people. I even helped them paint their first pub (for a few hours anyway).
Since then Tom has won an entranpreneur award and had kids. They now have new brewers, new beers and a new website.
Anyhow, on to the beers..Allendale Weizen (5%) pours is a rich golden in colour with a slight haze. Corriander spice, orange peel and citric aromas dominate in a very textbook Belgian wheat beer sort of way. Palate wise you get banana, clove, caramelised grain and fluffy-grainy wheat all over a smooth slightly toasted malt mouthfeel that leads to more lingering banana, soft grain and a hint of apple right at the end. Some might think this to be a touch too malt forward for an authentic wheat beer, though I myself don't care. The beer basically drinks more like a German Weizen yet smells like a Belgian Wit. It has great composure and drinkabaility and I imagine this pairing nicely with a lot of different foods (Weizen's are normally uber food versatile).
Next up, Allendale Pale Ale is a 5.5% very pale golden take on a new world American pale ale. This beer speaks with plenty of hugely perfumed mango, papaya, tropical fruit and citric notes in the aroma (i'm guessing a dry hopping of citra hops?). The palate then gives more papaya, mango and tropical fruit over a light malt body and some very sappy (yet subtle) hop resins linger in the finish. A very sexy pale ale indeed, this isn't your typical Allendale beer but closer to something you would expect from the likes of Roosters or Magic Rock. Slick and clean on the fermentation and malt flavours with lots of resonating leafy citric hops. This would be great for the summer, so its a shame its a freezing cold febuary night.
All in all its good to see new stuff from Allendale, Tom, Rob's beer quest salutes you. And it just goes to show how the current North East brewing scene is evolving in the right direction. New brewers, new pubs (with bigger beer ranges) new beers, new beer styles, craft keg the list goes on. A world apart from back when I was a lad and most Geordies associated local beer with 'The Fed' or 'Newky Broon'. The likes of Durham and newcomers Tynebank are constantly pushing on the extreme ideas front. Wylam and Jarrow have been tuning up the hops lately, and newcomers like Ouseburn Valley and Scottish Borders bring their own brewing styles and beers to the table. Though as much as I big up the new kids on the block, I don't think Geordie beer would be Geordie beer without old timers like Mordue and Big Lamp.
Here at Mordue we are soon to release our first Panda Frog beer to the public as the Pandazilla cascadian dark ale brew date is getting closer and closer, it sure is gripping stuff. It sure will be interesting to see the public response.