Now then, this never `appens: Twobeergeeks reviewing bottled beers! Our Stateside brothers will love it after months of cask confusion, “Goddamn, beer from a barrel!?”
The latest `trend` in the Sheffield, GB`s beer capital, is for real ale off-licences. The arrival of Beer Central and Hop Hideout in the last few months (adding to a few others already existent) has caused lots of interest in beery circles around the county. Although neither of us geeks are normally the type to sit home alone supping bottles and cans, this option has now become much more attractive of late. A wide range of genuinely quality beers are now available from these two new, handily placed outlets. The likes of Maui, Evil Twin and To Ol are no longer the preserve of the mail order enthusiast whilst Yorkshire pride is readily available in bottled forms from the likes of Ilkley, Magic Rock and SWB. Now Sheffield`s ale drinkers can pop in, peruse and purchase a special treat or add to a bottled collection.
A festive match-up of bottled beers is in order. In the Red Rose corner is the big favourite MARBLE, represented by Lagonda with the outsider opponent taking the form of STEEL CITY`s All Hallows Eve. Both are undeniable big hitters and the bottle terrain makes it a particularly close contest.
Lagonda is a fabled 5% IPA. Named after the 1927 Lagonda (a car apparently!), this beer boasts a quadruple addition of hops that give it a bitter finish preceded by a lovely floral nose. Very tasty and very true to its style, although a little lower in ABV, and thinner, than some of its India Pale Ale rivals. No doubt though, Marble produce quality and they do so consistently. Not a knockout but surely a heavy hitter.
Scores – Danny 9 , Mike 7.5
All Hallows Eve is one of the first brews that Steel City have produced from their new (cuckoo) home at Toolmakers and also one of the first opportunities to buy bottled goods from Sheffield`s top brewery IN the city itself. This ale drinks really well from the bottle. A little stronger than Lagonda at 5.2%, All Hallows Eve does the White Rose proud with a beautiful Mosaic and Chinook hop hit that is not as uncompromisingly bitter as some other unpronounceable efforts. An orangey hue and a familiar citrus niff make this a delight to see appear from the dark, info-abundant bottle.
Scores – Danny 9 , Mike 9
As a footnote, we were both really impressed with these fairly-priced purchases from Beer Central and Hop Hideout. Both bottles also have enough info on them to interest beery geeks in both ale-abundant counties. Another match-up beckons . . . !?
Final Score – Steel City 18, Marble 16.5.
(A close scrap and a prized win for Sheffield over Manchester!)