The bright idea to start this blog was only conceived 12 months ago and it is still certainly a work in progress. As newbs on the scene we can surely be allowed a few extra days to ponder our `best ofs` but let`s start with the brewers.
Whilst there are certainly a decent amount of candidates, this was relatively straight forward for us rookie beer geeks. At heart we are both cask ale kids and this, by the nature of real ale, means that most of what we sample is `local` but that is certainly no bad thing. Yorkshire has many breweries old and new, good and bad, crafty and traditional so we are blatantly blessed to reside within this Olympics-conquering county.
ARBOR have had a prolific year whilst maintaining their quality. The South-West is strong on ales but this lot are a step ahead and they are certainly beergeek contenders. ILKLEY are new on the block and one to watch whilst MARBLE are still marblelous, a rare trans-pennine success story. However, Huddersfield is at the hub of heroic ales and we lapped up MALLINSONS, Hand Drawn Monkey (HDM) and SWB but Magic Rock are as solid as the proverbial. Locally, they are the kings who hold a royal flush of ale styles, keg, cask or bottle. From Simpleton and the Sour Circus at two and a half percent-ish up to the big Cannonball bangers at 10%+ they have an unparalleled array of expertise. Many contemporaries stick to the hand that they are dealt but MAGIC ROCK will gamble and keep on coming up trumps. Same but different? Twist, twist, twist! And win!
Raise your glasses and roll out the Oakes barrel! They must be quids in in Quarmby because this lot are the pride of the Hudd. Hats off to the pubs that have purveyed Rock-solid pints to the Steel City - RUTland Arms, Sheffield Tap, and The BROADFIELD (plus a visit or two to the fabelled `Holy` GROVE Inn). Whether High Wire was atop the beer marquee, or DARK (Arts) triumphed over Alphonso is an enjoyable Rapture-ous debate. Thank you Magic Rock for your relentless pursuit of quality and variety. 2013 has truly been Magic (btw Could we not extend the Sheffield tram system over t`tops to Huddersfield?!).