Saturday, 17 September 2016

Mitchell`s Hop House Brewing - Independent

The recently crowned Real Ale Capital of Britain has a new brewery. Hot on the heels of potent pairing Sentinel and Little Critters comes Mitchell's Hop House Brewing.
The Meadowhead maestros of all things alcohol have now branched out and started their own micro brewery. The little Italian restaurant next door has been replaced by a shiny new brew kit aswell as an ale museum and the long term aim apparently is to of have a gin distillery too. Look out Locksley?!
The last twelve months or so have seen Mitchell's wholeheartedly jump on board the craft ale revolution with an impressively expanded range including a sizeable beer fridge with ale from near and far (from Tadcaster to Tokyo), bottled and canned. This place is on my route home from work so the visits have become increasingly frequent and inevitable. Staff at Mitchell's are friendly and knowledgeable, the range of spirits and wines is vast but what's the beer like?
The test batch of bottles disappeared crazily quickly so I missed them unfortunately but I grabbed a blonde at the first opportunity, so to speak. The brews have Mitchell's-related names and this one was named 'Independent' appropriately and offered ample reason to support local businesses if a reminder was ever needed. Stay local!
We twobeergeeks are not ordinarily blonde fans but needs must and, with this one on the shelves at well under two quid for a 500ml bottle, it was a no-brainer to add to my basket alongside the 'fruit-based' drink for the lady.
The initial aroma is nice enough; fresh and grassy. Thankfully Independent is not overly-carbonated as some new-to-bottle brewers seem to do and the late summer golden haze is topped by a thin off-white head.

This one is quaffable at 4% whilst having enough taste to keep the palate interested and the hoppy bitterness is pleasant and quite long-lasting. A good effort and it seems to improve further down the glass, or maybe I over-chilled it a touch. Possibly that could be an area to improve at HH: add some more information to the label like serving instructions, hops used or even IBUs, us geeks like that stuff. Anyways, a promising start and we look forward to seeing how Mitchell's Hop House develops up at the head of the Meadow.
The future is bright.  Maybe this place could be the first to offer a beer and cigar pairing? Now we`re talking!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Sentinel Brewhouse revisited

We are very fortunate to have many fantastic pubs in Sheffield. We are also lucky to have a few places that have been taken over by visionary bosses and improved massively. Now in Sentinel Brewhouse we have something quite different to add to our city's ale armoury.
Head honcho Alex Barlow has an impressive and extensive CV and here on (inner) Shoreham Street his vision is coming into fruition fantastically. We first visited back in March at the back end of Sheffield Beer Week and the place was still more carpet clearance than brewery base but the space and location looked to have potential, to us, at least. The floorspace is sizeable but now six months on, with the brew kit now in place, it sits comfortably and the place has a great look overall.
The recent August bank holiday family day at Sentinel Brewhouse utilized the weather and space to full effect. Glorious. Films on a big screen indoors, in case of a downpour, and inflatables on the car park, a rare and welcomed consideration to families with a Dad / parent / carer with a discerning palette. (The bossman Barlow was here himself with a happy clan in tow too #proofinpudding ).
First visit had worried us a tad with the 'top end' beer pricing but now the range is expanded and improved (Magic Rock on keg, 'nearly ready', but for gas issues, and an array of bottles). Sentinel's own Rhubarb and Rosehip gose was beer of the (bank holi) day (and week) achieving that rarity of a big bold taste at a lovely low ABV (3.something % ), ideal sunny bank holiday fodder.
Lots of geeky beery info herein too on the above-bar boards (colour, IBUs, etc. ) plus the oft-ommited price and even glass options. Nice. Needed more in our city!? Service was suitably 'top end' too and appreciated as was the fantastic food which not many Sheffield places can match (think Beer Engine or Rutland). We are not a food blog though so.... try ... and let us know....!
In summary post-Summer - Sentinel Brewhouse? P`raps the most promising appearance on Shoreham Street since Brian Deane first arrived in a taxi from Donnie in 1988.  Give them a try.  x