Delectable Dark Beers: A Top Beer Not So Perfect Ten

Ten of the finest dark beers – mainly milds, stouts, and porters

At this time of writing we are in the midst of Black Friday, an American import which marks the first shopping day after Thanksgiving Day. Thanks inevitably to the internet it has become an international phenomenon. In these parts, it is associated with people fighting over 62″ screen television sets at knockdown prices.

This year, the media seems to have focused on plush toy carrots instead of flatscreen televisions. I suppose it makes a nice change from Brexit, where our attempts at trying to leave the EU could drive us to drink.

This reminded me of Guinness’ Black Friday ad, stating that every Friday is a Black Friday. Pure genius. As dark beers go, Guinness isn’t the only one on the market; our latest Not So Perfect Ten looks at another ten great dark beers. Which have been sampled by yours truly over the last two decades. Let’s tap and vent our ten barrels.

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Top Beer: 3. Stockport Brewing Company’s Stock Porter

Top Beer on Stockport Brewing Company’s porter

For lovers of cask conditioned and bottle conditioned ales, Greater Manchester is some sort of a metropolis for its microbreweries. Stockport town centre also has three microbreweries alongside Frederic Robinson’s Unicorn Brewery. Two of them are yards apart, with the third one closer to Heaviley. Continue reading “Top Beer: 3. Stockport Brewing Company’s Stock Porter”

The East of the M60 Interview: Tweed Brewing Co., Newton

A quick half with Sam and Dave Ward, and Anthony Lewis, founders of Tameside’s newest microbrewery

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Image Is Everything: the slick graphics of the Tweed Brewing Company, fast becoming a familiar sight throughout the North West.

Just off the 346 route, in part of what used to be Weston Hyde’s base is a microbrewery that is making waves. Its upmarket approach has wowed drinkers young and old. Ultimately, they wish to experiment with new flavours and court younger drinkers aged 18 – 35 – the biggest growth area for cask conditioned ale. Before and after the interview, we had a look around the brewery itself, and I sampled half a pint of Black Shire Stout (4.5%), their latest addition.

On Friday [09 January 2015], yours truly spoke to Sam Ward, the founder of Tweed Brewing Co. Also his father and cofounder Dave Ward (a former firefighter who has made the transition from one pump to another), head brewer Anthony Lewis.
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It’s Time to Brew! Hyde’s First Brewery Since 1929 Ready for Christmas

Tweed Brewing Company sets up home in Newton

Just off the 346 bus route (along the part hitherto SHMD’s 15 service), Hydonians can drink to the town’s first brewery since 1929. The Tweed Brewing Company have set up a microbrewery on Newton Business Park. Owned by father and son Dave and Sam Ward, this began life as a conversation over a few beers. Continue reading “It’s Time to Brew! Hyde’s First Brewery Since 1929 Ready for Christmas”

Ringway Brewery Cleared For Westminster

Reddish brewery’s bitter set for House of Commons bar

Another one of our local breweries is set to grace the Commons’ bar. This week, it will be the turn of Reddish’s Ringway Brewery. Continue reading “Ringway Brewery Cleared For Westminster”

Lancs Lagers Lost: A Top Beer Not So Perfect Ten

Lamented or not so lamented lost lagers of the last fifty years

If you are able to cast your mind back to the early 1960s, a certain Eddie Taylor was causing quite a stir in the pub scene. In 1961, he bought twelve English and Scottish breweries within a year. He formed a conglomerate known as Northern United Breweries, which later became Charrington United Breweries.

Continue reading “Lancs Lagers Lost: A Top Beer Not So Perfect Ten”

Top Beer #4: Robinsons Brewery’s Trooper

East of the M60 reviews another real ale, and unlike the last one, imbibed a little closer to home.

  • Beer: ‘Trooper’ (4.8%);
  • Type of Beer: Premium Bitter/Golden Ale;
  • Brewery: Robinsons, Stockport, Cheshire;
  • Quaffed at: The Arden Arms, Stockport.

Not so long ago, Robinsons Brewery launched a successful ale in cooperation with Bury band Elbow. This year, the front man from Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickinson emulated that feat with a strong bitter named after a Top 20 Hit of theirs from 1983.

Once more, not so long ago (well, around March of this year to be honest), East of the M60 mentioned this and – true to form – decided to sample the beer itself. Where else could you try their ale apart from in Stockport (and especially so in one of Robinsons’ most revered pubs, The Arden Arms no less)?

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Top Beer #3: Sixteen Miles for a Pint of Tea

East of the M60 reviews another real ale, this time in Huddersfield

  • Beer: ‘TEA’ (5.0%);
  • Type of Beer: India Pale Ale;
  • Brewery: First Chop, Ramsbottom, Lancashire;
  • Imbibed at: The Rat and Ratchet, Huddersfield.

Following a quick search for somewhere to go the following day last night, Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council’s website swayed my journey plans towards Huddersfield. I had originally intended to look around the Farmers’ Market on Armentieres Square, Stalybridge, following this up with a trip to Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar for one of their seminal sausage sandwiches. Continue reading “Top Beer #3: Sixteen Miles for a Pint of Tea”

Top Beer: 2. Thornbridge Brewery’s Jaipur

Top Beer on Thornbridge’s strong India Pale Ale

Until recently, Bakewell was famous for two things: its puddings and its open market. In the last decade, ale has become the Derbyshire market town’s other export, thanks to Thornbridge Brewery. The company has ten regular cask ales including the one featured here. A further twelve bottled ales form part of their portfolio, and they’ve even upset some of the traditionalists with a dozen keg beers. Continue reading “Top Beer: 2. Thornbridge Brewery’s Jaipur”