It's not often I post in a reaction to another post, but Zak's congratulatory piece on Rooster's recent retention of Gold at the World Beer Cup for English Summer Ale with their magnificent Leghorn and YPA Beers really made me smile - and damn it, Zak - you're right. Congratulations are in order.
You see, Rooster's (and experimental arm Outlaw) are a brewery close to my heart, and I think, close to the hearts of many drinkers, especially in Yorkshire. YPA, Leghorn and Yankee are all beers that recall my formative months in drinking beer. Sean Franklin's uniformly pale, creamy-headed beers were simply the most unique beers I had smelt on the market back then, and they were truly special, no doubt. Notice I say smelt - I'm not exaggerating when I say that Yankee and Leghorn really did open open up a new world for me in terms of hops and aroma - an ingredient of beer that I did not know a great deal about back then.
...And it's been a pleasure to learn. When I decided that writing about beer seemed like a lark, I contacted Sean to provide an interview, expecting the usual radio silence in return. But he responded promptly and courteously, and it really made my day. Despite my naive questioning, it's still one of my favourite posts.
Ok, so this may seem like sheer fandom; and in a way it is. But what really makes me happy is this: Local guy done good. Simple as that. Look through that list at the WBC - there's some wonderful, innovative breweries on there; and I have no problem putting Rooster's up there too.
They deserve it - Sean and his team been making wonderful, aromatic beers - with a single-varietal hop mindset - since the early 90's; ploughing a singular furrow in his own quiet way, and has always sat slightly outside the mainstream. He's no stranger to awards, but I know he treats every one with pride. Thornbridge, BrewDog & Porterhouse were amongst the other well-known winners, but Rooster's are local. Well, to me, anyway.
So well done, guys. Deserved, as always.
If you really haven't tasted any Rooster's Beers, they are available at The Palace, North, The Cross Keys, Nation of Shopkeepers, The Maltings (York) and The Tap & Spile (Harrogate), to name a few. Thanks for flagging this award, Zak.