...And so it was: Friday night meant getting oneself settled in the pub of your choice, with a few good mates, gearing up for a night of World Cup drama. Two days later, we reflect; drama, yes, but not of the good kind. More of the 'What the hell are we going to do now?' kind. Luckily, the best thing about watching games in the pub is that you've got an array of beers to provide ample distraction as you groan from another overhit cross failing to meet its mark.
As someone that drinks a fair old amount of beer, and attends a fair old amount of festivals and events, you'd think that I'd have pretty much lost that little buzz that happens when you spy a beer you've never had before -or even better - a brewery you've never tasted anything from before. But no - it's still there in spades- and at least this was the case on Friday. When I saw two new pumpclips, I was in there with speed and accuracy that our national team could only dream of right now.
The Nook Brewhouse is based at The Rose & Crown pub in Holmfirth; once known only for "Last of The Summer Wine", but now building up a rep for being a little brewing hotspot - including Summer Wine Brewery (more of whom to come shortly). Brewpubs are a rarity right now, but it's great seeing The Nook's beers making their way to Leeds. Even better that they were both wonderful.
Oat Stout (5.2%abv) does what it says on the tin; velvety smooth and loaded with slightly smoked, bittersweet flavours, with a big whiff of Liquorice and Bonfire Toffee on the nose. Deceptively easy to drink for its strength, this was an instant hit, with second pints being ordered. Fans of York's Centurion's Ghost and Leeds's classy Midnight Bell should give this a pop.
Something altogether lighter can in the form of Blond (4.5%abv), which again displayed The Nook's skill at making no-nonsense beers very well. Perfectly balanced, it was sweet and refreshing at the same time, with a hint of citrus on the nose. Not too much - this isn't a hop-fest, but just enough. Clean and crisp - lovely.