North started their annual U.S Beer Fest today, and with it being Friday and all, I moseyed on down for an extended lunch and a little look-see at what was on offer. A tip-off via Twitter (presumably from the ever-helpful Matt) had alerted me to the presence of Butternut Brewing's Porkslap Ale - a beer that I'd been curious about since declaring it 'Quite possibly the best name for a beer ever' a few months back. A Tad frivolous maybe, but I was genuinely interested.
So, this lunchtime, here it was, sitting in front of me in all it's porcine glory. The can was snapped open, the beer was poured, and I'm happy to report....It's all right. Not ground-breaking or anything; but I don't think Butternuts claim it to be. Taste-wise, it's along the lines of Brooklyn Lager, only much less complex; toffee-led malt and that familiar boiled sweet/candi sugar rule the body, and there's not much hop complexity save for a quick, dry bitterness at the end. I could drink a couple more, anyway. Or is that just because it's canned; some kind of subliminal message to chug? Anyhoo - mission accomplished. Porkslap....slapped.
North's US beer fest range gets better every year; we seem to have moved on from the household names of Sierra Nevada and Anchor, and those importers and suppliers are coming up with the goods. Brewers like Odell, Flying Dog & Dogfish Head are becoming more and more ubiquitous (and deservedly so, I might add, in Odell's case) and my notes of the bottles in the fridge make for an impressive list; Great Divide, Big Sky, Buckbean, Moylans, Tommyknocker, Green Flash, Uncommon and Victory all sit, waiting to be sampled. Add to that the likes of SN Bigfoot, Stone IPA, Left Hand Stout and Brooklyn Lager on draught (Brooklyn's a regular at North now), and you've got a new set of choices for your weekend.
In fact, your hardest choice will be deciding simply what to try. The Grove in Huddersfield have also extended thier bar range to include a number of U.S gems. Here's A Swift One's thoughts on the matter....