Saturday, April 25, 2009

Foley's Beer List Announced

Here's the beer list (so far) for Foley's Cask Ale House's upcoming beer festival, focusing on Northern Brewers. I'm sure there will be additions in the upcoming weeks.

Watermill Inn Brewing Co – A Bit’er Ruff, W’Ruff Nite
Lytham Brewery – Amber, IPA
Prospect Brewery – Nutty Slack, Blinding Light
Outstanding Beers – Ginger, Stout
Allendale Brewery – Golden Plover, Wolf
Fallon Brewery – Red Merkin (what!?!?), Dark Prince
Mallinson’s - Halicarnassus, Let There Be Hops
Leeds Brewery – Midnight Bell, Ascension
Hornbeam Brewery – Bitter, Black Coral Stout
Idle Brewery –The Idle Landlord, Grunter
Yorkshire Dales Brewery – Butter Tubs, Muker Silver
Village Brewer – White Boar, Old Raby
Yard of Ale Brewery –Yard Hopper, One Foot In The Yard, Black as Owt Stout
Cumbrian – Dicky Doodle, Lowes Water Gold

Jarrow – Rivet Catcher, Westoe IPA
Black Hole – Red Dwarf, StargazerSheffield – Paradise Pale, Porter

As you can see, beers from Doncaster, Denton, Cumbria, Hexham, Huddersfield, Askrigg...a fine selection indeed. I'll be heading straight for the near-mythical Rivet Catcher from Jarrow, and have heard excellent things about Hornbeam & Black Hole. Any recommendations, people? Nice to see York Brewery supporting the smaller guys, too.

There will also be a 'Meet the Brewer' Session with the ever-improving Mallinson's. I've not had a bad beer from them yet - excellent for such a new brewer. Also, I hear that the excellent Moravka could be a regular feature at Foley's from May onwards. Definately one to keep an eye out for.

Mr Foleys 'A-Z of Northern Brewers' Beer Festival: 7th - 12 May 2009.

Tel 01904 621162 for more info

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bacon & Cheese Toasts

Ahh...Bacon...Cheese...can't go wrong. Sometimes, you just want something to graze or snack on when enjoying a good pint, rather than a full meal. This easy snack gets rids of those munchies, and really compliments a good, strong bitter.

You will need:
2 large knobs of butter
Bloomer Loaf
Plain flour
Chopped and fried smoked bacon or ham
Wholegrain Mustard
Cheese of your choice – I would go for smoky or strong tasting cheese. Or more than one kind – the choice is yours!! Manchego is very good with this, as is Lincolnshire Poacher. You want something with bite.

1. Ok – first thing’s first – preheat your grill to about 180c.
2. To make a simple b├ęchamel sauce, melt your butter in a pan, and when melted sprinkle flour over it, slowly, stirring or whisking at the same time. The butter will thicken into a paste. At this point, add milk and whisk; but slowly and a little at a time. You want a thick sauce, so don’t add too much milk.
3. To the sauce add two teaspoons of wholegrain mustard, and the cooked bacon.
4. Stir, and then grate in about 100g of cheese.
5. Leave the sauce to combine whilst you slice some big slices of crusty or bloomer bread.
6. Top the bread with the sauce, top again with more cheese (the more the better!!) and then grill for 5-8 minutes. You want the bread to toast around the edges, and the cheese to bubble and melt on top.

Done. Eat at once, with a good, strong bitter – I enjoyed mine with York’s Yorkshire Terrier - Perfectly robust enough to stand up to all that good smokiness from the bacon and cheese. The addition of mustardy b├ęchamel sets this posh toast -topping apart.

Friday, April 10, 2009

An Easter Treat

...A warm Hot Cross Bun, smeared with a generous helping of Tangerine Marmalade, and a Budwieser Budvar Dark. Although you may think it a little thin, the yeastiness of the bread really works with the lager, and the gentle Saaz hoppiness accompanies those citrus fruits in the bun and the marmalade perfectly. Give it a try.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Nice Pub, But The Atmosphere's Dead...

Regular readers of TGS will know that another passion of mine is local history; and it would seem that recently, I keep coming across stories of haunted pubs in and around the Leeds area. A result of too many pints of Tetley’s, or genuine scary stories? Pubs do seem to attract the odd lost soul.
Take TGS favourite The Palace; a ‘gray lady’ resides there, although no one can really pick out a figure from the pub’s history that would fit the bill whilst they were alive - some even think it's a man dressed as a woman, in fact. Staff of the Queens Hotel in City square tell of sharing their work with a number of ghosts – particularly two men; one victim of a shooting and one hanged man. My favourite inner-city pub ghost tale has to be that of The Old Red Lion, situated opposite The Adelphi. The upstairs rooms there supposedly rattle with goings-on; girls being seen at the windows despite the rooms being empty, and even blood dripping from the ceilings onto drinkers! The doors to these rooms now remain locked. Awesome stuff. The Golden Lion also has reputedly been the site of sightings of a man dressed in Victorian clothes, striding up and down the basement.
My local, The Abbey Inn in Newlay, is a treasure-trove of paranormal activity. It’s even been on the telly for this reason - Bar stools re-arranging themselves, piled on top of one another like Jenga bricks. The rope on the bar-bell swinging when no one is around it; ashtrays and such flying across the bar. Perhaps the most perturbing is the spooks’ habit of making the handpumps keep going once a pint is filled. Its ok poltergeists stacking furniture, but beer wastage is bad enough for a landlord to manage without cheeky spirits emptying casks.
Further afield, The Black Bull in Otley reports heavy footsteps in the upstairs rooms, ‘unpleasant feelings’ and people having their faces stroked by unseen fingers, and the ghost of Branwell Bronte haunts the Black Bull pub in Haworth, another pub that I've sank more than my fair share of pints in. Although these are my favourites, it would seem almost every moderately old pub has a friendly (or not so) friendly ghost wanting to share a pint with you. So beware – that ‘cold spot’ you might inadvertently sit may not be a draft from an open door – you could be sitting on the knee of someone who’s been sitting on that barstool for a very long time...