Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Fox & Newt, Part 3

I don't get a day off from work often, so when the opportunity presented itself a few weeks back I welcomend it with open arms. What better opportunity to sample home-brewed beers at the Fox & Newt, a pub I visited late last year, just before the brewery steamed into production? Expecting it to be dead, I was pleasantly surprised to fnd this wednesday lunchtime buzzing, and more importantly, drinking beers from the Fox Brewing Company.

They must have spied me as a hack as I ordered my second pint (I wonder what gave it away: the notebook and pen, the sports pages strewn in front of me) - as a young chap who was sitting at the bar asked me what I thought of the beer. A conversation ensued, and he offered to show me the brewhouse. Turns out he was involved in the brewing, and only too happy to show me around.

Having a quiet beer in that one room that seemed packed with gear, he took me through the origins of the kit and the various pitfalls and pleasures associated with brewing. A faulty part was hindering production at the time, which meant that what we were drinking was more or less the last of that particular batch. But plans are being made for the future, and the Fox Brewing Company seems in good health.
But what were we drinking? Well, first up was the Clarendon Dark Mild; and my favourite of the lot. A moreish, smokey take on the style, this could easily substitute for a well-known stout if you want to go that far. A great beer. Nightshade is a no-nonsense bitter, but with a rich, toffee accent, and the IPA disappointed only in the nose - I expected a more American take on pale ale - instead being a sweet, honeyed golden ale that would certainly deserve more than one pint. Mr Tod was unavailable, but seems to be the most popular of the lot. Add to this roster beers by Leeds, Brewdog (on occasion), and Moorhouse among others an you've got a worthy beer destination.
The good news is that sales of their own beers are admirable, and production should roll on soon enough. That's great news not only for the beer drinkers of Leeds but for the business: the Fox & Newt has been a brewhouse many times before, and never quite seems to bed in. Let's hope the recent owners push this one through.
Rich over at Them Apples was far more on the ball than me and sampled The Fox's range ages ago - for his view, click here.


Philip Carney said...

I hope so too - I wouldn't mind that Nightshade right now, especially after the curry I just prepared.

Bailey said...

I had a pint of Mr Tod in London the other day. It was bloody awful, but I suspect that's because we were in a bloody awful pub, which served it warm in a dirty glass.

I'm intrigued by their Guinness clone. Dark Star do a pretend Guinness, too, which is fabulous, and *very* cheekily packaged...

Leigh said...

Boak - I've since been told that Mr Tod is actually quite an old beer, and could indeed be brewed by other breweries, elsewhere! Did it say it was a Fox Brewing co beer on the pumpclip? I'm intruigued!! and the Clarendon Mild isnt a guiness clone - the point I was making was more that some of guiness's drinkers would do well to try this much more ocmplex beer out.