My extended absence from this particular beer-paradise has been circumstantial and I had all but given up on visiting during 2011. Enter stage right @GeekLeeds. I met Gary (Geek Leeds blog) at the IPA Day back in August, Mr Foleys was packed and through the ‘random factor’ I happened to talk to him and as he didn’t seem to be a mentalist he is now one of the great bunch of people I have met so far thanks to great beer.
A couple of months back I received an SOS from Gary that read, “we need a beery adventure“. It didn’t take long to agree on The Grove Inn. Saturday gone, we embarked on our spluttering train journey, a short distance from Bradford and Leeds. I know that Gary will be blogging about this in more detail than me, so I’ll cut to the bit at the pub. When Tennyson penned this poem I’m positive it wasn’t with beer in mind, but as we entered the pub, and thanks to the right hemisphere of my melon , the one poem I know of popped into my mind…”crossing the bar“. It was a moment I had built up in my thoughts and it seems to be a rite of passage for any self-respecting beer geek in West Yorkshire. Apologies to the architect, but the pub is nothing to look at, it doesn’t draw you in and aside from the large BrewDog logo as you step through the door, you wouldn’t know this was going to be a trove of beery wealth.
It was about 5pm and there was a buzz about the place, a friendly enough mix of folk and we were greeted with “what can I get you“. Usually this would be welcomed, no leaning over the bar to catch the Keeps attention, but when your head is spinning with choice all you want is a couple of minutes to steady yourself. Not wanting to look like a total newbie I took control and ordered myself a pint of Hawkshead Windermere Pale, Gary a pint of Thornbridge Jaipur and Ben (@Boodrums) went for a bottle of BrewDog Hardcore. Way to go Ben! He’ll learn from this, but at the time I couldn’t help feel a little bit jealous of his free spirit.
We settled for a table in the Public Bar as I sensed that the occupants of the Snug weren’t ready for our enthusiasm. Someone had mentioned the artwork to me a few days before and I now fully appreciate what they were giggling about. Lets just say the ambience is set to bohemian. We settled in and slowly moved through the gears (exclude Ben from this) taking in a couple more cask delights in the form of Buxton SPA and Marble Dobber, before hitting the bottle menu hard. I can’t remember the order perfectly but between us we sailed through BrewDog ABD, Kernel 100 Centennial and Columbus, Rogue Mocha, Little Creatures Pale and Hardknott Infra Red. Tyler (It’s Just Beer blog) arrived to join us (@tkiley1) and he influenced us to move onto Brooklyn Sorachi Ace and Nogne O Triple Tiger, Porterhouse Plain Porter and a few others that escape me.
Before leaving we annoyed a fair few people, on both sides of the bar, by our drunken deliberations and eventual purchases to take home. Safe to say that Kernel 100 Centennnial converts Gary and Ben cleared the cellar of this outstanding beer. So rude.
While waiting for our carriage home, we had to time to nip into The Kings Head at the station for a quick half of Magic Rock Curious NZ, needless to say this was tasting great. The journey home would see us swig freely from a communal bottle of Schneider Weisse Tap 5 which rounded a great evening. Highlights for me were the Brooklyn Sorachi, the Porterhouse Porter and the Marble Dobber. Looking forward to my next visit to HD1.
(See Tyler’s take on the evening here).