Thursday, 20 September 2012

Homebrewers Copper Dragon Brewery Visit, 7th Oct

This post has been in the pipeline for a while now so apologies for being rather slow in delivering...

You may remember the homebrew competition that myself, Beer Ritz and Copper Dragon set up a while back entitled: Operation Remix. I mentioned at the end of the competition that there would be a special event for any homebrewer or would-be homebrewer to take part in.

Come the 7th of October (the first Sunday) we will be having a little get together at the Copper Dragon Brewery for a bit of fun, drinks and prize giving! An invitation has been given to homebrewers far and wide, Beer Ritz staff and the judges and everyone who took part in the competition to come down to the brewery for the night.

Brew beer? come along!

The itinerary for the evening is as follows:

18:00 - 19:30 > Brewery tour and question time
19:30 - 20:00 > Prize giving. (winners who can't attend will be mailed)
20:00 - 21:00 > Couple of drinks in the brewery and a beery chat.

The Bistro serves food until 6pm on the Sunday, so if anyone needs a bit of feeding before hand they're welcome to turn up earlier. I've been informed that the brewery is just a short 10/15min walk from Skipton Station, and is easily located on Google Maps for those who have not visited before.

We hope to see you all there on the 7th of October at 18:00. It'll be a great opportunity to gain a bit more brewing know-how, whilst having a good time with like minded people over a nice beer.

See you soon!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Roosters Competition: And The Winner Is....

(reposted from

There were no fewer than fourteen entries for the home-brew competition we announced at the last Leeds Home-Brewers’ meet up at the end of July – a number that far exceeded our expectations – with the judging having taken place yesterday afternoon at the Mitre in Knaresborough.

We put together a five-man judging panel that comprised of Adam Gray, the manager of The Mitre, Stuart Goddard and Des Tinline, manager and assistant manager respectively of Ake & Humphris, a top notch wine and beer shop in Harrogate, with two representatives from Rooster’s completing the line-up.

Adam, Stuart and Des all have a strong pedigree when it comes to wine tasting and judging (Adam holds a WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits and is a qualified trainer, having previously worked in such a capacity for Oddbins. Stuart, a home-brewer himself, has over ten years’ experience of tastings and working in the off-trade, whilst Des is a wine and beer enthusiast, who’s been actively tasting for more than fifteen years), so it wasn’t a difficult job when it came down to choosing who should help us with the competition.

Given that there wasn’t a set brief for the competition, with the emphasis being on quality, rather than brewing to a particular style, we had a wide range of beers to sample, from a classic English bitter to a pumpkin brown ale, with pretty much everything in between. We organised the beers in order of perceived intensity, from pale ales all the way to the other, darker end of the spectrum.

Judging was based on appearance, aroma, flavour, mouthfeel and an overall opinion, with each judge giving a score out of fifty, before discussing the beer as a group. It was agreed, as it is with such competitions, that, once all the beers had been scored, the highest and lowest scores would be removed from that beer’s total, with the remaining number being divided by three. This was to ensure that any personal preference or dislike towards a particular style could be eliminated from scoring, as we wanted this to be all about the quality of the beer, how well it had been brewed and whether it was a good representation of the style.

Suffice to say, the quality of what had been offered up was very good, very good indeed, with the final result being a close-run thing.

The names of the brewers behind the beers were kept in sealed envelopes and only became known to everyone around the table once the winning beer had been confirmed. So, without further delay, in reverse order, the top three beers on the day were as follows…

3rd Place -
Saison De La Maison (6.1%) – Neil Gardner
A delicately-balanced Saison, this beer was an understated triumph. Far from being brash and in your face, it was a beer that quietly went about its business in ticking all the boxes for the style, without being over the top or ramming it down your throat. Lovely stuff.

2nd Place -
Amber Ale (6.5%) – Jon Ainsworth
There wasn’t a great deal to get excited about in terms of aroma with this beer, but the complex bitter-sweet flavours that had been brought together resulted in a very well-balanced and moreish beer, with a good length of flavour, that proved tricky to put down.

1st Place -
Transatlanticism (6.8%) – David Bishop
A hop-forward porter in the modern style, this beer screamed HOPS at you from the glass. Bursting with juicy fruit aromas amidst a touch of coffee, backed up by a big hit of roasty bitterness, the carbonation was spot on and it retained its head well. A worthy winner.

We’d like extend our gratitude to all those who took part and will arrange for a small token of thanks to be delivered for each brewer to either Friends Of Ham or Beer Ritz, depending on where the beer had originally been dropped off, along with the judging sheets for each beer. We hope the brewers involved will find the feedback useful.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Homebrew Festival at Coopers

For those of you who are involved with, or just following the progress of the Leeds Homebrew ‘club’, you’ll know that we’ve established a small group of brewers from around Yorkshire, who meet regularly to share their enthusiasm, their knowledge and most importantly their beer.   You’ll also know that the group have enjoyed the support of a number of breweries, including Summer Wine, Thornbridge, Revolutions, Copper Dragon, Ilkley, Magic Rock and Roosters.  When I see those names written down I can’t quite believe it.  Good times!
We brew beer at home, and then meet up and drink it with friends.
There hasn’t been a chance to sound the group out about the latest brewing venture, but since the last meeting in July myself and Neil Gardner have been contacted by Paul Huntington, manager of Market Town Taverns Coopers Bar to discuss the possibility of organising a homebrewing event to be hosted in their function room.  The Homebrew Fest would give around twenty homebrewers the chance to brew a beer of their choosing and show it off to the discerning public, all in the name of good fun and good beer.
The plans are in their infancy but the next step is to invite those interested to put their names forward and plan to have a beer ready for drinking on Saturday 24th November.  A small entry fee will be required to secure your table, allow the organisers to plan ahead and to make sure we have twenty brewers on the day.   The fees will be donated to a charity (yet to be determined).

As well as being able to show-off your bottled beer, there will be an opportunity for a few people to cask their beer and serve it on the bar in the function room.  Please let myself, Neil or Paul know if you would like to do this (4.5 gallon casks can be provided upon request).

There will of course be a prize or two for the best beers of the event.  The finer details of how this will be judged and by who will be confirmed nearer the date.

So there you have it, all you need to do is register your interest and schedule a brew day!  The tables/pumps will be reserved on a first-come-first-served basis and anyone is welcome to get involved as long as you can travel the distance on the day.

Homebrew Fest 2012

@Coopers Bar & Brasserie

24th November