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Showing posts from March, 2016

Leeds: Real Ale Capital?

I had a great trip to Leeds the other day. A city I used to live in. Tetleys held sway then, but since the brewery closed, a city that had in years gone by been largely a one-beer town has become a real ale magnet with a vast choice of beers. Indeed I would go as far to say that it must be a serious contender for the best city for real ale around at the moment. I went with a group of friends and friends of friends, some of whom joined us in Leeds. We took the train from Brighouse and on arrival in the city took the new exit from the station that descends via a large number of flights of stairs, finally depositing us seconds from The Hop. We got our beers and sat out in the sunshine looking out over Granary Wharf with Bridgewater Place looming large. I had an excellent pint of Ossett Blonde. We moved on, crossing over the canal, turning right down Water Lane, then left down Marshall Street, where the aromas coming from the Northern Monk Brewery beckoned us. This was where I, along

Ryley Walker: Real Music and Real Ale!

When you come from Rockford, Illinois, real ale as we in the UK know it is not something you are brought up with. But a pint of Robinson's Unicorn Bitter was enjoyed by singer and songwriter Ryley Walker at his post-gig wind down at The Castle on Manchester's Oldham Street, after his barnstorming performance round the corner at the Band on The Wall last Sunday night. I had missed the opening act, Meg Baird, though she did come on to accompany Ryley on his final song of the evening. I caught the second half of the set by the next act, Lee Southall, who, in his words "used to be in a band called The Coral, but I'm not now." He sang several pleasant tunes, accompanied on acoustic guitar,  a perfectly acceptable support act. There was then a short gap before the main act. The place, though not full, was pretty busy with a wide range of people of all ages there. I had got pretty close to the front, although my plan was to move further back after a few tunes. In the