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Showing posts from April, 2019

Chicken Takeover As Alarm Bells Ring....

A trip out to enjoy the sunshine and beers in Hebden Bridge.... The Easter sunshine continued to smile on us as the 14.55 from Brighouse pulled in to Hebden Bridge, a place I normally visit regularly, but aside from a couple of visits to the Trades Club to see Kathryn Joseph and Michael Chapman, this was my first visit this year. Earlier, I had popped in for a quick pint at the Commercial/Railway next to Brighouse Railway Station, where there is always a friendly welcome at this ever-popular local's pub. Vocation and Co, Hebden Bridge There were plenty of people about as I made my way to my first destination in Hebden Bridge, Vocation and Co, where all the outside seating was taken up. All this Easter weekend they were hosting a takeover of a number of the taps from the innovative Swedish brewers, Omnipollo - the name being a combination of 'omnipotence' and 'pollo', the Spanish word for chicken. They are unusual in that have no brewery of their own; indee

Manchester Monkey Business....

The traditional Good Friday Grand Tour with a group of friends from Brighouse has just taken place, with the pubs and bars of Manchester's Northern Quarter bearing the brunt.... A typical Good Friday began with a group of us meeting as usual for breakfast at the Station Cafe in Brighouse. Duly fed and watered - although in my case, not as fed as I would have liked, a lapse in concentration when ordering meant I ordered a smaller breakfast than intended - around a dozen of us wandered around to the station for the 10.55 to Manchester Victoria. It was a beautiful, warm and sunny spring morning, the platform was busy, with a number of people possibly staying on the train after Manchester to visit the recently-added location of Southport. An hour later, we were pulling into Manchester Victoria. A splinter group decided they would head over to the Piccadilly Mile to visit the Cloudwater Brewery Tap (it was shut) and the Track Brewery (so was this). Those remaining walked the few ya

Spring and Summer Wine....

It's that time of the year when we can get four seasons in one day, and this year has been no exception. And, whether it's that welcome first drink outdoors, or a dash inside to avoid those April showers, it is a great time of year to enjoy a beer.... A couple of weeks ago, I took a day off work with the sole intention of getting on with some much-needed jobs at home. But a trip out on an errand in the morning soon scuppered that plan! It was a beautiful, sunny spring day, and after the recent gloomy weather we'd had, I decided there and then I was going to spend the afternoon outside. The jobs would have to wait.... ...And so, an hour later I set out walking out from home, down the valley to Brookfoot, and then picking up the canal to Elland. It was wonderful to be out in the late March sunshine. The birds were singing happily, the odd butterfly fluttered by, the sky was blue, the sun was warm - even the anglers were cheerful.... Perfect late March afternoon.... I t

Sunset on Magic Rock?

Another UK brewery has been snapped up by a hungry multi-national conglomerate. And this time it is close to home. Here are some thoughts following Magic Rock's acquisition by Australian brewers, Lion.... News broke the other day that one of the most influential brewers in the country, Magic Rock, based just down the road from me in Huddersfield, had become the latest to be taken over by a large multi-national concern, thus following in the footsteps of traditional brewers, Fullers, and craft breweries like Beavertown, Camden, and Meantime. This time the beneficiary is Australian company, Lion, whose biggest brands are Aussie favourites XXXX and Tooheys, and who in turn have Japanese owners in Kirin Holdings. And whilst a brewery like Magic Rock might seem an unlikely target for a volume, mass-market brewer, this is the second strike Lion have made on the UK craft beer market recently following their acquisition last year of Bermondsey brewers Fourpure. So what are Lion gett