HCBC 3 – Northern Special!

Welcome to HCBC 3, a special edition featuring only Northern Breweries! Let’s see who comes out on top with featured locations in this part being Hull, Leeds, Marsden and Manchester.

Before we begin, a quick reminder of the rating system can be found here , essentially anything above 50 is decent, 60 is good, and above 70 is great!

Fubarb (Ridgeside / Sour Ale / 4.8%)
Northern Home – Leeds

You may remember that HCBC 2 contained a frankly disastrous Rhubarb and Custard beer. Well, never ones to back down, we went and bought a different Rhubarb and Custard beer! This one however is a Sour Ale, brewed by Ridgeside Brewing Co. in collaboration with Brewdog Leeds for Collab fest 2017.

Time for another edition of ‘Brett’s Corner’ – and for this beer he chose to be rather delicate with his assessment of the drinkability – ‘F#@k sours!’  – Something tells me Brett doesn’t like sour beer…

We’ve got off to a good start with an average score of 65 on the nose! A solid score there, brought down significantly by Brett’s outlier of 32. Four of the scores were over 75 which paints a good picture for this beer, with a diversity of 54!

You get a nice balance of rhubarb and custard with this one and its not so sour that you cant enjoy more of it. Everybody enjoyed the aftertaste of this one, it scored an average of 22.7/30 in that regard though it was definitely let down by it’s drinkability – just 6.4/10 on average for that.

Andy’s Take – Scored it 86 – Kinda hard for me to be objective on this one seeing as I absolutely loved it. I got both the sharp rhubarb hit and a smooth custard aftertaste, very nice.

Position on the night – 4th (out of 8)
Disliked most by – Brett
Liked most by – Me!
Favourite of – Me!

All the PPL (Zapato / Lactose IPA / 6%)
Northern Home – Marsden (West Yorkshire)

Now we come to an interesting proposition in the form of ‘All the PPL’, a lactose IPA from Zapato microbrewery. Double dry hopped with citra and mosaic, with added lactose, lets see how it fairs.

Not sure what to make of this one – apparently it tastes like ‘Big game hunter’ to Brett. I genuinely don’t know where to start on working out what that means!

Coming in at an average score of 52.1, this was unfortunately the lowest rated beer of the night. However, it still falls into our decent beer category! It’s quite standard as IPA’s go, but hits all the notes you would expect.

The general opinion on this one was pretty consistent, with the scores ranging from 30 to 65. The best scoring category was smell with an average 5.7/10, whereas the worst category was aftertaste with an average 13/30.

Andy’s Take – Scored it 65 – A nice, if uninspiring beer. It’s very drinkable and I would happily have several if i saw it whilst out drinking, and the creaminess does shine through.

Position on the night – 8th
Disliked Most By – Liv
Liked Most By – Andy
Favorite of – No-one

Oblivion (Atom / Raspberry Milk Stout / 9%)
Northern Home – Hull

A beer that definitely set the pulses racing when we read the description, this is a Raspberry milk stout from Atom. With the split of the group very much polar opposites in terms of dark beer, this one should be interesting!

So somehow Brett considers that this beer smelt ‘Strong and hot’. I’m not sure how beer can smell hot, but then the taste is also apparently ‘Sweet & perfumic’ so what do I know!

This beer was a bit much for some people in the club! Pours jet black and has a very strong raspberry aroma. Intense is probably the way to describe it, and that probably influenced its average score of 59.1, so close to the higher category!

So before I go any further I should point out the outlier here – a measly 11 from Liv. That tells me that if you don’t like dark beers, don’t go near this one. Without that blip, the average would sit at 66 so bear that in mind. The beer scored very well for taste but poorly in drinkability which is unsurprising!

Andy’s Take – Scored it 78 – Creamy, with a very subtle raspberry taste despite the smell. It’s pretty intense and not at all bitter on the finish which makes it not taste anywhere near its 9% rating. Good stuff.

Position on the night – 5th
Disliked most by – Liv
Liked most by – Andrew
Favorite of – Andrew

DDH Pale Citra BBC Mosaic (Cloudwater / American Pale Ale / 5.5%)
Northern Home – Manchester

Closing out Part 1 of the Northern special is this DDH pale ale from Cloudwater. This group have been disappointed by Cloudwater beers in the past, so fingers crossed for this one.

‘Looks like ass, tastes like flowers, dangerously drinkable’ is Brett’s summary for this beer. Endlessly eloquent is that man, and this was his favorite beer of the night!

This is very much a ‘Cloudwater’ beer and if you’ve had one of their beers before you will know what to expect, hoppy, fresh, and drinkable. A good beer that received an average score of 66.9.

In terms of diversity, we have a difference of just 32 between top and bottom scores which is pretty good, and only 2 scores below 60. The smell was a real high point for this beer, as it usually is for cloudwater, but the aftertaste faded too quickly for most people.

Andy’s Take – Scored it 75 – A nicely hopped, silky smooth pale ale that is very drinkable. A strong entry from Cloudwater.  

Position on the night – 2nd
Most liked by – Andrew & Tim
Least liked by – Alex
Favourite of – Brett

Next Time

So as you may have guessed the champion of this special Northern edition is still to come in Part 2! Featured breweries next time include Northern Monk, Lost Industry, Wander Beyond and Marble. For now, the standings so far are below, Cheers!

  1. ?
  2. DDH Pale Citra BBC Mosaic
  3. ?
  4. Fubarb
  5. Oblivion
  6. ?
  7. ?
  8. All the PPL






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