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06-11-2011, 18:00
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http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/018.jpg?w=614&h=460 (http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/018.jpg)It was serendipitous that I discover Haworth Steam Brewing (http://www.haworthsteambrewery.co.uk/) on the week that LIFF25 premieres Andrea Arnold’s new version of Wuthering Heights (http://www.leedsfilm.com/news/great-guest-announcements-liff25-screening-wuthering-heights-confirmed/), Emily Bronte’s windswept drama that will forever be tied to this little hamlet in the moors. I’m no stranger to Haworth – given that my mother lives just outside it – and a weekend visit and stopoff at the excellent Saltaire Wines meant I could stock up on 4 of this fledgling microbrewery’s core range.
Haworth Steam are based in Haworth itself, and their beers are available regularly at Gasgoine’s deli on the High Street. First up, Austerity (3.8%abv) Blonde Ale. Blonde is a style I really like, and one that I think gets a rough ride -I’m probably critical of the style above all others at the moment. It takes a deft hand to brew a clean, tasty blonde without it being a byword for wishy-washy, easy-going blandness, but Austerity doesn’t fall into that trap. My pint was as clear as a bell, golden in the afternoon sun, and had plenty of cereal and digestive biscuit on the nose. The body was smoothly satisfying, with more creamy malt, and a distinctive floral finish – not unlike elderflower – that gave it a real identity. In fact, it was reminiscent of Taylor’s Landlord; which is ironic, given the proxmity of Taylor’s brewery to Haworth. One for late summer and hazy afternoons, and I hope I run into it again very soon.
True Tyke (3.8%abv) plows a similar furrow, but with a fruitier, Amber-hued body, and a little more depth. Those creamy biscuit notes abound, and the finish is yet again floral but with a little more muscle and a distinct breadiness that is entirely pleasant. Again, the flavours are clean and bright, and at that abv, True Tyke is one Yorkshire Bitter than any Yorkshireman would gladly sup whilst whiling away the evening.
http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/010.jpg?w=240&h=179 (http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/010.jpg)Ironclad 957 (4.3%abv) is named after another legend from the area; the train from The Railway Children, which was famously shot at Keighley station and along that line. Described as Stout, I expected a little more body; in reality it’s more of a strong dark mild, with hints of caramel and raisin on the nose, and a little drying smoke on the finish and in the body. Moreish, for sure, but I’m not sure how those expecting a Stout will react when ordering it.
Finally, Fallwood XXXX Original Strong Ale (5.2%abv) brings up the rear; apparently a re-working of a recipe from Ogden and Parker, brewers from 19th Century Haworth. Very pleasant it is too, and perfect as these nights get longer and distinclty colder; toffee-apple red, a hint of cedar and plenty of brown sugar and warming, plummy alcohol to warm those cockles. The bitterness is fleeting; sharp yet soft as it fades quickly, making for a very drinkable*beer for the strength. Again – as with the Ironclad – I think there’s scope for even more body, such is the sweetness and abv. But these are minor quibbles; all the beers were good, and I’d love to sample them all on cask soon.
http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/011.jpg?w=179&h=240 (http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/011.jpg)
Haworth’s a good little drinking spot, actually. At the top of the main street you’ve got The Black Bull (http://www.yorkshire-escapes.com/yorkshire/restaurant-reviews/167-black-bull-haworth), which (at my last visit) bookended the ubiquitous Timothy Taylor’s with beers from Ossett and Moorhouses; The Fleece (http://www.fleece-inn.co.uk/) (halfway up the street) is a Taylor’s house with the full range on most of the time and some US imports in the fridges, and the Old Hall (http://www.hawortholdhall.co.uk/) (bottom of the street) is a Jennings house, with beers from them, Ringwood and Marston’s on at any time. So, if you feel the need to reconnect with Heathcliff and Cathy in the upcoming weeks, don’t forget to stop for a pint.

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