Ilkley Brewery at the Hack & Hop

Hotfoot from The Long Room it was on to the Hack & Hop for Ilkley Brewery’s 1000th brew, Mash Tonne. Clearly this job is not going be all beer and skittles, no, wait a minute, it is all beer.

The Hack & Hop is less than six months old so maybe it is still finding its feet on theHack Hop craft beer circuit. The clientele certainly looked more CAMRA than craft – as opposed to The Long Room earlier. (Ed: careful about wild stereotyping) Wild Beer and Beavertown, two of my favourites, featured well on the beer list. A TV downstairs if you want to watch the footie and a drinking room upstairs if you’re here for the beer and good company.

But I was here for the Mash Tonne. Have you ever tried a darjeeling-infused, blackberry brown ale featuring American hops? Regrettably I hadn’t before now so I was somewhat stuck for comparisons. It was beautifully balanced well-made beer – that almost goes without saying where Ilkley Brewery is concerned. The blackberries were discernible and subtle use of fruit in beer is something I do enjoy (possibly with the exception of passion fruit – see previous post). Sad to say though, I couldn’t help but think that an awful lot of thought, work and ingredients had gone into making something that whilst a good beer was not an extraordinary one.

I am still a big fan of Ilkley Brewery. If you haven’t tried it before, Siberia, a rhubarb saison works particularly well. The tartness of the rhubarb is just what the saison needs to lift it into the realms of the less ordinary.

Date:                                Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Venue:                             7/10

Beer selection:                 7.5/10

Beer quality:                     7.5/10

Atmosphere:                     6/10

A good night out:               7/10

Total score:                       35/50, 70%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *