The Hack & Hop is less than six months old so maybe it is still finding its feet on the 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
Beer selection: 7.5/10
Beer quality: 7.5/10
A good night out: 7/10
Total score: 35/50, 70%