A Rapturous, Curious Carnival of Dark Arts at Magic Rock Brewery – EBBC12

Rapture…beautiful plumage

EBBC was almost over and had been excellent throughout, but I’m sure I wasn’t alone in reserving the main source of my excitement for the final act, the culmination of all events, the visit to either Magic Rock or Roosters Breweries.

It was strange talking to many people on the Saturday evening about which one they were attending, both were a going to be fantastic and even Tom and Oliver Fozzard from Roosters were genuinely disappointed that they could not join the Magic Rock tour themselves, this after stepping in to host a group themselves due to the overwhelming demand.

I too felt that pang of sadness in missing out on the Roosters visit, but was still on pins as I shoe horned all the bottle swaps and home-brew samples into my broken wheeled hold all and literally dragged it to the station to meet the excited throng of bloggers, writers and brewers on platform 16a. Repeating the mauling slog on arrival at Huddersfield and in doing so missing the first two mini buses I finally arrived at the brewery to a wonderful sight which instantly soothed my weariness and anxiety.

Five yes FIVE pump taps on a specially ordered font built into the cold store wall.

The guys at Magic Rock had clearly put some thought and effort in planning this event. This was immediately evident from the smells of barbecued food on the go that met the nose and the sea of happy faces chatting away, raising glasses to the light or dipping noses deep into glass like sieges of hungry waders at low tide.

Wandering around the brewery yard happily clutching my very first glass of delicious Carnival summer ale, I could see that the ranks had been swelled somewhat by other brewers and writers from all over the UK. All keen as mustard to join in the carnival in Oakes, Huddersfield and who could blame them, it’s almost overnight become a Mecca for beer lovers worldwide.

It was also really plain to see how happy and proud all the guys at the brewery were to host the event, whether flipping burgers, mingling with the crowd or taking one of the many trips around the gleaming brewery, all walked around with beaming smiles, no doubt feeling ten foot tall. Looking around me and joining the tour it was easy to see why, its a fantastic place and one that most brewers would kill for. Interestingly though it seems it is already nearing it’s shelf life, demand already exceeding possible production Magic Rock will have to make plans to move at some stage and very soon.

The place where all your beery delights are pulled together, MRHQ

Tour over, burger munched and five beers sampled no one in attendance would have batted an eyelid had the event slowly been drawn to a conclusion there and then, but true to form there were more enchanting tricks up the proverbial Magic Rock sleeve as Rich and Stuart conjured yet another beer for our collective enjoyment.

Remember that earlier picture of five gleaming taps each proudly displaying the delights within, well look again, there were six.. Enter the lady…

I was lucky enough to be in attendance for the launch of Bearded Lady back in 2011 and she was beautiful.

She’s aged a little since then and boy has it done her some good. After several months spent maturing in a bourbon barrel, she’s become a real smoothie, rich and curvaceous , dark and voluptuous, stunning beyond the many other superlatives I could have thrown her way. Seriously the effect it has had is beyond belief and it was without doubt the most enjoyable whisky aged beer I have ever tasted to date. As is the norm generally at times like this, I opted to spend more time enjoying and less time taking notes and when I say less time I actually meant zero. Thankfully though Rob over at HopZine was far more professional and took the time to produce a video blog review with special guest the Ormskirk Baron, you can check that out here. A fantastic finale to a brilliant day at Cirque De Rock Magique.

In closing this post I’d like to thank everyone involved in organising this fantastic occasion, I  felt immensely privileged to be there and join in the fun.

Brian from Huddersfield’s finest pub The Grove, examines his Bearded Lady and plots stealing the recipe to add to his collection..

Special thanks of course go to the guys at Magic Rock, to take such time from a clearly manic brewing schedule must have taken its toll, but you pulled it off and in some style. A brewery visit that will I assure you take some beating and be talked about by everyone who made it to Huddersfield that day for a very long time.


BeerRitz Bounces Back

For everyone who read this before, or is reading it for the first time now, here’s an update from Zac Avery:

Beerboy BeerRitz update


On a day when the Chancellor did the absolute bare minimum to help the struggling beer industry, it was great to actually hear some good news yesterday.

BeerRitz who quote on their website that they are “the longest established online beer shop in the UK” was again open for business!

You may think I am being a little vague by quoting the line above and you’d be right, the reason being that I have never been to the store in Headingley, Leeds, nor have I ordered from their on-line facility as yet and as such I know very little about them other than what I have read. So why, you may ask do I think that is good news?

Well since starting this beer blog I have made (largely through Twitter), many new friends, acquaintances, contacts or even just connections to people I follow out of interest. When the news broke last week that BeerRitz was closing it’s doors, the Twittersphere was alive with chatter universally expressing sadness, regret even grief on hearing the news. The absolute reverse was the case yesterday when it was announced that the doors were again open and BeerRitz was saved, come down and fill your boots! All of these people can’t be wrong, there’s no smoke without fire as they say.

BeerRtz is also the home of Zav Avery, one of the UK’s most respected beer writers and specialist retailers, Zac, from what I can gather was instrumental in the dramatic turnaround (circumstances yet to be disclosed) and I for one salute him and everyone else involved.

I wish BeerRitz the very best of luck and thank them for giving a good two fingered salute to the folks responsible for sticking an extra 10p on my pint yet again.

Give them a try or at least your support by spreading the word, I know I plan to in both ways, as without establishments like these and the people who run them your fridge would be full of cheap supermarket gnats piss…


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