Marbles, Pies and Treacle – Twissupdate #MaccToBasics

treacle tap logo

News just in and confirmed from the “Treacle” of a Marble Brewery Tap takeover for Twissup. As you can see from the list below, they are bringing a mixture of classics and specials to kick off the day.

As per last years Runaway event, I expect it will be an informal Q & A session, with a few goodies to give away (T-Shirts, glassware etc) to the fortunate few and lots of supping.

Beer list as below:

450Cask:
Marble Pint
Marble La Petite Toulousaine
Marble Lagonda

Keg:
Marble Dobber
Marble Earl Grey IPA
Marble Bohéme (new Czech-style Lager)

Great North Pies, Supreme Champions of 2015 The British Pie Awardhave created the amazing (exclusive) breakfast pie again for the day, featuring such delights as bacon, black pudding, Hob Nob biscuits (yes, that’s right) served as usual with beans. For vegetarians there is a Cheese & Onion Pie option which is an absolute delight, coming from a dedicated carnivore that is fine praise indeed.

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It is all getting scarily close, hope to see some faces old and new at the Treacle Tap tucking in. Our starting venue, kicking off at 11am. See you there!

Cheers

 

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Macc To Basics

For the oh so many people that have been asking me about this, I can at last confirm that this years Macclesfield #Twissup is go!

P1020544As you can probably guess from the lack of updates, since we decided to kill the “Macc To The Future” idea through lack of interest (it seemed a great idea when we were drunk), things have been a little quiet..

I stand and solely take the blame for this, as for many reasons which are now thankfully all gone, I’d lost my drive to drive the event as much as I had in previous years. But thankfully due in truth to the support from you guys, and in particular I’d say Matt at the Treacle too for pushing me on, we going ahead as planned on Saturday 22nd August 2015.

What has made it trickier this time around is that there has been so much going on behind the scenes. Toby at RedWillow building a new brewery, Chris closing and reopening a new, larger and much improved Brewtique, and Bronwyn and Tim with their network of fine establishments. So we decided to take it back to basics (#MaccToBasics) and just go with a great social drinking theme. No big beer launches (unless of course anyone fancies it), just a great range of beer and food, a good crowd of friendly people having a beery bimble around the usual haunts.

IMG_6367So far we have the return of the amazing Great North (breakfast) Pie Co at The Treacle Tap as our starting point at 11AM. Where we will also have the pleasure of an informal Meet The Brewer session with Marble and I’m sure a fine selection of their beers tbc.

Toby is again opening up RedWillow brewery for us to try a few beers and take a look around the new brewery building so that you can see it as a work in progress.

Chris at The Wharf is escaping on holiday, but again is happy to welcome us and put on some “cellar specials” as well as the normal top range. He is also hoping that folk will take an excursion up to the new shop which now has beer on tap including a dedicated sour line. It’s probably not feasible for us all to go “en-masse”, but we should have plenty of time to visit as they are open all day till late.

Image 1Finishing off the day as last year in RedWillow Bar, which I am sure will have enough to keep you all happy on the cask, keg and gin front among other things. Molly and the team will I’m sure pull out the stops to make the days beer board as amazing as last year.

IMG_0273Full details to be confirmed for all venues as soon as I have them on the likely beer lists, venue timing itineraries, food etc. “So keep em peeled”. Hope to see you all soon.

Cheers

Macclesfield beer gathering III – #MaccToTheFuture

As you may or may not know, I have helped organise an event in Macclesfield over the last two years, a Twissup, beer gathering, meet up, call it what you will. Both seem to have been well received, many new beers produced and especially with the most recent, many brewers attending to chat and drink alongside customers.

This last year (2014) under the “Back In Macc” banner, we tried to focus on new breweries and brewers not yet quite there commercially, giving them a chance to showcase something to a decent sized audience. (the “we” by the way is myself and mainly Toby Mckenzie of RedWillow Brewery, ably assisted by local pub/bar owners Chris Stairmand and Bronwyn Riley of The Wharf and Treacle Tap respectively) plus friends/supporters. There are a few pics from previous events in progress below:


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10659166_10154603871210788_1359327912401101491_n10600646_10154603870660788_3115339361503113849_nAnyway, it seems folk want another in 2015 so I’m exploring an idea.

What I am trying to do is get an “Old School” or traditional brewer(y), perhaps family generational owned, or anyone with a bit of history of just being plain good at what they have always done with no great desire to change as such. Hopefully avoiding those who have already tried “reinventing themselves” with a “CRAFT arm” or branding.

Then get them to pair up with a newer brewer(y), perhaps noted for being one of the new breed, progressive styled or trendier etc. The idea being that they create something together, not trying to change one or the other, or prove which is best. Maybe take an old recipe and recreate it, give an existing beer a new twist, or create something completely new. A no holds barred, free rein brief. Perhaps simplified as a meeting of minds. Clearly I’m talking about more than one collaborative brew here, it would be slightly limited in appeal otherwise, in fact the more the merrier..

The title of the event should it come to fruition is likely to be “Macc To The Future” but that’s not carved in stone if it doesn’t suit what works out. #Macctothefuture

To add to this and perhaps where some of you good people reading this come in. I’d like to also pair up a writer/blogger up with each collective (locally if possible), to work on the idea, join in with the brew day and promote it. The proposed timing is a Saturday around late Aug to mid Sept 2015 (tbc asap).

Unfortunately there is no money in this for anyone, it’s a labour of love, as it costs the venues a lot to buy the beers, and a lot of time and energy is given locally with the only beneficiaries being a local charity in past years. This from beer and food donated free by RedWillow at the Brewery.

This is the list of potential target breweries that came out of my first Twitter/Facebook poll as being perhaps unfairly overlooked as being “off trend”. Some may not suit and we probably wouldn’t be able to do them all, it does give us a wider scope though. It’s also worth noting that this list does not exclude anybody necessarily either, purely a starting point for reference.

Fullers
Robinsons
Harveys
Hook Norton
G W Wright
Burton Bridge
Holts
Bathams
J W Lees
Holdens
HopShackle
Black Sheep
Sam Smiths
Shepherd Neame
Banks
St Austel
Camerons
Titanic
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Note: Adnams and Thwaites were also suggested, but my thought process puts them a little too far down the “reinvented” path, with the Crafty Dan brewery and the newer Adnams ranges, but included for fairness and reference as they were suggested. This though to be clear does not exclude them either, if there is a perfect match out there.
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Ground rules.

In terms of what to brew, I suggest a no holds barred approach as I’ve said, anything goes, although clearly we’d need to try to make sure we didn’t end up with all big ABV’d bruisers

Each brew definitely needs at least someone there to represent each beer collective collaboration, it just adds to the occasion, giving folks a chance to talk about and be talked to about the project and promote it.

Cost is important of course to make sure the beer bill doesn’t spiral out of control and make this a burden for anyone. So please bare that in mind when deciding what to brew, or at least be prepared to ask a reasonable price of the guys hosting it in the town. It’s for fun not profit on this occasion.

If you are interested let me know, get in touch and register interest, especially if you have a collective in mind. We can then see if there is any mileage in pulling it together and set a firm date.

Contact me via twitter @filrd

Or via the MaccTwissup Facebook page here

Or comment on this post and we can arrange on how to get in touch, unfortunately listing email addresses on here leads to a massive spam-fest!!

Cheers

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BackInMacc visit to RedWillow Brewery

No beer tour worth its salt doesn’t involve a brewery tour and as one of driving forces behind the event, Toby and Caroline agreed to host us again for a repeat of what was an excellent few hours last year.

None of the amazing pulled pork this time though I’m afraid, far too much to do in the brewery at the moment to allow time for a few hours of gentle pork massage.. 😉

ba937758522e76d4353df95ecb07e606_400x400But fear not, your need to soak up the beverages with some scrumptious nosh will be sated in most excellent fashion. We (well they actually), are firing up the barby. On that fiery cremater of all fine meats will be burgers from none other than @frostybutcher, aka Lee Horsley Frost of W H Frost and Sons, Chorlton. To house these delicious hunks of meaty goodness, we also have brioche rolls from Macclesfield’s own wonderful bakers Flour Water Salt, good enough to eat on their own. All topped, provided Toby has time to deconstruct his carrot and cabbage, delicious home made slaw. Deee-lish!!

fws_logoTo wash this down, of course we need some fine and tasty beer, something interesting to intrigue those taste buds and bring out their delightfully flavoursome secrets. In a weird stroke of luck, we have just that..

79f86de366a048bdab23bd882975c5bcFor a special one-off, never to sampled again treat, we have Andy Parker’s “Elusive Brewing”, who bring us their “Aged Pomegranate Lambic”, not to be missed.

Also getting its first ever outing is RedWillow’s own, “Rioja Barrel Aged Rhubarb Sour”, which has been maturing nicely, making it really smooth and fruity.

Don’t worry, there will be something a little less challenging for non-sour lovers too, this is to be decided yet, so fret not, you are catered for.

Basic CMYKIf the rain keeps off, this looks to be another really good session, informal brewery tours will be available for those who want them but generally its more of a welcome, come in wander around and have a beer approach, which was great fun last year.

All we need now is you, so a reminder to please like the Facebook page and if possible show you are coming along. If not for Twitter users you can tweet myself @filrd, @redwillowmacc, @thetreacletap, @thewharfmacc, or @tobymckenzie, or why not all of us at once. If none of that is your thing, like the post or comment below. But most of all, please share with your friends and come along for the day, all are welcome to join, itinerary again below with a little slack for walking etc.

*Saturday 13th September 2014*

Treacle Tap – 11am- 12:45

RedWillow Brewery – 12:50-14:45

Wharf 15 -17:15

RedWillow Bar 17-30 – 20:00

20:01 Feel free to circulate and do it all again..

Cheers

Twissup Macclesfield II – #BackInMacc

twissupA date for your beer diary, at last, after much moaning, groaning and gnashing of teeth, we finally have a date that fits the bill.

After last years event I had no idea that we’d be “Back In Macc” (hashtag alert). #Twissups don’t tend to be annual, they are usually wild sporadic beasts that pop up, create a fuss and are gone before you know it, at least for a year or two. However, the feedback from last year was ace, people have asked if I can pull another together and the venues seem game, so hey, let’s do this thing!

The aim will be to try and improve a little on last year, but keep the format similar. A group of great venues within a short walking distance of the train station each with some hand-picked beers for your delight. A brewery visit to Red Willow and all the joys that such visitations bring, plus, if all goes to plan, at least one completely new beer at each place we visit, hopefully with brewer/s in tow, and of course a selection of quality munchies to mop up some of the many beverages consumed.

That is the plan at least, it’s tough, but there’s only one way to find out if I manage it, turn up.

September 13th is so far away though, why wait so long I hear you ask?

Well it’s a number of things really, the first is time. Ask anyone who’s pulled together anything like the above and they will tell you it doesn’t happen over night. Then there are dates that clash all over the place. Last years date for example was scuppered by both an extended Barnaby Festival (a local Macclesfield event) and the European Beer Bloggers Conference, excluding lots of potential attendees. Of the other three potential dates, two clashed with large “craft” beer festivals in Leeds and Liverpool, the other was just too short notice to make it viable. On top of all that, August was pretty much wiped out by some of our protagonists taking three week well earned holiday.

In short, the next five months are just a bit mental, it also gives you all plenty of time to plan ahead..

As usual, more info will be posted up here as and when things develop, please share this post register your interest in comments or via Twitter.

(Read more about last years event here and here, there are lots more too, just follow the links on the pages)

Join the Facebook Page too, there you can get easy access to last years updates and chat to each other and social-mediarise or sammink!

Cheers all

Memories 

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Sad face happy face..

OK, Rachel and I are in Brugge, and as I start to write this are just back from a classic night out in one of the worlds finest beer destinations. Today has featured visits to the Struise shop for Rio Reserva, Cafe Rose Red, twice sampling the most delicious Troubadour Magma Galaxy, once outside for the sun and later for cosy intimacy. Cambrinus, again, for steak natural style with Belgian frites and mushroom sauce, washed down with Vicaris Generaal, and of course Brugs Beertje where the menu was scoured and relieved of many sours and a Struise Black Albert to close.

Fast forward several hours and after a decent nights kip it’s time to pack and journey onwards into Holland, to Bodegraven bound for Borefts, surely up there with the best beer festivals in the world and I’m sure it will be truly amazing.

But, in the words of Ronnie James Dio “Still I’m Sad”….

I bet your heart well and truly bleeds for me right now as I’m obviously suffering yes? But in all honesty, although normally I’d hack your right leg off with an extra dulled butter knife to be here, where I really want to be is back home and heading here..

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As anyone who knows me well knows only TOO WELL, I’ve taken Macclesfield to heart, it’s folk, the beers, publicans and brewery’s. It’s a great place, friendly and has (or had until recently) a short three pronged bar destination tour I playfully named The Macclesfield Triangle. Well, someone’s well and truly buggered that one up haven’t they, Toby bloody McKenzie!!

Today see’ s the official opening of Red Willow Bar (unless the name has changed since last week), but as I’ve been really close to this project from the beginning, it feels awful not being there to see the doors open for the first time to an eager, thirsty public. I’ve watched Toby and Caroline literally slave over this empty shell, painstakingly “nit-picking” over the finest of fine detail for months to get things ready for that moment, a real labour of love brought to life with the last turn of a key.

With fifteen (yes FIFTEEN) keg lines, five cask and fifty gins amongst other things, there’s going to be something for everyone.

Despite many desperate pleas and even a consideration of sabotage, that key is turning when we are away in Europe and hence the sad face. The happy face will I’m sure return when I hit Borefts in a few hours, where I’ll be undertaking a mission to research the beers on offer, not for me you understand, all for you guys back in Blighty…

Toby, Caroline & everyone at Red Willow, we wish you the very best of luck today and for years to come, the first glass of the day will be raised to you, CHEERS!!

‘Twas the night before Twissup..

Twas the night before Twissup, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Wallets were placed in back pockets with care,
In hopes that all pubs had proper glassware.

The tweeps were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of hop fairies danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Just hoped for no Worthies, nor similar crap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the cash point I flew like a flash,
Bashed in my PIN and drew out the cash.

The head on the bitter like new-fallen snow
Drew us to Macc, pre mid-day, off we go.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a red Virgin Train, and Tilting Ale beer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I hoped on the way back I wouldn’t be sick.
More rapid than eagles conductors they came,
And I wished that I’d a valid ticket for’t train!

“Now 6Towns! now, Teggers! now, Sadfield and Dixon!
Stop hogging the bar, and get me some beer in!
To the top of the hill, walk up to the Wharf!
Now drink away! Drink away! Drink awayerr Dwarf??

As dry hops that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet in a beer, make Bluesy Bondi
So down to the Treacle the Twissupers flew,
For Earl Grey IPA, and breakfast pie too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The shouting and bawling of a loud drunken yoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
He’d peed in his Carling and fell to the ground.

All dressed in Burberry, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all checky, and chavvy to-boot.
A bundle of giros and a bag full of crack,
Definitely not one of Isosceles pack.

The drinkers eyes twinkled, dimpled jugs how merry!
But with 10% beers, had noses like cherries!
Pursed little mouths were drawn up like a horse,
But with high IBU’s its par for the course .

The string of pulled pork he had gripped in his teeth,
Let smoky juice splash on his shirt underneath.
He wiped off the drippings, all sticky and sloppy
Then washed down with Shapeless, my god was it hoppy!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, he looked like, myself?
With a frown of his face and a nod of the head,
“You can fill that bugger up, there’s far too much head”.

He spoke not a word, but went back to the bar,
And filled all the glasses, and said “here y’are”.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
He paid with a VISA, his overdraft rose!

He ran for his train, the guard gave a whistle,
Asleep in five seconds, his stop he may “missle“. (sorry ;))
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he rode out of sight,
“Isosceles Twissup, what a bloody good-night!”

Macc Triangle Aged 2I certainly hope so but am pretty confident that everything that could be done has.

Really looking forward to (hoping for) a great turnout, if we get that it will I promise be a blast. I’m off to RedWillow this afternoon to help to get things ready for eager drinkers and for a preamble around town in the evening, so this is the last you’ll here from me on the Twissup front.

I’d like to say a massive thanks to everyone, (there are loads and far too many to mention here, you know who you are), for helping to make this happen, especially RedWillow and the good folks from The Treacle Tap, The Wharf and The Macc.

THANK YOU!

Cheers