‘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

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Macc Twissup itinerary #Twissupdate 8

Twissup is nearly upon us and bar a few last-minute set up arrangements, everything “seems” to be in place (crosses everything), so I thought a bit of an itinerary and directions might be a good idea.

Isosc map Jpg

As you can see from the map above, it’s all pretty straightforward on the directions front and none of the venues is more than ten minutes walk from another and probably less.

11am – 12:45 pm Treacle Tap

The first point of call is the Treacle Tap which is about three minutes easy walk from the railway station. Although not plain on the map itself, simply exit the station (there is only one exit) turn left and walk down the drop off ramp to Sunderland Street, The Treacle Tap is approximately 500 metres up the road on the right hand side.

At the Treacle we have Great North Pies delicious sounding breakfast pies and hopefully their creator in attendance, chef Neil Broadhurst. Washed down with among other things Marble Earl Grey IPA. We also have our first beer exclusive with the fabulously sounding Bondi Blues from Cheshire Brewhouse.

As a last-minute addition I’ve literally just heard the Summer Wine Brewery’s “Devil Loves Chinook” arrived last night to complete the keg line up. 🙂

There will be more beer available of course on cask and keg, plus an extensive bottle list including your chance to grab your very own bottle of Red Willow Tilting Ale, brewed for Virgin Trains.

13:00 – 15:00 (15:15-ish) RedWillow Brewery

Next up the brewery visit to RedWillow, here we will sample another brand new beer brewed for Twissup, Shapeless, a continuously hopped IPA, Witless 3, Faithless G&T Saison and perhaps more dependant on demand and numbers. If all goes well you will be able to meet Michelle from OffBeat and Brian from Bitches Brewing too, both of whom were involved in collaboratively brewing two of the beers on offer. To feed your hunger we should have pulled pork fed on RedWillow grain and marinaded in RedWillow beers.

Brewery tours will be available on a staggered basis, again dependant on numbers and demand.

The leaving time has been stretched here slightly to allow the next venue to clear thirsty beer drinkers from their bar as we move on.

15:00 – 16:50 The Macc

At The Macc we will see our third brewery launch of the day with the fabulous Weird Beard and Elusive Brewing collaboration Nelson Saison. All being well both Greg and Andy from each respective brewery will be onsite to tell you a little about the beer and how it came about etc. One not to be missed

Other highlights include Magic Rock/Kissmeyer Salty Kiss and Oakhams Eugene’s Lair.

The Macc has enough cask and keg lines to quench your thirst whatever your dispense preference and a great bottle selection including some 750 sharing bottles. Food too if you’ve room and get the munchies.

17:00-15 – 19:30 The Wharf

Finally we wind our way towards our last scheduled stop of the day (the timings may be a little out by then hence the extra noted), The Wharf, recently voted Cheshire CAMRA Pub of the Year 2013.

Here we have yet another exclusive beer launch for your pleasure, the Bitches Brewing Co & Black Jack Beers “Isosceles IPA“. Again it’s hoped that the brewers will be around if commitments allow, if not I will be and I helped to brew this one too. 🙂

Chris has also lined up a very special cask of Marble Old Manchester, plus no doubt another fine beer selection on the cask and keg lines (including Tiny Rebel Urban IPA) one of which will be on the hop rocket.

……….

Map plain ArialOf course as normal on such occasions there is no requirement to follow the crowd for the entire day, although clearly that’s the idea, but if that’s not your bag and the venue in question is rammed feel free to move around. All I’d ask is that you please make an effort to visit each participating venue as everyone has put a lot of effort into making this day happen.

One word of warning though on that front, clearly the brewery time is fixed so don’t miss that, and if you do move around, be aware that any launch beers may not be on until somewhere near to the stated times.

Links to both of the map and directions sheets pictured are below (hope they work) both of which should print very well on A4 on a good quality print setting. They will available printed too from The Treacle Tap (assuming I remember to print and take them) as will be the local CAMRA leaflets which detail other pubs in the area of note, should you want to venture further afield.

Map arial

Project Isosceles – Map rev1

Should you need a hotel, there is a Travelodge 200 metres from the train station for cheap n cheerful accommodation:  Travelodge Macclesfield Central

Bitches Brewing – Brewbitches bitches bitch – Isosceles #Twissupdate 5

bb_tumblr_icon2Beer folk are ace, fact!

On the very night I pitched my idea of holding the Macc Twissup to the proposed venues, the idea of this brew too was conceived via twitter whilst sat at the bar of The Wharf. I was chatting to folk about the idea and mentioned to Brian of Huddersfield’s awesome beer establishment The Grove.

Brian or @GroveBrewBri as he is now known has had a few handles over the last few years, originally “GroveBri” he graduated to “BrewBitchBri” whilst on a mammoth tour of work experience for want of a better description, at some, or most of the UK’s finest breweries, with a view to starting a brewery back in Huddersfield. During this time he was renowned for being every brewer on the tours “brew-bitch’, and as such on his return Bitches Brewing Co was born.

Since then, Brian has gone from strength to strength cuckoo brewing with Gadds creating Graduation IPA and at Quantum where he and Jay produced Chameleon IPA and the awesome Choc & Chilli Stout, one of my favourite beers of Indyman 2012.

bjb-web-593x363For todays brew he joined forces with Rob Hamilton at Black Jack another relatively new brewery a rather handily (hefty) stones throw away from The Marble Arch in Manchester. So on a warm sunny day, Wednesday 5th of June I took a day off work and headed to Mancunia..

The idea was set, I wanted to try to create a Belgian style IPA hopefully with an American twist, I say hopefully as although this was my second brew day in four days, I’d previously done none at all and hence hadn’t got a bloody clue. We were also joined by another Grove dweller Matt, who was promptly named the brew-bitches bitches bitch.

Team assembled, we promptly set to work…

IMG_6202

Actually Rob set to work while Brian was checking out his hop store..

IMG_6200

IMG_6203IMG_6207Larking about aside, the three of us had a good old rummage through the Black Jack hop store, which barring a couple of pre beer destined bags of hops Rob gave us free rein to use what ever we wanted. This was a great learning experience for me as although I love hoppy beers, it’s very difficult to pick individual varieties out without normally getting the chance to handle the fresh raw product.

After half an hour or so of rubbing and sniffing (hops) we narrowed it down to four, which were used in two separate additions of three if that makes sense. Apollo, Columbus and Pheonix first, followed by Amarillo, Columbus and Phoenix.

Many of you reading this may have already realised the significance of the brew date, Wednesday 5th of June was the day of Simon “Scoop” Johnson’s funeral and celebration of his life. Sadly as we only had this date on which to brew this beer it was decided that we go ahead, a decision on which I’m sure he would have approved. Suitable refreshments were taken however to raise a glass at the appropriate hour.

IMG_6208I doubt Simon would have disapproved too much on the glassware having after apparently chugging one at Orval, straight off the bottling line, directly in front of the head brewer.. He would however I am positive, guffawed muchly at my piss poor attempts at pouring… (well it was a little warm, that’s my excuse)

IMG_6310Brewing finished and checks made it was looking like ending at around 6.8% ABV which was slightly higher than we anticipated, as it goes after a little dry hopping with more Columbus it finally finished at a quaffable 7% ABV. 🙂

Isosceles IPA is now the second completely new brew we will have for you guys on the 29th and is for me the most exciting, having had such an involvement in it’s concept, production and of course it being named after the beery day itself.

ImageThis beer will be launched at our last stop of the day The Wharf at around 5pm, a full itinerary to be confirmed later this week (watch this space).

In terms of other beers Chris has lined up, he’s keeping things pretty close to his chest, but did let slip that his hop rocket will be out and fully loaded and that he also has a cask of Old Manchester brooding somewhere in the darkest corner of the cellar…

Be afraid…

Elusive Brewing Weird Bearded Beer Geekery (or) #Twissupdate 3

Catchy blog post title huh?

A while back I was given a beer, it was a home-brewed beer, a saison, which is a particular favourite beer style of mine, hence I was especially chuffed to learn that it had been brewed as a contribution to my now annual #SupSaison event. It was in a standard brown bottle, labelled with two strips of dymo-tape, one saying “@tabamatu” and the other “Nelson Saison’.

MeThis beer really blew me and everyone at my tasting session away, eventually even making it to my Golden Pints Awards too. I presented it blind so as not to influence my guests as to it’s origin and it was probably one of the most talked about beers of the night and among some really highly regarded saison standards too. Even more astonishingly this was Andy Parker’s (aka @tabamatu on twitter) only second attempt at whole grain brewing, A-MAZE-ING!

Then on 6th of May 2013 I saw this tweet which filled me with joy and excitement..

and a few days later..

elusiveTo explain, Elusive Brewing is the name of Andy’s new and or future dabble into commercial brewing, which was excitement level one.

Upping that to dancing around the room stage two, was the fact that Weird Beard Brewing are another of my favourite relatively new breweries.

Finally, tipping things over the scale to gibbering, leering beer buffoon (stage three to you), they were getting together to brew Nelson Saison commercially.. “EEEEK”!

I wasted no time in pleading the case, the fine detail, the entire plan explained..

Luckily for me (and you), I know Andy and Gregg pretty well and soon the direct messaging was frantically passing back and forth to agree that in principle we could make this happen, and on Saturday just gone, I met up with Gregg to “cough” discuss the finer detail of the plans over a few drinks, on how to get this wonderful collaboration to the twissup on Sat 29th of June 2013.

Just to add a little background to this, Gregg and Weird Beard co-owner Bryan, were home brewers themselves before they took the plunge into commercial brewing. During our weekends “chat”, Gregg explained that they wanted as part of their emerging success story, to give other home brewers they hold in high regard a chance to put their skills to work on proper kit, and with their help and guidance hopefully avoid the mistakes perhaps they themselves have made in the breweries seemingly meteoric rise from humble beginnings. Next up on the collab agenda is Dave Bishop of Northern Monk Brew Co, which I just know is going to be a belter too. (Both of these breweries in infancy are ones to watch for the future, trust me)

BKoVoWGCIAAEchz.jpg-largeIn terms of twissup location, the venue to try this beer has as yet not been decided as we are still trying to set up the full line up of beery delights for your drinking pleasure, but what I am really excited to be able to say is, thanks to the goodwill of the fantastic folks in the beer community, one of these will be heading its way north to Macclesfield very soon.

Incredibly this will be the third in a line up of new or pretty much as near as damn it exclusive brews to sample on the day which just blows me away, Nelson Saison being ready for release probably only two to three weeks before the event. Plus to top it all off both Gregg and Andy have agreed to attend on the day to answer any questions you may have, on which point I’ll give you some advice, catch them early on to be sure both haven’t been doing too much “quality control”…

Read Andy’s story on brewing it here.

Check out this review of the original brew from Rob at Hopzine here too

But most importantly, get the date in your diary, Saturday 29th of June 2013 for an 11am start. 

Please join the Macclesfield Twissup #isosceles Facebook page and sign up.