Pub of the month – September 2017 – The Narrowboat, Skipton

What a bumper month for pub visits! Twenty one in total, four pubs got two visits each, and one got four. Just like its 2015 counterpart, it is dominated by Skipton pubs, as we recreated the walking tour of Skipton. There’s also the same pub that we camped near to and pubs from a work trip. Very similar months.

We start with “work trip pub”, and an inclusion on exception criteria. Toilets. The most ornate pub toilets that I have ever encountered. This exceptional piece of work can be found in The Philharmonic Dining Rooms, in Liverpool.

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To the “camping pub” next, and it was nice to be back at The Beehive in Combs, where we have had some lovely meals, twice in September 2015, and twice already this year (July). It really is a great village pub, friendly atmosphere, lovely food and well kept beer. Once again it didn’t disappoint, with a couple of pints of Thornbridge Rattlesnake (dangerously easy drinking 6.5% west coast IPA), a classic fish’n’chips and a posher fish special.

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Another honourable mention to last year’s winner, The Needle & Pin. This month it was “Cloudwater night” and as I am a bit of a fanboy, I couldn’t not go. Featuring cans such as  ™ Life and Awkward Phase, it was a good Cloudwater celebration.

For the rest of this round up, we find ourselves in Skipton. Firstly, at the pub that wasn’t here when we last visited, the “Early Doors” micropub. Six cask ales on handpull and some other interesting things in the fridge. Much like a pub used to be, no Sky Sports, no fruit machine, just beer and good chat.

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Another favourite from our previous visit next, The Castle Inn. Not much has changed in 2 years, it wasn’t quite so sunny today but we sat outside again and had a pint of liquid and a pint of food. The liquid was Barista Stout from Theakston, a lovely sweet coffee stout. I remember having this one on a walking tour of Loughborough, and it’s still a lovely pint that could stand up to having a bit more coffee added. The second pint was a pint of chips.  We had pints of chips last time, so we had to have them again. Plates are always preferred, but the occasional quirky pint of chips is ok, especially when they are decent chips. It does make it hard to get the salt and vinegar evenly distributed though…

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To the September 2015 pub of the month next, The Beer Engine. This year there was no-one in talking about “London swearing” just lots of people enjoying good beer on a Saturday afternoon. It is a place that knows its market and caters to them. There’s not much point sticking 5 keg lines in here and trying to convince local drinkers to have thirds of double dry hopped triple IPAs.

There are 5 cask ales on hand pull, ideally suited to the local market. There are around 4 ciders and some good bottled beers including some nice Belgian numbers. The perfect place to enjoy a relaxed pint and a chat. Today that was Vale Ale by Three Castles Brewery from Pewsey in Wiltshire, a tasty caramel bitter.

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So, to this month’s winner, The Narrowboat. This was on 2015’s walking tour, but this year we had dinner here on the Friday night, and came back for a drink after dinner on the Saturday night, so it was not used on the 2017 walking tour. Declaring it the winner might be slightly controversial, because they did send out a burnt pie for Hazel to eat (it was eventually replaced with pizza, but they didn’t refund the difference). However, my pizza was fantastic, the beers were lovely, and Mrs MOFAD had her (to date) “best beer ever!” in the form of Passion Fruit Gose from Hawkshead.

A cask ale with Sorachi Ace hops, a Citra Star from Anarchy Brew Co and a Galaxy from Brewsmith – three excellent hoppy pints. Combine these with some lovely keg filth (the aforementioned Passion Fruit Gose from Hawkshead), Tiny Rebel Mojito Sour and Pogo by Wild Beer Co and you have the ingredients for a pub of the month.

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A worthy winner.

Beer of the month – September 2017 – Even More Jesus

A nice rarity this month, as we start with a beer drunk in an actual pub. It’s one I’ve had before at home, in a can, but whilst out and about in Skipton we came across Pogo by Wild Beer at The Narrowboat, a fruit salad in a glass with a little hop character.

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A trip to Liverpool saw an absolutely cracking session IPA in the form of Penny Lane Pale by Mad Hatter Brewing Company, hoppy and easy drinking.

Fruitiness next, in the shape of of Key Lime Pie Gose by Westbrook Brewing Co. This one is packed full of limezzzzzzzzzzz! Refreshing sherbert lime flavours, full of fizzy fun. I love lime. Also lamp.

A previous winner next, in the form of Christmas Cake Imperial Stout from Cloudwater and To0l. It was beer of the month for December 2016, so how has it changed after 9 months in a cool, dark place? Pretty nicely, it has mellowed just a little but is still very much as schedule. This was the first of three beers from the same night when we had another of our mini camping beer festivals.

We stay with Cloudwater next, and the other pub visit to feature here, Cloudwater night at the Needle & Pin. The DDH IPA Citra was also in third place in July’s beer of the month, and it was nice to have it again. If only I’d brought my curry with me.

In runner up spot, from the camping beer fest, we have Imperial Biscotti Break by Evil Twin Brewing, Base, base, almondy biscuit base. Super tasty, coffee and vanilla, a very solid imperial stout.

It was beaten only by it stable mate, Even More Jesus by Evil Twin Brewing. Praise the lord! It rendered Steve speechless, Matt was impressed by the amount of flavour from malt alone and I was rather partial to the thick, oily, loveliness.

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A fourth dark beer makes it through to the end of year final.