A few of you have questioned (including myself) why I haven’t dedicated any posts to my work i.e. Daleside brewery. So for these reasons I decided to dedicate this post to Daleside and all the great blokes that make it work. You see Daleside is no mass market commercial operation owned by some holding company, its an Independent small brewer, of classic and often intriguing beers. Based in North Yorkshire we are a 20 barrel plant producing beer for both local cask sales and distribution further afield (sometimes internationally) by various distributors. Our bottled beers are also bottled externally and can be found in various outlets however I have found one of the best places to find Daleside bottled beer to be Booths supermarket, a chain that seems to only be found in the North West of England, however most specialty beer shops, and some wine shops are almost certain to have them.
Previous to my work at Daleside I had sampled Daleside beer very few times since my days as a Biochemistry student in Lancaster (where a trusty Booths supermarket was near by). Of recent times I have got to know the beers of Daleside well indeed, here are some short reviews of the core products:
Daleside Blonde; This is one of the main core products and makes a great summer thirst quencher. The medium to light soft malts are overlaid with lively floral citrus hop notes that linger in the finish. Admirably this one doesn’t seem to wonder into the dry bitter finish (often with lots of resins hanging around) that other golden ales do but sticks to a gentle, rounded balance fitting with the house style. As a bottled beer blonde is almost a completely different product, more refined in character from filtration and an additional lagering step conducted.
Bitter and Special Bitter; Both core products with great drinkability. On cask bitter is mid amber in color and goes down very easily due to its subtle light caramel and gentle hop tones. Special bitter also has great drinkability, but is a little more upfront with more plumpness to the body and well integrated toffee notes. Both of these beers can be used as examples of classic Yorkshire style bitters.
Old Leg over; Another session ale in true Yorkshire style, Leg Over pours a deep amber to brown in color and balances well the interplay between sweet caramelized malt flavors with those of mature fruit from the fermentation. In cask and bottle Leg over is sessionable yet moderately complex.
As you may have guessed Daleside excels in crafting malt balanced beers, and a number of higher gravity beers are also brewed which showcase this ability even further. Ripon Jewel, Morocco ale, Crack Shot and Monkey Wrench, all individual in character and packed with well layered malt structures to be savored. I have discussed this numerous times with head brewer Craig Witty who has crafted many of them himself and has a fondness for his style of brewing. Another novel factor of my work is that I can chat about beer for much greater lengths of time than in previous jobs before people get sick of it. Additionally it is in Yorkshire, which as a superior respect for and output of quality beer. Grand.
Daleside, a brief tour:
Mashing in; hot liqor meets milled malt being fed into the mash tun. After this process is complete the mash is left to stand at it specific temperature to allow starch in the malt to be degraded to more fermentable sugars.
Buckets of aroma hops wait their turn to be thrown into the copper boil.
Cleaning out FV8 (fermentation vessel 8); after the beer has fermented it is transferred to a seperate vessel, leaving loads of yeasty deposits in the Fermenter to be cleaned out.