At the weekend Jim and I headed to Leeds for Hopcity - a hop lead beer festival hosted by Northern Monk brewery. Oddly their brewery is in the grounds of a building I used to work at in, ooooh, 2007 I think, so walking there was a little blast from the past for me!
I'll be straight up with you, I'm not the most knowledgeable person about beer, I'm not a hops or a brewing geek but I know what I like (IPA's, sours, fruity beers) and what I don't like (mostly porters and stouts) and I really enjoy trying loads of new beers! Which is why beer festivals are perfect for me. Well, as long as Jim doesn't pick up too many dark beers!
One of the reasons we were drawn to the festival was the fact that one of the breweries, Alchamist, that we stumbled across in Waterbury, VT last year was going to be there. Last year found their Heady Topper in a small beer shop and picked some up on a whim only to find out about how sought after it was later. So we thought we'd go see what else they had on offer. Because we'd had the Heady Topper before we thought we'd try one of their others - so grabbed a can of the Focal Banger. I'll be honest, it was OK, but not out of this world!
We've got our beer festival technique down to a t now. We get a bunch of tokens and then have as many beers to share as we can - that way we get to sample loads of different flavours without getting stupidly drunk or spending an absolute fortune, so we got 9 tokens each and got to share 15 thirds of beers. Which i know doesn't add up, but the Heady Topper was 3 tokens a can.....
And completely randomly we popped ourselves down on a table opposite Ellie and Faith who I've recently 'met' on Instagram but love their beers too. It was so nice to put a face to an online account.
Of course we couldn't drink all those beers and not eat anything. We chose bao from Dim Sum Sue, with the thought that we'd go back for a parmo later, but by the time we thought of moving to get food they'd run out. Gutted! But the bao was delicious!
And if you want to know what we drank - here is our beer list;
- The Alchemist - Focal Banger
- Legitimate Industries - Identity Theft
- Ridgeside Brewery - Wubalubadubdub
- North Brewing - Transmission
- Northern Monk - Northern Tropics Pineapple and Grapefruit IPA
- Zapato Brewery - Stereognosis
- Stigbergets Bryggeri - Amazing Haze
- Cloudwater Brew Co - Don Citra Southern Passion
- War Pigs - Less is Never More
- Siren Craft Brew - White Tips
- Other Half Brewing - Green Down To The Socks
- Beaver Town - Bloody El
- Dry and Bitter - Fat and Fruity
- Deya Brewery - Sunset Dreaming
- O/O - Narangi
It's a long list, and so a lot to remember, especially as we didn't make specific notes and drank them all, but I really enjoyed the Northern Tropics, Narangi, and the Fat and Fruity.
We've got a couple more beer festivals lined up this year, both of which we went to last year - Indy Man in Manchester and Borefts, the reason we went to Amsterdam. Have you got any boozy plans lined up for this year?