Leeds Beer Week 2016

With Leeds Beer Week 2017 just round the corner, we take a look back at 2016. Last year was great and we tried to get to as many events as we could – here’s a look back and a few of our thoughts. If 2016 was anything to go by, you’re in for a great week!

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Sunday : Launch Party (Northern Monk)

The launch party was held at Northern Monk Refectory, which was a relaxed affair with friends just kicking back and having a beer or two. It wasn’t so much of a party, but more of a chilled-out get together on a Sunday Bank Holiday to ease us all in to the week ahead.

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Monday : Exhibition (Brunswick) and Chimay Tasting (Head of Steam)

We were lucky enough to be asked by Mark Newton to be involved in the Yorkshire Beer Photography Exhibition. On Monday afternoon, we went up to the Brunswick to go have a look at the amazing pictures Mark had been collating over the past few months leading up to LBW. Mark has subsequently continued with his photography of all things Beer Yorkshire, you can see his website here.

In the evening we went to Head of Steam for a Chimay tasting.

If there was ever an event that was undersold; this was it. We felt the communications from Head of Steam were quite confusing leading up to the event and we weren’t really sure what we were in for (but loving Chimay and HoS we just had to go). However, for our £20 per ticket what we got was amazing value for money. There were five different Chimay beers each paired with food. Upon arrival we were greeted with a Geuze Mariage Parfait as a welcome drink and there were some appetizers on our tables to keep us going in the form of Chimay cheese brushcetta (yum).

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The first pairing was Chimay Doree with ham and cheese croquettes. Absolutely delicious and a sure sign of things to come.

Next up was a Chimay Première with sausage egg sliders and a Chimay brown sauce. The brown sauce was exceptional and really worked with this particular beer.

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We also got round to pairing Chimay Grand Reserve with chicken ciabatta, Chimay 1997 no need to pair due to how amazing & dusty this was,  then to finish, a Chimay triple with a Kerb Edge burger. Thanks to Chris and the team at HoS for a great evening. Looking back we both agreed this was our favourite and best value for money event of the week.

Tuesday : De Molen (Northern Monk)

The Dutch brewers had sent over some big beers for this tap takeover.

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It’s not very often we get to see this many De Molen beers on draught, so we had to pop along. After a few Impy Stouts and Barley Wines, things became slightly hazy! It was pretty busy as it also coincided with their weekly quiz hosted by A Tribe Called Quiz.

Wednesday: Rest day 

You need a rest day!

Thursday : Bottle Share (LLBH) and Legitimate Industries (North)

Before heading over to Little Leeds Beer House for the Bottle Share, we got some scran at Tapped and filled up on one of the lovely 18 inch pizzas.

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Bottle Share here is always one of our favourite things to do, you get to bring out those big bottles that you just cant drink on your own or you have saved for a special occasion. As always there were too many to get through! The guys at Monk had recently been over to the USA working and they brought a can of Tree House and a Trillium double IPAs for us to try.

As it’s a 9pm kick out at the Corn Exchange, it meant we all had time to head to North Bar for the Legitimate Tap Takeover. Having tried the APA and Pilsner, I was looking forward to trying their IPA and their Wheat Beer. What we didn’t take in to account was how busy it would be! It was crazy, so much so that by 9.30pm they had sold out most of their beer and the Wheat was the only one left. Lesson learned – don’t leave it too late if you want something, the events prove to be very popular.

Friday : Rodenbach Dinner (Northern Monk)

Before heading to Northern Monk we wanted to get to Tallboys for a beer or two and to pick up a special Leeds Beer Week/Tallboys collaboration tote.

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We had said to ourselves that we were going to have one big blow out event for LBW and when we saw that a Rodenbach Dinner at Northern Monk was on the agenda, we stamped this in the diary straight away.

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There was a party of around 20 of us all sat down in the actual brewery. The hosts from Rodenbach were Max and AB who talked us through the history of Rodenbach as well as each beer that was paired perfectly with the food.

The guys at Monk tried the beers beforehand and were drinking the first one of the evening with a packet of crisps and found out that this worked rather well(!). So the first course was loosely based around the concept of cheese and onions crisps; Shropshire Blue, Apple, Wood Sorrel on Hop Toast went superbly well with a Rodenbach Classic.

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Next up we had smoked goats cheese with the Grand Cru.

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For the fish course we had mackerel and raspberries which for me this was an unexpected delight. I do love fish, but not fruit and fish, many of the diners struggled to enjoy the fish aspect of this one. For the meat course we had venison chorizo paired with Caratiere Rouge, a beautiful pairing.

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Dessert was the best dish of the evening. Rossa with Mocha Porter ganache. I’m still drooling about this right now.

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Saturday : The Curious Summer Social (North Bar Social) and Mega Import Extravaganza (Veritas)

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In the evening we had booked tickets for a beer and food matching at Veritas, with Andreas Falt to talk us through the beers. For £25 you got to biggest sized portions of food you have ever seen each individually paired with a beer to match.
We were all shown to our tables and once we were all sat down, it became quite apparent that this was a different crowd to the other LBW events.  There seemed to be a few Veritas regulars along with a few that claimed to not like beer! Great to see people trying the beers though. Another great value for money event.
Sunday – Uniting Cities (North Brew)
On Sunday we headed up to North Brew Co for the Uniting Cities event. This was 2 x Leeds breweries and 2 x Manchester breweries; North Brew Co and Northern Monk vs Squawk and Track taking over the taps. Mango Lassi Heathen aside, the Track Double IPA was tasting rather spectacular. This was a proper Sunday, relaxed vibes, great tunes, Parm Star and the Magic Cycle also finished here with the riders starting to flow in from 3.30pm.
The LBW team only gave themselves 10 weeks to somehow pull-off this master stroke of a week, so they couldn’t get round to doing as many things as they wanted. We guarantee that this year is going to be even bigger and even better.
Keep an eye out for magazines due out this coming week. They’ll be heading to the cities and towns of the North with further details on this year’s events.
You can also look out for announcements of what’s happening on their websiteFacebook, or Twitter.
P.S. Matt Gorecki – we are still waiting on that badge of honour you promised us….
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