Saturday, October 6, 2007

Saltaire Brewery

Saltaire is a Victorian model village out of Bradford that was created by Titus Salt in 1853. Salt ran a number of textile mills and was the largest employer in Bradford when he set up Saltaire to house and entertain the workers employed at his largest mill in the Aire Valley. Saltaire featured a standard of living conditions that was unheard of in working class Victorian England. Saltaire featured a hospital, reading room, library, concert hall, allotments, and billiard room. What Saltaire did not feature was a pub, or a brewery as Titus was a tee-totaler. That however has been corrected with a wine bar called “Don’t Tell Titus” and more interestingly with the opening of the Saltaire Brewery in the old generating hall that powered the Saltaire Tram system. Saltaire was set up by Tony Gartland, a lawyer of twenty years, and Paul Simpson who had worked for Whitbread and Holsten. The brewery has gained acclaim from both SIBA and CAMRA from packaging of there bottled products which list ingredients and clearly describe the flavours or style they are trying to create. However whats inside the bottles is equally deserving of praise.

The Saltaire beers have been popping up in NZ over the last few months and as I have already written on this blog, I’m a big fan. All the beers feature a prominent malt accent with earthy robust English hopping taking a supporting roll.

Fuggels Bitter 3.8%abv

Pours a mid gold with a white thick creamy head. Complex aroma features a heathery spicy hop character, tangy fruit, a hint of caramel and a boiled sweet note. On the palate there is lots of sweet creamy malt, a hint of the boiled sweet note from the aroma and a clean hop finish. Drinks way above its 3.8%abv..

Goldings Ale 4.2%abv

Pours a crystal clear light gold with a tight fluffy white head. Exceptional sweet toffee aroma with a hint of mineraly character, interestingly earthy citric hops only seem to appear as the beer warms. On the palate there is heaps of sweet malty toffee, hints of nuts and earthy hop ending in a satisfyingly bitter finish. Awesome beer not nearly as hop driven as the name would suggest but a top pint.

XB 4.3%abv

Spicy tangy English aroma, hints of dried fruit, and tangy vine fruit vie with nutty malt, certainly none of the diacetyl hinted at in the description. On the pallet fruit continues, with some spicy anise notes, malt sweetness makes a brief supporting appearance but little in the way of malt flavour. A big resounding bitterness is left at the end. A fantastic bitter that might be a little more balanced if served through a sparkler in the Yorkshire tradition.

Challanger Special 5.2%abv

Pours dark amber with a white head. Aroma features chocolate, and dark rich toffee. The palate features roasty, chewy malt with a distinct smoky character, the complex malt combination perhaps reminds me more of a new world scotch ale than an English beer, ends in a smooth clean bitter finish.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the challenger special but was quite suprised by the lack of bitterness. The finish was almost milk like and just lacked something to keep you thinking about more of it afterwards. Looking at your notes I think I'll try and find some new world scotch ales for a comparison.

The blog's good by the way. Keep it up.