BeerCast #63 – Mmmm…beer

Posted by on Aug 18, 2011 in BeerCasts, English Beer | No Comments

We’re back after our summer podcast break with a cracking lineup of beers from three very enthusiastic British brewers – all of whom begin with the letter M (hence the dubious title of the podcast). Our 63rd edition focuses on the West Yorkshire town of Huddersfield – home to two very distinctive breweries. We also throw in a beer from Manchester – a mere 30miles across the Pennines. Beginning with Danger: Hops! (5.1%) from the prolific Mallinson’s Brewery, we move on to a new producer – Magic Rock – and sample High Wire (5.5%) and Cannonball (7.4%). In between those hoppy numbers we add the Mancunian interlude, in the shape of Marble’s Chocolate Marble (5.5%). On the panel this week, Richard, MrB, Stuart and Grooben.

1. Danger: Hops!
Mallinson’s Brewery, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
500ml glass bottle

Opened in May 2008 in a converted garage, Mallinsons are one of the busiest English breweries around, having released literally hundreds of beers (their website’s latest is #233 Io – a Sorachi Ace hopped blonde ale). Production is overseen by the brewster/owner – Tara Mallinson, ably assisted by her partner Elaine Yendall. Being so prolific, they need plenty of names for their beers – Io is the ninth ‘space themed’ – they have also done series on viaducts, wonders of the world, long rivers, and a classic British bus series. Since 2010 they have bottle conditioned four of their best sellers – Stadium Bitter, Station Bitter, Lindley Pale, and Danger: Hops!

What They Say
“A re-brew which is stronger and hoppier. Each cask is dry hopped with Citra. Pale straw coloured beer with a hoppy passion fruit and mango nose, a bitter strong taste and a long bitter citrus finish.” [Official Website]

What We Say
Richard – Smells pineappley, quite sharp citrus on the taste 7
Stu – Danger Hops should slap you around the face a bit more 6
Grooben – Every Citra beer smells the same apart from this one 5
MrB – Not even mildly dangerous, it’s actually quite tasty 5

2. High Wire
Magic Rock Brew Co, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
330ml glass bottle

Magic Rock Brewing are a brand new Yorkshire brewery, having also begun in Huddersfield, but in mid-2011. Brothers Richard and Jonny Burhouse founded the business, after employing ex-Kelham Island, Acorn and Crown head brewer Stuart Ross to be their head brewer. The Burhouse brothers already run the online beer shop mybrewerytap, and also their family business which wholesales new age gifts – leading to their brewery name Magic Rock. High Wire is their tribute to the pale ales of the West coast of America. But how does it compare?

What They Say
“Let your taste buds walk this test of balance. Mango, lychee and lip-smacking grapefruit flavours harmonise against a smoothly composed malt base, which develops into a crisply bitter finish. Are you ready for our tightrope of taste?” [Official Website]

What We Say
MrB – There aren’t many beers in the UK like this, it’s really good 8
Richard – Not as hoppy as Sierra Nevada, good in it’s own right
Stu – Not enough of a kick in the nuts, but I’m warming to it 7
Grooben – Smells great, I don’t think it’s flavoursome enough

3. Chocolate Marble
Marble Beers, Manchester.
500ml glass bottle

Our dark offering for the podcast doesn’t hail from Hudders, but then Manchester is only 30 or so miles away. The Grade 2 listed Marble Arch public house in the city has had a microbrewery operating since 1997. They have been a fantastic success story, winning numerous awards and going from strength to strength. All their beers are vegan, many are organic, and they are branded with distinctive pantone-eqsue labels that clearly state what they are about. Their session beer is rather brilliantly called Pint. Today however, we’re tasting their porter(ish) beer – Chocolate

What They Say
“Strong, rich and stout-like, full plated malts balance against an assertive bitterness. Organic.” [Label Tasting Notes] “Bittering herb notes blossom in the swallow, with dark roasty malt on the finish still characterised with a sweetish chocolatey slick and some gritty mineral notes.” [Des de Moor]

What We Say
Richard – Chocolatey background, some bitter coffee in there, I think that’s great 8
Grooben – More flavoursome than other beers, I’m liking this
Stu – Great full, rounded flavour, I’d drink a few of these
MrB – Smells particularly malty, it’s like a session stout

4. Cannonball
Magic Rock Brew Co, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
330ml glass bottle

Magic Rock currently have a small plant situated in an adjacent building to their crystal business, and as they concentrate on American-style bold, hoppy beers, have a large hopback to get the flavours into their products. Cannonball is Magic Rock’s strong IPA – although they also release a 9.2% Imperial IPA called Human Cannonball. They also produce a 4.6% red ale called Rapture, a 6.0% stout called Dark Arts, and Curious, their 3.9% flagship pale ale. In case you hadn’t guessed it, they have a circus theme – and at a recent launch at the North Bar in Leeds the entire pub was converted into an impromptu big top.

What They Say
“Crack the cap and let the flavour explode on your palate. Tropically fruity, resinous hops compete against a sweet malty backbone, while a rasping bitterness builds to a mouth puckering crescendo. Our hop bomb might just blow you away…” [Official Website]

What We Say
Stu – I like it better than their High Wire, this brewery has potential
MrB – Sweet and toffeish, amazing that an English brewer is doing this
Grooben – I just think you need to put more flavour in 7
Richard – These guys only just started, this is very impressive 7

– (clockwise from top left) Richard, MrB, Stu, Grooben

BeerCast panel verdict
Marble Chocolate Marble 30½/40
Magic Rock High Wire 29/40
Magic Rock Cannonball 29/40
Mallinsons Danger: Hops! 23/40


  • Listen to the episode on Soundcloud here:

Please keep those comments and emails coming in, and check back in a couple of weeks for our next podcast, which should be from our Southern branch of BeerCasters – as they work their way through the beers of Edinburgh micro Knops Beer Company…

Leave a Reply