It was the Pub Treat on Wednesday and twenty or more of us boarded a charabanc and headed for the Milltown Brewery in Milnsbridge, Huddersfield. I am a veteran of many a brewery trip over the years but this was my first visit around a modern microbrewery. Small, it may have been, but it could easily match its bigger brothers and sisters in terms of both information and refreshment.
Neil Moorhouse - the Director, head brewer and bottle washer - made us all very welcome and soon had us tasting malts, sniffing hops and marveling at the array of stainless steel tanks, tubes, pipes and kegs. But going to a brewery without sampling the product would be a little like visiting New York and never looking up, and therefore by far the most memorable part of the evening was sampling the various brews currently on offer. There was a deliciously dark Maltissimo (5.3% ABV, but who's counting); the fruity golden Orion (a star of a beer if ever there was one); and my old Friday night favourite Slubbers Gold (a well balanced, flavoursome brew you can easily enter a long-term relationship with). Chatting with Neil afterwards, I rather think we might have come up with a new brew : I supplied the name and hopefully he will supply the important element, the brew itself. I will keep you informed of the outcome.
I was saying afterwards to a couple of my friends that I suspect that there has never been a time in history when such a rich and varied selection of real beers has been available to the discerning drinker. The growth of the craft microbrewery movement - both here and in other countries - has revolutionised the market and brought a broad smile of approval to the faces of beer lovers everywhere. Long may brewers like Neil and his colleagues continue to brew, and long may we enjoy their output. We sang songs on the chara' on the way back to our pub. Had I a voice that could master a tune I would have sung that old World War 1 soldiers' song :
But oh! I am so dry.
Connect me to a brewery
And leave me there to die".