The recently crowned Real Ale Capital of Britain has a new brewery. Hot on the heels of potent pairing Sentinel and Little Critters comes Mitchell's Hop House Brewing.
The Meadowhead maestros of all things alcohol have now branched out and started their own micro brewery. The little Italian restaurant next door has been replaced by a shiny new brew kit aswell as an ale museum and the long term aim apparently is to of have a gin distillery too. Look out Locksley?!
The last twelve months or so have seen Mitchell's wholeheartedly jump on board the craft ale revolution with an impressively expanded range including a sizeable beer fridge with ale from near and far (from Tadcaster to Tokyo), bottled and canned. This place is on my route home from work so the visits have become increasingly frequent and inevitable. Staff at Mitchell's are friendly and knowledgeable, the range of spirits and wines is vast but what's the beer like?
The test batch of bottles disappeared crazily quickly so I missed them unfortunately but I grabbed a blonde at the first opportunity, so to speak. The brews have Mitchell's-related names and this one was named 'Independent' appropriately and offered ample reason to support local businesses if a reminder was ever needed. Stay local!
We twobeergeeks are not ordinarily blonde fans but needs must and, with this one on the shelves at well under two quid for a 500ml bottle, it was a no-brainer to add to my basket alongside the 'fruit-based' drink for the lady.
The initial aroma is nice enough; fresh and grassy. Thankfully Independent is not overly-carbonated as some new-to-bottle brewers seem to do and the late summer golden haze is topped by a thin off-white head.
This one is quaffable at 4% whilst having enough taste to keep the palate interested and the hoppy bitterness is pleasant and quite long-lasting. A good effort and it seems to improve further down the glass, or maybe I over-chilled it a touch. Possibly that could be an area to improve at HH: add some more information to the label like serving instructions, hops used or even IBUs, us geeks like that stuff. Anyways, a promising start and we look forward to seeing how Mitchell's Hop House develops up at the head of the Meadow.
The future is bright. Maybe this place could be the first to offer a beer and cigar pairing? Now we`re talking!