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Beer Historian Ron Pattinson Delves into Scottish Beer

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 Ron, Jim et Jules

Ron, Jim et Jules

On a sun-filled Saturday morning in July, we were waiting to hear from beer historian and travel writer Ron Pattinson, anticipating his arrival in Sheffield ahead of our planned event at Hop Hideout that evening. It'd been a while since his last visit and the city landscape has changed dramatically, so we were slightly nervous of whether he'd find us in our south-westerly outstretch of Sheffield.

We'd arranged a collaboration brew with local brewery friends Abbeydale and Ron for Sheffield Beer Week and the clock was ticking! Early afternoon a friendly face appeared at the counter and introduced himself as Ron, we had a quick chat and drink, then set-off up the road to the brewery (see photo above on our arrival). Jim and Laura kindly gave us a quick tour, including the new barrel aging store room and brought us up to date on where the brew was at. The recipe is based on an historic Scottish strong ale from Ron's recent publication. The beer will be aged in different barrels and should be ready for a tasting event in March during Sheffield Beer Week 2018! Well, that's the rough plan....

If you haven't discovered Ron's beer and travel blog, we highly recommend you head over HERE for a read. We've found it especially interesting for our home brew club and personally fascinating to look back at beers from the past. We decided to ask Ron a few questions, hopefully giving him a bit of breathing space between his avid researching. 

 

  • Was there a specific moment that captured your interest in beer history that you remember? Please share.

I don't think there was one particular moment. It's an accumulation of things. Like old advertising mirrors listing exotic beer styles. Or old labels. I often looked at old labels and wondered what the beers themselves had been like. How strong were they? What colour? I was amazed to discover that the information was out there. If you knew where to look.

  • You've collaborated on a number of 'historical' beers, is there a particular one that you enjoyed most and can you tell us a little about it and why is stands out?

Pretty Things 1832 XXXX Mild Ale. A lovely, simple beer, brewed from just mild malt and Goldings hops. One of my all-time favourite beers. And surprisingly drinkable at 10% ABV. Plus it's the exact opposite of what everyone expects Mild to be: pale, strong, heavily hopped.

  • With a wealth of beer publications under your belt - which one would you say you enjoyed researching and putting together the most and why?

My two books about Scottish beer. Because I really felt that I was breaking new ground, finding out the truth about Scottish brewing. Which is very different from what we've been told.
 

  • Is there a particular part of Sheffield beer history you'd like to share with us? It's always interesting to hear about the city you live in!

It has to be about Gold Label. One of my many beery obsessions. How many realise that it was originally a top-class beer, aged in oak for 12 months before bottling...?

  • If there's one beer book out there (that's not your own!) you would recommend our readers go out and immediately pick-up, what would it be and why?

Martyn Cornell's Amber, Gold and Black. It's an excellent overview of the history of British beer styles.

  • Your current home is Amsterdam - if we were to visit your city which three beer venues should we visit?

In De Wildeman, Het I'j and Bierkoning.

  • I've got to ask about your favourite beer!!! Let's give it a historical reference point though. So, if you can, favourite beer from 10 years ago and favourite beer currently (or multiple, if you'd like to mention more).

My favourite beer from 10 years ago was St. Bernardus Abt. My current favourite is St. Bernardus Abt. I'm a creature of habit. For a long while it was Tetley Mild. I drank almost nothing else the seven years I lived in Leeds.

  • Is there anything you're currently working on that you would like to share with us - writing or event wise?

An Historic Lager Festival. Looks like one in St. Louis will definitely happen. I'd like to organise one in the UK, too. But I need to find someone committed to doing most of the organisation. And enough brewers interested in brewing beers for it

Ron's blog: http://barclayperkins.blogspot.co.uk

Want to read more from Ron, check out his writing on All About Beer - http://allaboutbeer.com/author/ron-pattinson/

A Big Beery Night

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When we realised Beer O'Clock Show's Steve was hosting his 'Big Beery Night' with Phil Hardy to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support the same Friday of Hop Hideout's 3rd Birthday weekend, we really wanted to get involved and show support for this beery community we're in and for a good cause. We agree with his sentiment too:

"We know these charities do a great job encouraging people to stop drinking for a month, but what if we turned that totally on it’s head? Let’s drink for charity and raise a glass to the ones we’ve lost by donating the cost of our drinks on that evening to Macmillan. This way we’re supporting our industry and charity at the same time."

So with that in mind we've pulled together a box of beery goodies and we'll be running a raffle to win that #bigboxofsomething

Enter in two ways on Friday 11th Nov:

1. Spend over £20 in Hop Hideout on that day to receive a free raffle ticket

2. Buy a raffle ticket for £1.50 in store

We'll be combining raffle ticket money and donating £1.50 from the above purchases to go towards 'Big Beery Night'. The raffle winner will be drawn and announced on Sun 13th Nov at Noon.

http://bigbeerynight.co.uk/ 

Friday 11th November is the start of our 3rd Birthday weekend and we'll be joining in online from Hop Hideout (whilst celebrating our birthday too!) in the 'Big Beery Night' . We hope you can too. There's lots going on, including auctions, all raising money for a good cause. Use the #BigBeeryNight16 during the night and follow @BeerOClockShow

Brewing Up a Birthday Treat with the Mad Hatter

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When we started Hop Hideout in 2013 (known lovingly, now, as the craft cupboard to our regulars), it was a big leap for us to go from office jobs & careers to self-employed independent business owners! In the early months, we met similar souls along the way; individuals who loved beer & decided to make parallel moves. We shared a common goal & a community ethos. One such soul was Gaz from Mad Hatter Brewing, based in Liverpool. In the 'early days' we actually used to meet half way, in Manchester, to pick beer up for the shop. We fell in love with their beer flavours, ideas & names that seemed to endlessly & effortlessly pour from the minds of Gaz and Sue at the brewery. Another soul we met was Kumar from Karkli snacks, after sharing a stall at the Sheffield Food Festival & stocking his spicy lentil goodies at the shop.

Fast forward three years & as we celebrate our birthday mid-November at Hop Hideout, we wanted to share it with those who were there at the beginning of our journey. I wasn't sure if Mad Hatter would say yes, but they did & they made us happy bunnies. I wasn't sure if Kumar would say yes, either, but I was humbled that he did too. It really felt like we were part of this thing, this, Craft Beer Culture & I wanted to celebrate in style with smiling faces all round.

On Friday 14th October I headed over to Liverpool to begin the brew day. We'd thrown various ideas around in advance & landed somewhere not far from the coconut porter tree. Inspiration came from massaman curry & the pairing of dark chocolate, coconut & chilli (& a night out at Indy Man Beer Con where peanut butter was added to the idea mix!).

 View from the brewery office...

View from the brewery office...

On arrival we caught up on ideas & decided to focus on a rich porter with toasted coconut, sorachi hops & the addition of Tonka beans, instead of peanut butter - chasing that sweet & savoury umami nature of Southeast Asian cuisine. To pair with this beer Kumar is going to cook up a dark chocolate dipped chilli Karkli version. AND I cannot wait to share this combination at our third birthday weekend at Hop Hideout!!! x 1000. Head over HERE to find out more about our celebrations & I hope to see you all there. I may even try to transform Hop Hideout into an Alice in Wonderland meets the Mad Hatter meets The Mighty Boosh for the weekend. Dig out series two & watch on repeat, it'll then start to make sense....

 Sampling a few brews at the brewery...the big juicy fruit Mandarin IPA was a stunner!

Sampling a few brews at the brewery...the big juicy fruit Mandarin IPA was a stunner!

 A look back at ALL the Mad Hatter labels......lovingly stuck on one of their downstairs fridges!

A look back at ALL the Mad Hatter labels......lovingly stuck on one of their downstairs fridges!

Peaty's Steel City Series 2016

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This year we were excited and humbled to support such a great downhill mountain bike event organised by local biking supremo Steve Peat and his crew - Peaty's Steel City Series.

On Saturday 16th April 260 mountain bike racers lined up and headed down the course up at Grenoside Woods. With over 3,000 spectators including Hop Hideout's Will in the crowd (getting muddy and trying not to get hit by a bike!).

Congratulations to all the riders, with a special mention to the Veteran riders, who won lovely beery Hop Hideout prizes!

Hop Hideout Veterans Men
1 - Scott Turtle
2 - Jason Dickinson
3 - Chris Whitfield

Brews & Beers Joint Social with Birdhouse Tea Co

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Thanks to everyone who made it out to our joint social with Birdhouse Tea Co on Thursday 28th May. A great social night of talking beer and tea, pairing, experimenting infusing tea in beer and indulging in chai spiced chocolate cake with a rich smoky beer to finish. Hurrah!

Beer & Brews Menu:

Dragon's Tears@Blackjackbeers
Saison Motueka & Lime @BrewByNumbers
Smoked Porter @RunawayBrewery

Teas / Birdhouse >
Iced Jasmine Tea
Rhubarb infusion
Chai spiced chocolate cake

Mikkeller Running Club Sheffield Chapter

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On a mild March 12th Saturday morning the Sheffield chapter of Mikkeller Running Club met at Hop Hideout for the first time to test out the running terrain. With a 5km route planned up to Millhouses Park, seven runners of differing levels took part. On return to the clubhouse everyone tucked into tasty Magic Rock beer and free cake!

If you like the sound of running and beer - then why not come along to the next run?

Runs are the 1st Saturday of the month from 11.30am and are roughly a 5km route. Details are posted on the Mikkeller Running Club website and facebook group invites:

http://mikkellerrunningclub.dk

https://www.facebook.com/mikkellerrunningclub/events

https://www.facebook.com/HopHideout.co.uk/events

 

Join our Strava group to check out the routes in more detail (Mikkeller Running Club Sheffield Chapter):

https://www.strava.com/clubs/186935