Room for One More: The Nook Brewhouse Berry Blond

This is another new feature I’ve decided to bring to the blog which isn’t really anything musically at all. That said, rock and metal go hand in hand with beer and by that, I mean real ale. None of that pithy lager stuff – real beer! And I was so impressed by this particular one t’other day, it has inspired me to write about it here and give it, and its brewery, some well deserved attention. With all that said, welcome to Room for One More!
The Nook Brewhouse is a family-run, five-barrel microbrewery based on the site of an 18th century brewery beside the River Ribble, right in the heart of Holmfirth in West Yorkshire. It’s a brewhouse and not a brewery, as they mainly sell their fine ales in the attached pub, The Nook, otherwise known as The Rose & Crown. They only started up in the summer of 2009 but by jingo, they’ve made fantastic progress already and their beer is top notch.

I live a busy live, particularly with twins on the way, so I’ve not got out to the Nook Brewhouse at all. That must change at some point, but that’s for another day. Hence, my access has seemingly been restricted to their appearances at the Huddersfield Food & Drink Festival. I seem to remember their Red & Blond bottled ales for sale in 2010, but at this year’s fest (which took place this past weekend), they were selling the beer on tap as well. And it was the Berry Blond that caught my eye. I didn’t even seek to ask what it was like – I’m not the sort who seeks to muse over the details when all I’m after is a drink – but what was to come upon ordering that pint was incredible.
The Berry Blond is a raspberry-tinged blond ale, with an ABV of 4.5%. What hit me the moment the drink hit my tongue was simply fantastic. I was already in jovial mood – the festival itself has a fantastic atmosphere that you can’t help but lap up – and that drink sent me overboard. The flavours were so perfectly balanced, that those raspberry overtones didn’t overtake the whole drink. It still tasted like a real ale, and one with bags of flavour. And I was soon recommended it to my brother and raving about it with glee. It didn’t last long enough – I’m not sure if that’s simply cos it went down easy or what, but I certainly wasn’t necking it. Whatever. I think a case or two of this stuff is in order.
I’ve also tried the aforementioned Red and Blond varieties, the Red being more of a chestnutty ale with a fruity aroma and some malty overtones – a tasty one too, as far as I remember – while the Blond is just fantastic, more of a wheat beer and an award winner at that. I’d explain further but I’m not too cracking at describing ale in such terms yet – I’d rather just say it’s a bloody good drink and worthy of your gullet, and indeed your wallet.
The Nook Brewhouse’s official site has these varieties and more for sale in their online store. Do local brewers a favour, check these guys out and spread the word.
Peter Clegg
NB: The next time I try out such a pint, I’ll try and make sure I get a picture of said drink, instead of raving about how great it is!

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