Tryanuary: The bartender’s choice
In recent years a growing number of people have let their healthy conscious get the better of them and Dry January has quickly become the go-to New Year’s resolution.
However, independents are standing up and going against the grain, tempting their sober counterparts to return to the dark side by encouraging them to partake in Tryanuary – the idea of trying new beers, bars, and brewers throughout January.
We asked a selection of the bartenders, brewers and beer sellers of Leeds what they would recommend to those of us off the wagon.
Outlaws Yacht Club – Shaun Read
Berserker IPA – Golden Owl/Outlaws
“I would have to say our Berserker IPA, made with Bog Myrtle. This was made with Golden Owl Brewery. It tastes like a really nice 5% IPA with a hint of rose petal.
“100 years ago people who used to make beer would be taxed on how much hops they used. So they started using other things, and this Bog Myrtle, which looks a bit like Bay Leaves, was one of them. And nobody has really made beer with it for ages.
“Bog Myrtle has this crazy back story. It supposedly has hypnotic qualities. There was this Nordic tribe called the Berserkers who used to drink a bog myrtle style beer before they went in to battle and there is all this myth about how it made them fearless and unbeatable and they used to go into a crazy trance before battle and that’s where the word berserk comes from as well.”
Little Leeds Beer House – James Phillips
Applelation – Beavertown
“It’s a canned Bramley Apple Sasion which is a Northern French/Belgian farmhouse style. It’s full of apple sweetness with a tart lemon finish. It’s unlike any other canned beer I’ve had.”
Tall Boys – Poppy Davies
Breakfast Stout – Founders
“I’d go for a classic, Founders Breakfast Stout. It’s a really tasty double stout, it’s really heavy and chocolatey and coffee-ey and nice!”
Belgrave – Eve Millar
Mokko Milk Stout – Summer Wine Brewing Co.
“This is my absolute favourite, it’s Mokko Milk Stout and it’s from a local brewery where I think it’s brewed by just two men, so it’s quite small.”
Brunswick – Nick Lofts
Dark Lager – Cloudwater
“It’s just a really nice beer. Lager isn’t a very wintery beer but the dark one is maltier so it feels like an actual beer. Combined with pie as well it’s perfect! We also use Cloudwater beers for cooking our dishes with.”
Friends of Ham – Billy
Common Grounds – Triple Coffee Porter – Magic Rock
“It’s an interesting beer, it’s got a lot of coffee bitterness. With porters they tend to be chocolatey sweet but there’s a load of coffee in there to make it bitter, so it balances it out and it’s not overbearingly sweet. It’s a great quality beer.”
Bundobust – Chris Botham
Thank You Please – Northern Monk/Bundobust
“Among others, I would say our test brew from our collaboration with Northern Monk which will be rolling out in the coming months.
“It’s about 5% at the moment but it’s a session beer so when it gets finalised it will be a bit weaker, probably about 4.5%. There’s lots of ginger and orange coming through. We’ve made about three kegs so far and we’re trialing it. It will be February/March time when the final products rolls out.”
Head of Steam – Christian
Modus Hoperandi – Ska Brewing
“It’s a very hoppy number. It’s 6.7% so it’s a little bit strong but if you enjoy a really hoppy beer it’s my go-to at the moment.”
Cross Keys – Alex
Duchesse de Bourgogne – Brouwerij Verhaeghe
“It is a Flemish red ale, it’s kind of got a big balsamic vinegar taste but also with a beer note. It goes really well with Italian food, it’s a really good beer.”
Northern Monk – Brian Dickson
Eternal – Northern Monk
If going sober isn’t for you this January, be sure to try out at least one new beer and remember; the more local your choice, the healthier your conscience will be!
Words: Conor Crozier