Buxton Brewery Tap Takeover at Port Street Beer House – 9th December 2014

We stumbled out of the rain and into a somewhat yeasty room packed wall to wall with beards to witness Buxton Brewery display their range at Port Street Beer House. The bar was heaving with a cross section of Manchester’s ale loving community – brewers, traders and lovers of beer. The night was infused with that rare and utterly friendly atmosphere that comes about when you gather a crowd like this. There’s the kind of vibe that means bumping into someone in a corridor doesn’t result in a scowl or potential lamping, but rather an “after you” to which you respond “no, no after you”, you each smile, then whoever is holding the most beer or appears to be in the largest hurry to buy beer toddles by. Anyway, onto the drink. The tap takeover gave us a great opportunity to try some of the rarer Buxton brews not readily available, including some interesting collaborations and one offs. Here are our thoughts...

P.S: Special shout out to the fellas on the back wall with no less than eight assorted halves in front of them at any one time, we salute you.

Come Again 4.7% – Sour Pale Ale, Collaboration with Evil Twin, Denmark

Described as a ‘Trans-Atlantic Anglo-Danish sour ale’ by Buxton, which doesn’t leave any doubt as to whether this is an exciting beer or not. First impressions: wild and grassy on the nose, tart citrus notes in the mouth. The tartness and tang are incredibly moreish and quenching, the way the beer sort of fizzes on your tongue kept us continually sipping. We would compare it to something in-between toxic waste sweeties and Schweppes bitter lemon. That’s meant in a good way tho, because we really liked this beer. Would definitely come again.

Dragon Tips 8.9% – Chipotle, Maple and Bacon Stout, Collaboration with Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co., USA

Here Buxton have come together with a brewing company from Arizona to produce a stout with some very American looking flavours. The beer itself is dark, full bodied and somewhat menacing in appearance. The chilli is impossible to miss, warming first the back of your throat and your stomach too. The maple and bacon were somewhat harder to place, but this might be due to our inability to cope with the heat. While two of our party felt this wasn’t their beer of choice, our resident whiskey drinker was clamouring for another glass of this rich and warming brew.

Anglomania 10.3% – English Barley Wine, Collaboration with Evil Twin, Denmark

It’s interesting and somewhat exciting to see a traditional style like this on the bar, especially one cobrewed with the Danes. Anglomania is a real beauty to behold in a tulip glass, deeply red with a full foamy head. This beer is sweet and rich with toffee, brandy flavours. It’s evidently alcoholic, putting us in mind of Belgian tripel. Our favourite beer of the session.

Omnipollo Pomperipossa 6% – Sour Cherry Stout

We will be honest and admit that we do not have a wealth of knowledge in sour beers. However we feel there might have been too much going on here. We like dark beers, we like cherry beers, we like sour beers. We are just not sure if we understand the combination. Would need to drink some more of this to be sure.

Wyoming Sheep Ranch 8.4% – Double IPA

This is a throat scorching, resinous, piney hop demon with adequate bitterness for the high alcohol content. If you like fuller bodied DIPAs you will be very pleased to drink this.