A catch up with the news from the beer world this week, and I’ll start with Brewdog, our favourite anarchic Scottish craft brewer. If you like their beers and live in West Yorkshire there is good news for you, they have secured a bigger site in Leeds further to the north which will open in March, with the existing unit at the Corn Exchange being converted into BottleDog, their retail operation. They have also secured the Blind Tiger in Brighton, the pub I wrote about 4 months ago when it was forced to close down when it had issues with its music license after complaints from newly moved in residents above the pub.. The pub had a 160 year history of live music, more of this later.
The Bottledog concept is already in place near Kings Cross Station in London and I visited the shop when I was down there with work a while ago, taking a very pleasant walk from London Bridge station via St Paul’s Cathedral, Camden and the Grays Inn Road just to visit this shop before catching my train back. Personally it was hog heaven for me in there, a very good choice of beer from all over the world, good knowledgeable staff, with prices from about £2.00 a bottle all the way up to collectors money. The only thing limiting how much beer I purchased was how much weight my bag could carry.
One recommendation though, don’t get to Peterborough on the London to Leeds express service and find the weakest beer in you bag is 7%, you’ve drank half your purchases (inc. a 10% porter), then go for a few pints at the craft beer bar in Leeds and just about catch the last train home from Leeds. I sobered up about 10am the following day after that trip back from the big smoke.
Having one more locally is even better and lets be honest, if there is more high quality beer shops of the likes of this and Beer Ritz, also in Leeds, then the world is a better place to live in. We all love our beer, this is why you are currently reading this in Pubpaper over a pint at some Calderdale pub (or on the internet, either way you are most welcome), and if it means we can get more of the better beers in the world, that does me nicely.
Soon there will be even more Brewdog beer to fill these shelves and many others as they plan to increase production capacity by 80% with 12 new fermentation tanks, it seems the world can’t get enough of their beer with 21 bars currently open and another 6 planned at least. They may not be everyones cup of tea, but plenty of people seems to like this particular brand of tea.
Wrapping up the Brewdog news we have the Blind Tiger in Brighton. After the complaint they were given a deadline to sound proof the pub to comply with the noise abatement order which was issued by the council. The cost of this was too much for the pub and they chose to close the pub despite the bands bringing in a lot of customers, it wasn’t enough profit to afford the £20,000 costs of the work. It’s good to see the pub re-opening again, and hope Brewdog make a success of it, hopefully annoying the original complainant at the same time by its success and the noisy crowds under his patio windows next summer.
Last week one on my fellow writers in Pubpaper mentioned the Pump Room in Halifax closing in December last year to make way for parking access to the newly planned shopping centre which is to be built on the site, the adjoining properties and the car park currently behind Argos. I wrote about this two and a half years ago when the plans were going through the council process. So 9 months after it closed, nothing has started on the complex, which Halifax needs like a hole in the head, given the council owned Northgate House complex is due to be replaced by shopping facilities. There is simply not that much disposable income in the area to support all these shops.
The Pump Room was a viable pub economically, so why did it not stay open up to just before the work was to impact that particular part of the development, I can’t think of a valid reason why not. It wasn’t as if it was a pub company copy cat venue, it had its own place in the psyche of the towns drinkers, especially for the football crowd on the way to the Shay. Sadly I don’t see it opening again even if the shopping development doesn’t go ahead in its current guise, something very possible knowing the people who plan these structures, just see Bradford for a prime example.