Home > Beer > Summer Saturday: Marble vs Summer Wine at the Slip Inn, York

Summer Saturday: Marble vs Summer Wine at the Slip Inn, York

Rivalry is a spur to progress. Brian Wilson may not have been inspired to create the heart-breakingly beautiful Pet Sounds if he hadn’t heard Rubber Soul and wanted to best it.  Of course, Wilson loved The Beatles and The Beatles loved The Beach Boys. For example, Mike Love suggested the lyrics about “Moscow girls” and “Ukraine girls” in Paul McCartney’s Beach Boys pastiche Back In The USSR whilst they were at a hippy retreat in India. Basically they were all in this together, similarly pushing the envelope but in different ways.

This is also the case amongst brewers. From what I’ve seen, the craft brewing industry in the UK is generally characterised by a collegiate and friendly atmosphere, and any rivalry stems solely from pride in one’s own product and desire for it to be the best.  The Marble and Summer Wine  “Battle Of The Breweries” event in The Slip Inn in York on Saturday was a good example. Eight great beers from each brewery were available to enjoy in the beer garden of a fine little pub outside the city walls, in the presence of the brewers, as well as an array of bloggers, publicans and other brewers.  York has seen many battles, but none so friendly.

The event had been suggested by the publican of this great little beer pub.  As well as the sixteen beers (dispensed from the main bar and in a shed at the end of the beer garden) there were some live folk and blues bands and a barbecue selling burgers and steak sandwiches.  Naturally, with that many beers, the food was much-needed.

The beers were fantastic: there was the malty/bitter Rouge Hop, the delicious coffee Barista Espresso Stout and fiercely bitter 7Cs, all from Summer Wine; the great Tawny No 5 and Lagonda IPA from Marble; and a superb range of hoppy sessionable pales from both (Odyssey and Zenith from Summer Wine, Pint and 3.9 W90 from Marble).  In very general terms, the Marble beers were nicely balanced and the Summer Wine ones gave you a bit more of an exhilarating slap in the face, although both obviously occupied the same ground, tending towards hop-forwardness, with some dark chocolate, ginger and coffee thrown in on the edges.  I didn’t try a beer that I didn’t like.

The small redbrick pub and beer garden were crammed to the gills with people enjoying the beer, music, barbecue, sunshine and company.  Beer, at its best, is a social drink. Enjoying this number of great beers on a rare warm June day in one of the greatest cities in England, chatting with friends and listening to a folk musician play “The Bear Necessities”, was one of those moments I’ll look back on fondly when the nights close in.

We all know that beer is a product and brewing is an industry.  However for the individuals behind small breweries it must seem, at times, that there would be very many easier ways to make ends meet.  But for the lads from Marble and Summer Wine who were there, chatting with fellow brewers and drinkers and enjoying each other’s beers, it must serve as a useful reminder of why their hard work is worth it, and why beer and summer go together perfectly.

  1. June 26, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    This looks like such a cool event! Great documentation of proceedings too.

    I don’t know anything about The Slip Inn, but this is a really forward-thinking, exciting thing for a pub to be doing.

    I’m hoping it will inspire a lot more pubs to do something similar.

    I’d like to see some North v South events. Roosters v Camden Town?

    • June 27, 2011 at 12:30 am

      Magic Rock versus Castle Rock? I know where I’d put my money.

  2. June 27, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    nice one!! was great to meet you! had a fantastic day and enjoyed this write up!

  3. June 27, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Love the Slip, and just down the road from the Swan – although they’ve never had sixteen beers on when I’ve been in, which is probably a good thing…

    7C’s is one I really want to try – sounds great

    • July 1, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      It’s the first time I’ve been, although I have been to The Swan before. It’s a lovely old pub.

  4. June 28, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for the great blog post! We had a great time hosting this event – and we are so grateful to all who attended and have been so kind and positive about it. Hope you don’t mind if I post a link to the summary on our website: http://www.theslipinnyork.co.uk/eventsarchive.html#_25_06_11 Cheers, Paul

    • July 1, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      No problem at all, thanks very much for organising such a great day!

  1. July 31, 2011 at 4:40 pm

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