Rock & Roll Circus: Magic Rock Launch Night at North Bar
I was very excited when I first read about Magic Rock Brewing Company on Mark Dredge’s blog in February. Stuart Ross had been brewing some excellent, hop-forward beers at Crown Brewery in Sheffield, including the outstanding well-hopped porter (explicitly not a black IPA) Brooklyn Black.
With Magic Rock, he was teaming up with Jonny Burhouse and Richard Burhouse of MyBreweryTap.com, the Huddersfield-based online beer shop that sells a great selection of the best modern British and US craft beers. So the new company has quite a lot of talent when it comes to both brewing and marketing.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the first launch night at The Grove Huddersfield (as documented by Neil here), but happily North Bar had another event this week. Manager Matt and the staff had gone all-out for this one, following the theme of the really good-looking labels to dress up themselves and the shop as a circus. Matt (of course) was the ringmaster and there were even stilt walkers and a contortionist. I did feel sorry for Jim in his lion suit though.
In a short time I managed to sample all of the beers, but I basically stopped taking detailed tasting notes after an array of bloggers and tweeters arrived. However, you would be better off reading Neil’s and Leigh’s blogs for that in any event. I can tell you that Curious is a nice, stridently hopped pale ale with a more bitter than sweet flavour that punches well above its 3.9%.
High Rise is a very good citrussy West Coast pale ale whilst Rapture is an absolute stunner of an amber/”red-hop” IPA; an instant classic. Cannonball was a great strong IPA on keg, the match of its American counterparts. Finally (back on cask) Dark Arts is a really nice rich and complex stout with good berry notes.
It doesn’t take a fortune-teller to predict a bright future for Magic Rock. Their attitude to hops and dispense will chime well with beer geeks whilst their elegant and unique branding and quality beers should hopefully win over the wider public. You can buy their bottles from MyBreweryTap.com, unsurprisingly.
Matt and the staff at North did a fantastic job of making the night a lot of fun and once again reminded us why North is and has been such an asset to the UK beer scene. Upcoming events include their annual US Beer Festival from 4-15 July 2011, which was a real education in beer for me last year.
Read Leigh’s post about the evening here.