Ruling The Roost: Roosters Brewery Visit
A quick break from my series of posts on Bruges to say thanks very much to Roosters Brewery for Friday afternoon. As most of you probably know, Sean Franklin started Roosters in 1993. Since then it has acquired a strong and deserved local reputation for aromatic pale session ales such as Roosters Yankee, usually available on cask.
In January this year I wrote a post about XS, 2XS and Oxymoronic Black IPA, limited edition bottles that had been produced by Sean’s son Sam before emigrating to Canada. In April Sean and his wife Alison announced that they were also emigrating, selling the brewery to Ian Fozard of Market Town Taverns and that Ian’s sons, Ol (previously of Copper Dragon) and Tom (previously of Beer Ritz), were joining Roosters.
On Friday I was very privileged to be invited along with a small selection of beer industry folk and bloggers to an event at the brewery. Sean and Ol gave us a guided tour before we sat down to try a number of great and interesting beers as listed below, whilst Sean discussed what we and he thought of them.
Roosters YPA (a Roosters classic pale ale)
Roosters Iron Man IPA (a very nice new beer made with Citra)
Birrificio Ticinese Bad Attitude Hobo IPA (an interesting if oddly sour Swiss take on an IPA)
Green Flash West Coast IPA
Phillips Amnesiac Double IPA (from British Columbia)
Roosters Dark Arts (an oak-aged porter)
Birrificio Ticinese Two Penny Porter
Deschutes Black Butte Porter
Deschutes Dissident (sour brown ale with cherries)
Brooklyn Sorachi Ace (a really nice unfiltered saison-style beer, which I’ve wanted to try for some time)
Estrella Damm Inedit (a pilsner brewed with Ferran Adria, which was nice if not spectacular)
After that we mingled for a bit before sitting down to a fantastic feast that had been put on for us, before a few of us headed back to Leeds for a couple in North Bar, with a little present under our arms: a bottle of Baby-Faced Assassin, a homebrew originally conceived by Tom in the back room of Beer Ritz. I always wondered what went on in there.
It was great to meet Sean and to hear him share his knowledge and thinking about beer. At the same time, even though Sean and Alison are leaving, it’s clear that the brewery and beers are in safe hands and that what Sean has built here will persist in his absence. The beers currently being brewed as Sean prepares for the handover are as good as ever, and I would recommend the Iron Man IPA in particular.
Apart from the beer though, it was also a lovely, friendly day and I’m very grateful for the generosity of spirit and otherwise of all at Roosters.