So we've moved to the country, the black country! And it turns out there's the odd nice place for a pint round here.
Yesterday we popped down to the Green Duck tap house in Stourbridge for, perhaps the best combo ever, a beer festival and the final day of the six nations! Rugby, beer and atmosphere were top notch and this place is definitley going to become a regular haunt of ours.
On a normal night the selection is good enough, a wide range of cask, keg and 'beer machine' beers from around the country, as well as their own range brewed on site in the brewing room that can be seen through a glass partition. Giving the feel that you are right in the heart of the brewing process.
Added to this, yesterday there were 25 casks racked in the brewing room overlooked by the imposing stainless steal brewing vessels.
My beers were all winners (unlike the Welsh rugby team, unfortunately). I started with a Welsh pint to support team. On keg was Peaches and Cream, a new brew from a favourite brewery of mine, the Newport based Tiny Rebel. A sweet and bitter pint. Smooth in the mouth and fruity as hell. Packing a new world hop punch at the end. A bit on the strong side for the day time drinking though at 5.6%.
But the rugby was on so I moved on to another strong one. Still at 5.6% the more local Walsall based Backyard Brewhouse served up a stunning surprise with the Antipodean Pale Ale. The name led me to expect a new world hop bomb, pale on the eye and fruity on the pallet. But a copper coloured, treacle flavoured, roasted malt was what I got. Earthy and intense, it was a much more interesting pint than I initially expected. I will be trying more of these local brews and suggest you do the same.
In line with the festival feel The Green Duck provided street food from The Pork Society. Now as a veggie, seeing the food on offer was disappointing. However, the veggie nachos they offered were amazing. Cheese sauce, salsa and spice were exactly what we needed four pints and two rugby matches down! But for their next festival it would be brilliant if they broadened their range for vegetarian beer lovers like myself.
Now beer festival or not this place is well worth a try! It's walking distance from Stourbridge station so even if you're not local it's worth a try. If I haven't tempted you already- you can get four pints for £10!