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Our shop, BeerRitz, in Headingley, Leeds, is open from midday to 9pm, 7 days a week. You can follow the Leeds shop on Twitter here, and you can find the shop's Facebook page here. Their phone number is 0113 275 3464, or you can email them here.

The blog below is a general summary of what is arriving on a weekly basis. The things we mention below will appear online fairly quickly, then get to the Leeds shop the following week, usually on the Thursday.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Mixed Case Selection: Highland Brewing Company

Once again we've asked our resident beer expert to select some beers and say a little bit about them. Over to you, Zak:

The brewery I've chosen for this mixed case is The Highland Brewing Company, based on Orkney. Not content just with being on Orkney, they are on the most northerly part of Orkney Mainland, at Swannay - have a look where they are on Google maps. That's an odd place for a brewery, no? You'd think there are some logistical problems with that, and you'd be right. But it's worked in Beer-Ritz's favour - no-one else is distributing these beers south of Inverness, which means pretty much the whole of the UK.

These beers aren't well known, but they should be. I poke fun at their tendency to use the phrase "world class ale" on their own labels, but I also think it's refreshing to see a brewery having complete faith in their beers, and showing a bit of chutzpah too. If it was an American craft brewery saying the same thing, we'd all trust their self-belief, so why not? Their beers (except the porter) all have a brilliant hop character, but they never sacrifice character for drinkability - these are classic British ales with a modern twist. I like them a lot, and I think you will too.

Their Orkney Porter is a delicious drop of strong, dark goodness. It's a sipping beer, and that's why they put it in small bottles - 275ml rather than the nip (one third of an imperial pint, or 189ml) I claim in the video. You could either drink it now, or squirrel it away for next winter - the extra 9 months in the bottle will see it soften and mature a little.

Anyway, here's the video. I hope it persuades you to try these little known beers - you can buy them by clicking here. If you need more information, please do have a look at the brewery's website and some reviews on notable beer blog Beer Reviews. Cheers!

STOP PRESS: It seems as though they might be getting the Guernsey brewplant after all. Lewis Hill (Rob's son) tells us in an email: "Forgot to mention before, we might actually be getting the Guernsey kit soon! Someone has persuaded someone else to convert the listed building into flats, which means we can retrieve the kit. Take it with a pinch of salt, naturally, but Dad tells me the kit is capable of a 100brl brew length - that's a pretty huge capacity!"

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