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Lost for words
GAVIN AITCHISON prepares for a Viking invasion from a Yorkshire brewery.
I’VE decided to learn a new language – and you may well want to join me. Forget your classroom French or your holiday Spanish. This one is going to be much more useful.
You’ll need some uruz but it will be a fun raidho and will result in great wunjo all round.
You may even become a great teiwaz. And if not, you can settle for drinking one. Baffled? You may well be! But Rudgate Brewery can explain. Those unfamiliar words are the names of just four of the monthly specials they have planned for next year, each named after old Viking Runes.
Rudgate boss Craig Lee was joined by three visiting Vikings on Thursday at The Slip Inn in Clementhorpe, where he collected a York Beer Festival award for his Chocolate Stout and unveiled his brewing programme for next year.
As well as the Viking Runes series, there will also be a classics or greatest hits series, featuring 12 of the best-named and most popular beers from Rudgate’s past 20 years, as well as a Limited Editions range of new recipes.
Each series will have a new beer each month, meaning that – when you also include the six regular beers – Rudgate fans will have 42 different beers to enjoy next year!
Oh, and if you were wondering…. uruz means strength; raidho means journey; wunjo means joy and teiwaz means warrior.
• HAVE you been to the refurbished and reopened Rook and Gaskill yet?
Sickness and work had held me back on the opening few days but I finally made it along on Wednesday night.
The changes have been relatively minor, tidying up a few areas but retaining the pub’s general layout and feel. And, most importantly, the beer remains excellent.
Under the previous landlord Neil Trafford, the pub was renowned for its excellent and fast-changing selection of real ales, and if my visit on Wednesday is a fair guide, then that looks set to continue.
There were ten ales on from seven different breweries and an impressive keg range, including Titanic Stout and Kozel, a popular Czech beer only rarely seen in York.
I started with a pint of Abbeydale’s Moonshine, a tremendous, pale, fruity ale brewed with American hops and carrying a punchy bitterness. I maintained the lunar theme with a pint of Wharefebank brewery’s Nightshade, a dark, rich, warming ale with strong roasted-malt flavours.
Wharfebank have teamed up with Steve Bradley of The Fulford Arms to run the Rook and Gaskill and will have three ales on tap at all times.
Castle Rock from Nottingham, which owns the building, will also be represented at all times, but the other hand-pulls will be given over to rotating guest breweries.
• THE Phoenix in George Street, opposite the Barbican Centre, has its Christmas festival this weekend, with a dozen festive ales.
Also this weekend, Suddaby’s in Malton has a beer festival that began on Thursday and runs until tomorrow, with 34 beers.
Regular readers may recall my lament a few weeks ago, that I had managed to miss almost every local festival this year. You’ll be glad to know I maintain that record by being in London today.