Tag Archives: ale
A love of Mikkeller beer is a deep one. That love won me a trip to Copenhagen, courtesy of Visit Denmark for a Scavenger Hunt! I am here. Now. And I’m blogging and tweeting my experience as I go along as much as I can too. My love drives me a bit scatty sometimes, so sooner I jumped off the plane with my fellow winners (and new mates) Macca, Jen and Emma, I vanished into the summer sunshine. Having never visited a Mikkeller bar before, I headed off to meet James at Mikkeller & Friends. And have a beer and just hang out for a while. Check out the video of our chat
There’s been some brewery canoodling going on. Again! I’ve just had a sip of a new love child: a beer that’s come about from a bit of a love-in between esteemed London brewery, Fuller’s, and Belgian trappist brewery, Chimay . It’s a story of two breweries – steeped in heritage and quality – colliding to make something that works well for the tastebuds for both of their fans. And something that might well draw in new fans too! Chimay Doree (Doree meaning Golden) is 4.8%, with a distinct coriander nose. It’s smooth and sweet – a hint of honey I feel along with something of juicy seedless green grapes too! It’s totally drinkable and delicious. It was an extra-special treat to meet some of the directors from both Fuller’s and Chimay in the wonderfully spooky and pretty (if a venue can be the same thing at once!) Crypt of St Etheldreda’s in Holborn. Go get yourself some. And report back to me. List of Fuller’s pubs it’s where it’s on sale below.
Beer industry conferences are wondrous events. No, seriously, they are. I can say that now because I went to the biggest one in Britain the other week: the Society of Independent Brewers (which represents a truckload of British microbreweries) held Beer X in Sheffield. I shuffled myself along to the ‘Industry Day’. And boy, was I verbally assaulted by various fabulous members of the industry that day: Nigel Sadler kept promising to take me down to the cellar…to show me the mammoth beer festival operation that was taking place over the four days, of course. Sara Carter, Brewster at Triple FFF brewery revealed the secrets of her newest beer. Global mega-star, Brooklyn Brewery Master Brewer, Garrett Oliver held me and 200 others captive, and plied us with free (dammit, yes, I said FREE!) Sorachi Ace. And celebrity chef, Simon Rimmer (he of Sunday Brunch on Channel 4 every Sunday morning) regaled us with a tale of how he’s just launched his own range of beers designed to complement certain foods. (Check out my video which captured the moment both Garrett and Simon vied for the top spot in the Brightest, Shiniest Teeth comp – proceed with caution)
It’s my latest instalment of #LoveBeer! WOO!!
Like it or not, he appeared. As if by magic. Like the shop-keeper. I was minding my own business, chewing the fat with my beer pal, Kimberley , in a tight corner of a compact & bijoux downstairs room of The Westminster Arms near Parliament the other night. We’d not long arrived. We were being regaled with tales of Westminster life, by two rather lively MPs at a drinks party held by the British Beer and Pub Association. We, and around 50 others, were there to rejoice in the news that the beer duty escalator had been scrapped and there’d been a penny reduction on a pint. Then The Architect of the mirth in which we were indulging appeared. Kimberley poked me in the ribs. I turned around and almost splurted out my mouthful of beer, as I did a double-take. Classy.com. The strident figure in the dark suit was holding a pint of Shepheard Neame’s Spitfire Ale. Camera flashes ignited the room. It was a moment in history: the first ever snaps of The Chancellor, George Osborne actually holding a pint of beer.
By the end of 2012 the beer scene in Birmingham will have changed beyond recognition. Word on the street is that not one, not two but three new craft beer bars will be open for business by Christmas. Properly exciting for my hometown, cos we have a few (but not many) hip beer bars a la North Bar, Leeds, for example. I dream of a craft beer bar in Brum where I can listen to some Hot Chip in the background, and eat some fabulous food, without having to endure the smell of musty old carpets under my nose the whole time, where the bar staff are hyped about the drinks offering and can recommend all manner of wondrous beverages to you, where there’s something exciting happening every week for me and my mates to get to (Meet The Brewer, Beer & Food matching dinner, Live Comedy, Live Acoustic music, say). Basically where the all-consuming vibe is ‘Come in, chill out with a few beers and your mates, have a bite to eat and stay a while’
Matching beer and food is a really exciting challenge, there’s no right or wrong answer but I’ve really enjoyed having a go lately. Not to give the whole game away, but last night at The Rocket in Canary Wharf I had to try persuade the totally amazing Michelin-rated, celebrity chef, Angela Hartnett, on it all. Not only that but it was all in front of TV cameras for a BBC2 programme. Before I sat her down in front of our mini-feast she told me she wasn’t convinced. But by the time I’d finished with her, she was. And she was thrilled!! RESULT!
Then after my one-to-one tasting of 3 dishes with 3 separate beers (plus a surprise from Angela into the bargain, which totally WOWED ME!) We invited 30 ladies into the bar downstairs, plied them with beer and nibbles and doled out tips on how they could all start their own beer and food matching adventures.
You should know Pilsner Urquell and I have history! So it was a thrill to see the team again after 7 months. And what better way than when they hosted a party to close the European Beer Bloggers conference in Leeds and celebrate the 170th since Josef Groll brewed the first batch of PU back in 1842. Brewed on October 5th, tapped on 11th November.
So the Brand Team treated us all to dinner and the most wonderful unpasteurised, unfiltered PU flown in that day from their brewery in Pilsen, and our host was the head brewer himself Vaclav! Mouth-watering pics alert: onion soup, salmon, and beef goulash are on their way!
Perhaps the best session of all was the live speed tasting of ten, yes 10, beers!! I think we them in 3minutes bursts with someone from each brewery giving us the spiel, us tasting and musing on each one and making notes as fast as we could (whichever way we wanted: I tweeted each one) It was no mean feat, I just about glimpsed all the brewers in the eye cos I was so busy looking at each beer, tasting and weighing up what I wanted to (and could) type in 140 characters 😉
Tops for me though was Rooster’s Brewing Co’s brilliantly name Baby-Faced Assassin IPA (6%). It’s a cunning beer by the twin brothers in the business, Oli & Tom Fozard. Apparently they came up with the homebrew receipe in the back office of Beer Ritz (a hot little beer boutique in Leeds, run by my ultra-fabulous friend & ace-tastic award-winning beer writer & author, Zak Avery)
I love this. I got sent a press release this morning, and The Main Man had to hide my handbag and my contact lenses so I couldn’t run out of the house and jump on a train to London to try them all for myself! The hip and happening Brown’s Hotel in London is now offering beer and barley beauty treatments for MEN AND WOMEN, which use British grown Marris Otter barley and hops. There’s also a little help from St. Austell Brewery & Hook Norton Brewery,: you can relax with one of their beers while you’re chilling out after your pampering sesh.
What can I say? The GBBF – The Great British Beer Festival – otherwise know as Christmas in the beer world – was the week long festival of beer held at Earl’s Court in London last week. Of course, I was there with The Main Man. And of course, it was epic. We met tons of great people. And I also MISSED meeting tons of great people because I got waylaid so much on Tues afternoon that my glass was empty for much of the time :-(. So I made that second visit on Friday afternoon, and even that was curtailed. I’m already planning 2 afternoons there for next year so I DO get through my beer list.