Tag Archives: BREWERY

SIBA – BeerX – Sheffield 2013 #LoveBeer [VIDEO]

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!!

George and The Spitfire!

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. 

Why I’m going to buy George Osborne a beer

‘Thanks, George! You’re a star!’ I secretly hoped I could say those words one day, and I’d rarely dared to dream. But now, I can let my feelings flow. Because I’m a woman who drinks beer, and The Chancellor has pleased me much! For most mainstream media, and non-beer drinkers, women like me are a bit odd. Female beer drinkers are pretty much dumped into the same category as that elderly lady you see on the news. You know the one? The one her concerned neighbour’s anonymously called the RSPCA about. The pensioner peeps her head forlornly around the small gap in her front door. Squinting at the animal officer in his smart peaked cap, she croaks ‘Good Morning’, as he spies what looks like dried soup on her cardigan collar. Mushroom or French Onion? Smack. A waft of ammonia darts out from inside the house and shoots up his nose, and as the lady steps back to let him inside the door reveals a hallway crammed chock full. Full of purring, playful cats of all shapes, sizes and colours wandering around her itty-bitty house, all dying to get out and greet their new beau. Who’s hopefully brought dinner.

Time to meet a Beer Sommelier!

So yesterday I took a really tough exam in London and I passed. I’m now a Beer Sommelier. You’ve heard of Wine Sommeliers who know an awful lot about wine? So I’m the equivalent when it comes to talking your head off about beer.

I’m chuffed to bits again, especially after sitting in front of Dr George Philliskirk, the Director of The Beer Academy (who has a PHD in Yeast Research from Birmingham University) for an hour and a half proving my beer knowledge and beery tastebuds. It was scary and he pulled no punches. It wasn’t easy to even get to the exam: I had to attend a couple of courses and apply to actually take the exam, proving my out-and-out passion for beer.

Krušovice Beer Launch [VIDEO]

I had a big surprise tonight: I got a invite to the UK launch of two beers from a Czech brewery called Krušovice (pron: Croo-sho-veetcha). By the time I reached the lovely Draft House Tower Bridge Tasting Rooms I was soggy and boiling hot from the muggy weather outside, so gasping for a drink. I was handed a golden glass of 5.0% ABV Imperial lager, cold and dripping with tantalising condensation. And after one sip, I couldn’t stop. And though another beer – the 3.8% ABV dark lager – was also being launched (the beers are available in Scotland already) Imperial won the afternoon for me and made a big impression.

Taking Badger Ales to #BritmumsLive 2012

Friday was pretty brilliant! Rachel Burleigh from Badger Ales and I pitched up at the first EVER Britmums Live conference to hand out FREE beer samples and wax lyrical about how cool a drink beer is! My blog tagline is ‘There is beauty in beer’ and I think everyone who came to our stand agreed!

It was extraordinary to meet some of the amazing Mum bloggers who I’ve been twitter friends with for the last year to 18months. And apart from the blogging extravaganza, I asked my fab chums from Badgers Ales to come along with me to host a beer tasting for thirsty Mums on the afternoon of the first day! Badgers Ales are a terrific brewery from Dorset who’ve been brewing in Britain since 1777!!!! I love many of the beers they make, and they even make a couple of ciders (shock, horror!! Lol!) If you’ve not heard of them yet then check them out – you can pick up some of their beers in most of the big supermarkets!

A Tale of Two East London Pubs

You might know I’ve been doing some journalism work these last few months in London and I’ve got a bolt hole over in Leytonstone. So when I was forced to do a 2-week stint there, I was more than relieved when The Hubz came down from Brum to save me from self-destruction.

We’ve been to a few of the pubs in the town before. And we were also a bus ride away on the 257 (to Walthamstow) which stops in Leyton right outside the King William The Fourth pub which is also where Brodie’s microbrewery is. I’ve lost count of how many times people have said to me ‘Oh you gotta go to Brodie’s’ and – as I’m still recovering from a nasty chest infection – I wasn’t at all in the mood to venture much further afield that day. But within an hour and one half pint later, we were back on the bus and sitting in The Red Lion to while away the afternoon there instead. Do you want to know why?

New BBC2 series puts British ale & breweries in the spotlight!

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.

Pilsner Urquell Brewery celebrates 170th birthday

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!

Speed Tasting Beer at the Beer Bloggers Conf #EBBC12

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)