Tag Archives: marverine cole
The second city to me has always been grand. It’s my home. It’s the city of my birth and I love it. And Birmingham is about to get even more grand with the revelation of the first half of our brand spanking new train station. It’s 150 years old and hasn’t seen so much as a lick of paint since it was redeveloped back in 1967. Well, no, that’s a fib. Of course it has. But for years for many people Birmingham New Street station has been dark, tired and resembled something akin to a rather sinister underground mortuary. As of Sunday 28th April 2013, it’s all change! The old concourse and entrance closes for good and it moves aspect to Stephenson Street where we get a new bright, light concourse and lots of lovely shiny-ness to greet us whenever we head off on our journeys. What has this got to do with pubs?? Well, the change of entrance to what will eventually be called ‘Grand Central Birmingham’ (eh?!?? who thought that one up?) means you’re even closer to some of my fair city’s superb pubs and beer bars! So I thought I’d draw up my personal list of the finest hostelries in walking distance from the train station.
So Thursday night’s party was amazing. I think there was just short of 40 women in the room. We sampled 6 Fownes Brewing beers along with 6 dishes which I’d devised to complement each beer. Judging by all the smiling faces in the room and the high noise levels, I reckon everyone had a blast. The men in the other bar next door all shot around the corner after 8pm to say how much they’d learn, just by eavesdropping! LOL! So check out some pictures. All in all, another triumph. Don’t forget if you want me to host a beer party for you, just look over to the right hand column of my website at the FOLLOW ME section, and click on the Email icon to make a direct email enquiry
Picture your average pub champion. You know, the man most likely to corral his beer-drinking fraternity to fight to save his local if it was under threat from a predatory property developer. Well scrap that picture, and let me show you a new one. There’s a new breed of pub crusader in town. Young mum, Tessa Blunden is heading up a fight to establish London’s first ever community, co-operative pub. In a battle reminiscent more of ‘Damsel versus Goliath’ than David, Tessa called on local people to ‘Save The Ivy House’. And luckily for me, Tessa gave me an exclusive interview…..!
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!!
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.
An army marches on its stomach and I was a beer soldier going into battle yesterday, so what better way than to tool up with a massive Bacon and Egg sarnie and a huge cup of coffee courtesy of Frank’s Sandwich SHop – just across the road from the front doors of the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) venue of Kensington Olympia.
There were crowds waiting outside at 1130am (!) so I waited patiently. I saw loads of old friends, made lots of new ones and recorded some videos too, the highlights of which are below. And, of course, I drank beer. So click on MORE to see the full SP. And make sure you get to this wonderful festival celebrating the brilliance of British (and others) beers and much much more. 800 different real ales, ciders and foreign beers and CAMRA, who’ve organised it all, is expecting around 50,000 people across the week with the last day being THIS SATURDAY! Be there, or be ever so slightly unhinged!
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!
Beer got another look-in on the telly today when I was invited into the ITV1 studios of the This Morning programme today. I had a fabulous time with Phillip and Holly about my mission to spread the word about the beauty in beer to women and to anyone else who’s interested!!
I know there are tons of men who read this blog too so I’m not ignoring you either, boys! But you know how I feel about getting more women interested in beer and I know many of you boys are on board with the mission too!! CHEERS!
So I showed off the following FIVE fabulous beers which are among my (many) personal faves and I’m sure which you’ll all have your own opinions on (cos we beer bloggers aren’t half vocal, eh?!?) Plus we chatted about matching beer to food, and how exciting it is to have a go and I gave some tips on how viewers can start their own beer adventures. What’s so exciting is it just goes to show how much the image of beer is changing and that mainstream telly is really getting switched on more by beer. In my eyes beer ISN’T just a man’s drink. It can be fun, it can be elegant, it can be chic, it can be glamorous! It can be all these things and more!
Just thought I’d drop a few pics of a small selection of some of the beers The Hubz and I will be enjoying this Christmas. Believe you me, there are many more bottles and cases of beer wedged under our dining table bursting to get out.
These are the kind of beers that – if they were a person – you’d ask them to tuck you in at night. They give you that warm, loving, fuzzy and Christmassy feeling. Some of them are quite strong, so designed to be sipped gently or shared with a beer-loving friend. Imagine a satisfying beery bear hug, if you will.
This very day last week was an incredibly special day for me and The Main Man. Because we got married, and the date was the 5th anniversary of our very first date. It was as wonderful as a day could get.
The Main Man looked stunning, my two nieces – Natalie and Nadine – were bridesmaids; led by Miranda, my bezzie mate of 35 years as my Chief Bridesmaid; Carl, the Main Man’s bezzie mate of some 30 odd years was his Best Man; our brothers were ushers and our Mothers looked knock-out with full-on hats with feathers and everything! Cilla Black’s chest would have been puffed up with pride 😉