Tag Archives: real ale

New USA-UK beer unleashed: Dogfish Head brewery + Wells & Young’s [VIDEO]

When the pub you choose to launch a new beer is packed to the rafters with an inordinate number of highly-respected beer writers, then you better have something good up your sleeve because expectations will be high. And tonight Charles Wells brewery (Bedford) was most definitely wearing its game face. They even brought out Sam Calagione (Founder & President of revered East Coast US brewery, Dogfish Head, Delaware) as their ace quarterback, so I knew things were set to get serious. A relationship that blossomed between Wells & Young’s International Brewmaster, Jim Robertson, and Sam, when they kept bumping into each other in the US over the years, gave birth to aptly named ‘DNA New World IPA’.

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!!

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.

Great British Beer Festival 2012 [VIDEOS]

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!

The Post Office Vaults, Birmingham [REVIEW]

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’

Do you love beer AND vintage fashion?

When beauty and beer collide, I like it very much. Slap my wrists for not telling you sooner – and I’m not one for advertising competitions  – spesh when its not mine (REPEAT, THIS COMPETITION IS NOT MINE). Wye Valley Brewery in Herefordshire make a damn fine Autumn brew every other year that I ADORE. It’s called Dorothy Goodbody’s BIG BANG – it’s insanely delicious  (around 5% strength if my memory serves me correctly, with a dark red hue when you look at it the glass; a sweet, dark fruity luscious drop with a gentle cinammon-y zing) So if you’re in the Midlands or at a local beer festival later in the year then look out for it  and try some!

So who’s this Dorothy then? Dorothy is their lady pictured on some of the bottles of beer and to me she’s like a Jessica Rabbit in human form: all sexy and sassy and ample in that 1950s kinda way. But more importantly Wye Valley portray Dorothy as  the creator of the beers, so she’s not just all tits and teeth (MY words, not theirs!!)

So now the brewery want to find a real life embodiment of Dorothy to appear in a photo-shoot for their 2013 calendar next year!! They are looking for  – and I quote – “… a vivacious character with a bit of our Dorothy at heart; a gorgeous but real-life beauty who looks believable as Dorothy and can carry off our 1950s photo shoot in style. We imagine our ‘Dorothy for the Day’ as someone with real spirit and an irresistibly charming mix of confidence and innocence.

So if you want to try your hand at winning with the chance to get glammed up in some lovely Vivien of Holloway gear, read on….

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.

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)

Beautiful Beer on ITV’s This Morning! Woohoo!

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!