So I’ll start this blog with some good news. The book 1001 beers to drink before you die has already taken me on some adventures. I’ve visited towns in England I didn’t know existed, have made a pilgrimage to Belgium, found little unknown bars in Malaga and Cork and just generally had my eyes opened to brewing and even made my own. Now though it’s influence has gone one step further.
If you were lucky enough to read my previous blogs you may recall I travelled all the way to London to visit a Craft Beer Company pub in St Mary’s Axe. Well they are now employers! It’s a very exciting prospect for me, I was interviewed by Martin Hayes who I was actually reading about in a book called Brew Britannia at the time! Here is a little extract about their first pub….
The Craft Beer Co. Clerkenwell was hailed a beer lover’s paradise with 16 cask lines and 21 keg taps, as well more than 200 bottles. In fact, before the year had ended, the pub had been crowned Best Bar in the UK on RateBeer.
So all in all I am chuffed, to work for a small company that have the best bar in the UK is such an honour. The Craft Beer Company Limehouse opens on Wednesday 7th December, come on down for that bottle of Alesmiths Speedway Stout I know you are after.
Anyway to the beers.
I have signed up with Beers 52. It’s pretty cool. For 29 quid a month you get a box of 10 or so beers, a magazine and a little snack (this month was hot pitta bites from a little place in London somewhere). The beers are always interesting. Michelle had the best milk stout she has ever had (Mochachocolata Ya Ya! by the Electric Bear Company ) and she’s becoming quite the expert, so that’s no mean feat!
Included in this month’s box was Dead Guy Ale by Rogue Ales. This beer from Oregon is perfect for Halloween supping as it comes in a glow in the dark bottle (I’ve heard, I didn’t try mine). It’s got quite a weird taste with some quite toffee flavours coming through. It’s another one of those beers that’s makes my mouth water for some unexplainable reason. Lots of malt coming through too. An enjoyable tipple but quite difficult to describe, try one if you see it!
The next couple of beers I picked up in Marks and Spencer’s in Bluewater. Their Craft Beer and Real Ale selection is pretty darn impressive. They have beers produced exclusively for them from the likes of Meantime, Adnams and Robinsons. Michelle picked up a Spiced Porter made by the aforementioned Meantime and I saw they had Champion Beer of Britain Cwtch by Tiny Rebel in there too. They also had…
This beer seems to be a bit of a classic, a stalwart and a trend setter even though it has only been around since 1997. Stone IPA doesn’t contain any Cascade but it does contain plenty of bold flavours. It’s really bitter and quite woody, it has a strong flavour with a little bit of peach. I could knock this back all day long.
Finally after my little liquid sojourn to the states I end with an English classic.
The label says handcrafted on it. These old classic ale breweries are really the original craft breweries but there seems to be a divide. Craft beer is an umbrella term in my eyes, and I think the real ale brigade is desperate to be included after they have seen the rejuvenation from the young start up businesses like Brewdog et al. Hook Norton’s Old Hooky won the silver medal medal in 2015’s International Brewing awards, which is bloody impressive for beer that’s been in production since 1849, fending off the competition from those young businesses.
I think when I drank it I served it too cold as it was put in the fridge when |I put away the shopping. I think the temperature consumed a lot from it as there was no aftertaste and hardly any smell. There was one big burst of flavour which vanished very quickly. I could pick up cherry and this copper beer was an enjoyable sup.
So there we go. Only 3 beers this time. Hopefully there will be a lot more doors opening with my new job. I would recommend anyone who has a passion to chase it, or a hobby to throw yourself at it. It’s not too late to decide what you want to do, and if you’re not doing it, change it. Only 3 years ago I had been working at HMV for 5 years with no real plan. So much has happened to me in those 3 years because I decided to chase a dream of having my own pub it’s unreal. And Christ if I can do it you sure can.