Craft Beer Co Field Trip

craft beerThe London Food Tech Meetup was scheduled tonight at The Craft Beer Co in Angel. This is a 'craft beer pub specialising in small batch hand crafted beer'.... apparently. Truth be told it does actually sell a huge range of beer and I was impressed with the bar staff's ability to judge who to serve next... Extra points for them. They were also able to recommend me a good IPA (Sound Wave by Siren Craft Brew, 5.6%) followed by a Wit (Gentlemans Wit, by Camden Brewery, 4.3%). 

I was loving the fact that I was in a true beer drinkers pub. I knew this when a gentleman came in and asked for a particular beer and upon hearing it was not available until next week, he promptly left! The two kids behind me ordering half pints with obvious snobbery had clearly graduated from alcho-pops at an early age.  

I started with the IPA simply because I knew what I was ordering and to avoid any awkwardness over not knowing what to order due to the overwhelming choice of beverages. It was big in orange flavour and very pungent orangey aroma. To taste, it was strong and tangy. Not sure whether my lack of food had anything to do with it but it slipped down well and certainly felt like I'd had a few more than a single pint! 

With my new found interest, the Gentleman's Wit was my first knowingly ordered Wit beer. All Wits will be judged against the benchmark of this smooth but sour beer. It was very cloudy and Lemony as well without being too lemony bitter. Definitely similar to a hoegarden although nicer than I remember hoegarden being! It was a good refreshing summer beer. 

Met some great people involved in a number of interesting food/tech businesses in london. Olly, who started his own energy bars with his last £10 has inspired me to brew my own beer. I think that's a cool project > learn, create, develop, sell? Parents may have to clear some space from the garage! 


Tonight I was drinking….

Love midweek days off! Gave me a chance to work on my golf swing, shop for some ingredients for supper and purchase a few ales for the evening.

OK so Kedgeree is not your average dish for supper but the haddock in the fridge inspired me to cook this for the first time.  So tonight my focus was on finding the most interesting domestically brewed ales from Tesco which I had not tried before.

I was pleasantly surprised by the choice on offer at Tesco and the way they arranged their beers shelf by shelf, in terms of flavour.  In the end I plumped for:

Brew Dog Punk, IPA, 330ml 5.6%

Boilermaker, Welsh Whisky IPA, 330ml 6.5%

St Peter’s, Ruby Red Ale, 500ml 4.3%

Old Growler, Robust Superior Dark Beer, 500ml 5.5%

Ok so I have had Punk IPA before but I absolutely love this beer! This is definitely the beer that changed my mind on IPA’s, so I simply could not pass up the opportunity.  I love the bitter after taste and how it lingers in your mouth, well past swallowing.  For me it is also refreshingly citrus and so incredibly moreish!

The Boilermaker was smooth, sweet and fruity without being overly sweet like some fruit beers.  I have never had a whisky beer before and I was pleasantly surprised by the sourness of the whisky against the sweetness of the fruity flavours.  Very drinkable I found.  Could easily drink more!

The Ruby Red has interesting flavours which i cant quite pick out.  To me it is the liquorish which stands out the most but it is lightened up a tad by some fruity flavours.  It is quite hopy but not overly so as it still remains quite smooth as you sip it, but the hop flavour does remain in the mouth after you swallow, but not in a bad way.

Onto the Growler… what a great name. So i think my taste buds and my brain maybe a little confused after drinking all of the above but this is the darkest beer of the bunch.  It looks a little like Coca Cola, but tastes much better. For me there is a strong flavour of coffee and smooth but bitter taste – not overwhelmingly bitter (am i making sense here?).  I’m happily sipping away enjoying the depth of flavours of my first  Porter I have knowingly drunk.


Tonight I was drinking...

Tonight I was drinking…

Kedgeree with coriander and chilli
Kedgeree with coriander and chilli

Beer Odyssey Begins at Parliament

Born Free

Born Free

Sajid's Choice

Sajid’s Choice

not a bad drinking spot

not a bad drinking spot

I’m on a journey to understand more about beer.  Luckily this means I need to try lots of different beers and I’m going to attempt to write about a few of them on my blog….. Where better a venue to begin! UNESCO World Heritage Site, Grade 1 Listed, Home of House of Lords and House of Commons, previous residence to the Kings and Queens of England… the list goes on and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

After a brief tour of the ground floor of Parliament taking in the central lobby and Westminster Hall we settled down for drinks on the Terrace. Typical of an English Summer evening, it was grey and overcast with a small bite in the air when the wind blew easterly along The Thames! Nevertheless, we were very content with the view from our seats over the river from the ‘other side’.

The Strangers Bar supplies members with a decent range of lagers, Guinness and 2 guest ales at extremely wallet friendly prices! I was reliably informed that each Member of Parliament has an opportunity to introduce a barrel or two of beer from breweries within their local constituencies over the course of the year, thus maintaining a steady flow of interesting beers from around the UK.

On Monday night the choices were Born Free (Banks & Taylor, 4.8%) and Sajid’s Choice (Bird’s Brewery, 3.8%). Both were very smooth drinking, handy for a lunch time pint before Prime Minister’s Question Time, I guess! Although the little blackboard with a few tasting notes suggested Sajid’s choice had a hoppy flavour it didn’t quite deliver on that front for me. Probably should have guessed by the 3.8% vol. Both beers were golden in colour, the Sajid’s Choice having a little more yeast in suspense and both were light enough to chug down on a Monday evening without laying you out for the rest of the week!

When the wind got up a bit, we dove back inside to the safety of the bar and kept an ear out for the latest political scandal unfolding.