Monday, 8 July 2013

Presenting...Beer, with Melissa Cole

I was lucky enough at the Hampton Court Foodies Festival to attend the beer masterclass run by someone I have followed on Twitter for a while – Melissa Cole, Somm-ale-ier. And following my recent post on great pubs in my area I wanted to follow with a little piece on beer itself.

Did you know there are over 1000 breweries in the UK, and 43 of those are in London?

I learnt was that larger is a German word meaning “to store” or mature – and cheap larger, you know who I mean, cuts this maturing phase out of production leaving a cheaper, less tasty beer.

Then I learnt that ale uses a different yeast which works faster and at higher temperature for a fuller beer and with a little bit more sweetness.

Also, gypsum rich water, such as you find at Burton on Trent, is best to make pale ales.

But most importantly what did we drink (lost my notes, from memory!):

Korev - a Cornish lager at 4.8% - nice, refreshing

Fuller's Bengal Lancer IPA 5.3% - another nice, refreshing IPA

Brains Boilermaker (Penderyn whisky cask finished) IPA 6.5% - not such a favourite but maybe
that is also a reflection of a big brewery trying to "do craft"! 

Hogs Back RIP Snorter 5% - fruity 

Eden Brewery (Bourbon Cask Finish) - all you need to know is THIS St Andrew's brewery blew me away, it tasted just like milk chocolate. In fact it was so good I went and bought an Islay finish and a rum cask finish too but the bourbon has to be my favourite- match made in heaven. 

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