Last Friday I got to experience (along with 15 other food and drink bloggers and writers) a Beer and Ale masterclass (which are available to book through their website for like £20+ PP OR their Cocktail Masterclass for £30 PP) throughout the ages with the very lovely Kieran (the proclaimed New World Trading Beer Guru.) in the most instagrammable place known to man. The event took place at the now Award Winning and my all-time favourite place in London-The Trading House in London who, along with their 14 other establishments- across the UK- racked up an impressive 6 Awards at the Publican Awards the day before. It was a definite cause for celebration all-round, plus throw in the fact it was St Patricks Day AND the last day of #LondonBeerWeek and it would have been rude not too end the day with a beer (or prosecco for us gluten-free drinkers) in hand.
I got to attend the evening with my work, so spent the evening either chatting to some amazing people about their lives, (and drinking habits) or listening to Kieran talk about the history and differences between each beer. Now like I mentioned before- annoyingly I’m not actually a beer drinker, but listening to the history and love and passion behind each one- by both the creators and Beer Guru himself, it could have even converted a beer-fiend like myself into enjoying it.
The favourite of the evening definitely went to the Kriek Lambic- or as it become known to the guests as the “Cherry one”. FYI I definitely called dibs on that being the overall favourite due to being blended with black cherries and wild yeast to create a refreshing Lambic Beer that has a subtle sourness followed by sweet oak and mouth-quenching cherry. The beer itself is fermented twice to really give it some cherry body oomph and rightfully claimed its spot as Friday nights favourite Beer.
The Kriek being the favourite didn’t come as a surprise, but what did- was how close the second one was. Which was arguably the most unique beer out of the 6- the smoked “Bacon” flavoured beer- Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen. Which history intrigued me more than the taste and it’s name which is hard to say sober, and even more difficult drunk, roughly translates to ‘Dangling Smoked Beer’ and is compromised of barley that has been smoked over beech wood fires for that intense smokey flavour. The guests were told to expect notes of burnt honey, maple-cured bacon and an all-round smokiness throughout. The review from the beer turned connoisseurs at Friday’s event: “It tastes like Frazzles!” Stay classy, kids.
After the main course style of Bacon Flavoured Beer we moved onto some softer, sweeter and undoubtably more fruity flavours for our dessert. Starting with a sweet, special edition- American Pale Ale from Lervig which has quickly become their new flagship beer, and rightly so. The Lucky Jack Grapefruit hosts a soft bitterness, followed by sweet caramel malts, hops and boosted by Pink Grapefruit Juice to give it its noticeable pink shimmer and grapefruit skin for its citrusy feel.
Sticking to the Grapefruit theme- next on the beer-schedule was this citrus infused High Wire conception from Magic Rock which had slightly more grapefruit pith than malts and was complimented by blood orange and lemon and is a prime example of what can only be achieved through modern brewing.
Juicebox by Fourpure become the next taste test, keeping to the citrus feel theme but this time without a grapefruit in sight. This fresh tipple has notes of mango, bitter orange and papaya for that really refreshing feel and was inspired by the four brewing ingredients. Fourpure have been at the forefront of the beer industry by keeping careful attention to detail since 2013 and by becoming the first UK craft brewery to start canning their range rather than the traditional bottling.
The last on the list is probably my favourite because it appeals to my inner-geek so much. The Clwb Tropicana (and no I hadn’t had too much prosecco and got the name wrong- that is the correct spelling of) a tangy, party-on-the-tongue creation by Tiny Rebel. The year was 2008 and two beer lovers and creators in their garage finally decided to upgrade their standard kit into a fully-fledged and functional brewery. Fast forward to today and they have just expanded for the second time and got numerous awards under their belts. These unconventional, rule-breaker brewers are definitely ones to look out for. Grab your coats folks because with one sip of this on your tongue, you get the VIP invite to the world’s fruitiest party. Expect to see tangy pineapple, sweet passionfruit, smooth mango and subtle peach all dancing the night away in your mouth in one big, fruity, blow-out rebellion.
A huge thank you to The Trading House and the Beer Gurus for an evening of laughter, intrigue, history and more beers than one man should ever have on a Friday- who am I kidding- pass us one more..