Sunday, 22 March 2015

A beer tasting and a meet the brewer - Sheffield Beer Week


           given that it was the end party yesterday I think I am quite certain that Sheffield Beer Week is now finished. Due to a lack of funds at times, I haven't actually been to many events, but before I forget (any more) I thought I'd write about two events I went to on Monday and Tuesday at Shakespeares.

Arriving late, I was given a "posh glass" from the bar and went to find the organisers and a handful of guests enjoying their first beer, which was an IPA called 11/08 from Brew By Numbers. I like their saisons, and I recall this was a session IPA at low gravity. It packed plenty of punch hops wise, but in comparison to other beers lacked the requisite clout - which to be fair, as a session IPA, its entitled to. Looking at my terrible photos I can see this featured Mosaic and Centennial hops - being two of my favourites that explains why I loved the hoppiness.

We were joined by Ed and there was Mr Cullen, John, Steve who I found out I'd met before, a man who left early, Nicci Peet who photographs breweries, Jules from Sheffield Beer Week, Sean from Beer Central and a Chinese media student. Although she didn't pay, she was kindly offered a taster of all the beers, as well as interviews with Chris and Clare and Jules. I don't think she liked any of the beers though.....

Next up was probably a canned beer - and the overuse of the word controversial. Frankly, I've not drunk beer out of a can since I was 19 and have no intention of doing so again, however, the canned beer, much like the kegged beer, you get now, is a whole different kettle of fish. This was Baby Faced Assassin from Roosters brewery. it was significantly stronger than the BBN and had  a much more rounded flavour. It relied heavily on Citra and it was noticeable on the nose and not as much as I'd expect in the initial or after flavour. It was, crucially, an excellent canned beer.

WE also had a beer from far away Without the notes I was promised (clears throat) I can't possibly be expected to remember what it was, although I do have some photos to look at......

So, as I wasn't saying, next up was Port Brew Wipeout IPA, a 7.5% American IPA - straight away I noticed the aroma, very much Belgian style but with that bite of American Hops. A much more impressive beer in terms of style, but actually quite heavy to drink. Sean gave us a detailed history of the brewer and brewery and this was something that he and Chris both did throughout. I think this beer was Ed's favourite.

Next up was further Camtroversy - an India Hells lager in a can, from Camden Town Brewery. They have probably tried to claim ownership of the word Camtroversey. Even though I only just made it up. Anyway, despite hype and background issues this was a very tasty and commendable beer style. Refreshing as it used lager malts, but with a punchy hop bite at the end. Just what we needed, in fact, to wash out our palates after the enjoyable but heavy Wipeout.

Next we tried Dugges HopBlack, an unusual Black IPA from the Belgium. Or Netherlands. Or neither. This was a lot of peoples' favourite, although no-one could agree on how to pronounce the brewery name. I am told there is no point searching it either as the beer does not even feature on the beer list on their website! So I haven't. Cho welcome.

The final beer was a fantastic treat - Siren Craft Brew Liquid Monstrous. Essential a stronger version of their Liquid Mistress IPA, this was a hefty but hugely complex brew. A monstrous black in colour (controversial?) the beer was delicious, but had far too many flavours for me to remember. In short, I can't, I was a little refreshed by this stage. For interest, the brewery have a website and the following description . To be fair it lists four amazing hops so I'm bound to have loved it. Its just the haze of alcohol that is shielding my memory from accessing the details of the beer....hic.

I realise this leaves me little space t tell you about the meet the brewer event the next night with the Siren Craft Brew. Well, judging from the number of photographs of me drunk, its hardly surprising that I can't remember much. In effect the event was to launch the only cask (or only one of 2 , can't remember) of Maiden 2014, a whopping 12% blended and different barrel aged beer of incredible flavours. We also tried a small tasting of Fortunata, their Christmas beer, and their unusual sour smoked wheat beer which I can't even describe - not because of alcohol, but because it tastes like no beer, and no thing, I have ever had before.

The guys from the brewery arrived to have one of them give a brief introduction and talk, before members of the team sat among us and told us more details about the brewery, their roles, previous experience and plans, and of course about each beer. The Maiden 2014 was still on yesterday, and despite its strength, I would highly recommend you go and try and try it. The overwhelming flavour for me was wine, with port and whisky and also red ale, for some reason. Its an incredibly complex and powerful beer, yes, but its easy to drink for its strength.

The event was a £10.00 entry fee but were given at least that much to drink ( I think I am forgetting the broken dreams, which I bought a bottle of for a fiver) and the level of detail provided into the blending process was fascinating, even though I have "mislaid" most of it in my memory...

Overall these two events were very much in keeping in terms of quality, with others that took place last week. They mean I will have many fond, and indeed blurred, memories of it for a long time to come. Congrats to Jules, Clare Chris Bamford and Sean, and many many others, for all their hard work on Sheffield Beer Week.


Wee Beefy

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post, Sir. I wish I had been there.
    I did make it to the closing party. I've just blogged about it on A Swift One and I have also put a link up to your post.
    Cheers & I hope to catch up with you soon,
    The A.A.