Posts Tagged ‘beer events’

Sorry its been so long… haven’t you missed me? (ok don’t answer that).

September has been a quiet month on the tasting events side, since I’ve been concentrating on other things, but more of that later.

Never fear though, roll on October 16th when I am going back to basics for “Beer Tasting 101 – Introduction to Craft Beer”.  This will be accompanied by a tapas tasting menu prepared by the chefs at Jenius Social:

Ham & salami
Bruschetta with salsa
Manchego cheese
If you’ve not been to Jenius Social before check it out here.  It is a beautiful spot, perfectly geared up towards foodies! I’d love you to join, bring WAG’s, friends, work colleagues etc and join the fun! Tickets available from their website, grab them while they last!
I’ll round up with a quick few things:
Saturday is the official launch party for The London Beer Factory… get down to check out London’s newest and  coolest brewery!
If you want to know what i’ve been working on here is a sneak peak:

What, I hear you ask, is the best drink pairing for Mexican food? Surely the categorical answer is beer!


Mexican food is all about comfort, satisfying big flavours, rich melt-in-your-mouth slow cooked meats, spices that blow your skirt up, varieties of textures from crispy tacos to sloppy guacamole and getting messy!  Meat juice running down your chin, messy.  I wouldn’t fancy a glass of pinot blush with my tacos.


The great thing about beer with food is the variety of flavours, colours, textures and aromas that can complement as well as stand up to seriously flavoursome food.  Dark, caramel flavours with spice or meaty dishes. Light, delicate beers to make the food sing and a bubbly texture to cleanse your palate ready for the next bite.


On 15/16/17th September I’m partnering with YaDa Chef for a 3 day residency where we are presenting a delicious 10 course Mexican tapas menu paired with 4 superb beers chosen by myself (naturally).  There are only 30 tickets for each night so I really hope you can join us. Tickets £40 (including drinks) here.


Joseph from YaDa chef is offering some amazing discounts such as

  • Buy 4 tickets get one completely FREE
  • Buy 10 tickets and he will donate 50% of the ticket price to a charity of your choice


Have a look at YaDa Chef online and see some of the super yachts he has worked on, catering for the rich and famous in glamorous locations all over the world!



Menu below

  • Cold Avocado Soup (gluten free)
  • Fresh Made Mexican Flour Tortilla (slightly thicker than
  • store bought)
  • Mexican Fish Tacos with Cabbage/Jicama Slaw
  • Pork Carnitas with Mole Sauce (gluten free)
  • Chicken Mole (gluten free)
  • Braised Short Ribs with Posole Pasilla (gluten free)
  • Mexican Sliders
  • Empanadas
  • Tamales
  • Concha/Mexican Wedding Cakes (a sweet bread sort of thing)

Tickets available here:


Started by two home brewers, Chris and Alex who followed their dream and started their own small scale brewery in Earlsfield South West London. They aim to take the brewing scene by the proverbial horns by making beer that ‘is far superior in taste, flavour, mouth-feel, aroma and appearance’.

Since starting out, they have expanded their operation with additional tanks, taking on Nic the brewer and constructing a pretty awesome brewery tap. The bar itself serves beer from 3 cask hand pumps and 6 keg taps from Thursday to Saturdays.

By the Horns brewery tap. Good times

By the Horns brewery tap. Good times

I escaped the horrendous London weather last weekend to catch the start of this years Six Nations rugby at the brewery tap. Huge big screen projector, a passionate crowd and free flowing great beer, what’s not to like. I enjoy the way these guys are opening up their brewery to the public, introducing small scale brewing to a new audience. It was packed, so their strategy is clearly working.

I particularly enjoyed the Mayor of Garratt English bitter. Deep and flavoursome, fruity with liquorice notes on the nose. A few of those was enough to ease the pain of an England loss to the French!

I’m running a tour and tasting in conjunction with By The Horns on 27th February, so if you want to get a real insight from passionate small scale breweries then come on down. £15 including 4 beers.

Firstly HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here’s to continuing our journey together discovering great beer!


Second, and very importantly, I am delighted to announce our first Indie Ales food and beer pairing night in partnership with acclaimed popup chef James Ramsden (owner of The Secret Larder Supper Club).


Secret Larder with Indie Ales, a beer and food pairing night!

Date: Tuesday 25th February

Venue: Vagabonds, 105 Holloway Road, London N7 0RN

Price: £45 including plentiful beer matched with a 3 course meal

TICKETS: – Max 4 per person


James is a food blogger, freelance professional food writer, supper club extraordinaire and has a couple of cooking books under his belt! I met with James to discuss the event recently and this will be an absolute corker… don’t expect your everyday beer and food pairing night! If you don’t believe me, check out these links for evidence of James’ cooking prowess (


I shall be working with James to provide some extraordinary tasty beers to pair with his culinary creations… Tickets for James’ weekly supper club ALWAYS sell out, so make sure you get your mitts on some tickets by emailing him


For more info check out The Secret Larder (



Thanks all


PS.  Tickets for Winter Beer Tasting at the White Horse, Parsons Green 22nd Januaryare selling out FAST.  So if you were thinking of coming along to taste some great seasonal beer brewed right here in London, then get hold of you mouse and clickity click here:

A few eyebrows were raised at the prospect of a 12 beer tasting but the goal for the evening was to highlight the subtle differences between the different worldwide lagers and the fantastic variety of styles and flavours available in British real ale.  When else do you get a chance to test 12 beers side by side and still remember them?

There was some lively debate, some wild swings in scores, interesting descriptions and fruitful language amongst the tasters.  Ultimately the people’s vote was for a LAGER.  But hold the groans… it was in fact a dark lager, Bernard Dark.

You could be forgiven for thinking that after a (slightly biased) intro to the natural and hand made qualities of real ale, that we are still primarily a country of lager drinkers.   However what surprised everyone was the colour, complexity and depth of flavour (coffee, dark fruits, dry bitter hop finish) which the Bernard Dark was able to impart whilst still maintaing the refreshing quality of a lager, served cold.  It truly is a great beer, and has the medals to prove it.

Sharps Brewery’s famous Doom Bar was also voted as the preferred real ale.  This is a fair assessment given the light malty sweetness giving it great session-ability and accessibility to all palates.  There were a few raised eyebrows at the Innis & Gunn whiskey aged beer and some quizzical looks following the spruce hopped Norseman but everyone was able to find something they enjoyed.

If you missed this event and want to keep up to date with future tastings, please subscribe to receive my newsletter on my website.

The match ups were:

Lager: UK, Camden Hells vs Spain, Estrella Damm

Real Ale: Cornwall, Sharps – Doom Bar vs Kent, Shepherd Neame – Blonde Ambition

Lager: South America, Modelo Especial vs Czech Republic, Bernard Dark

Real Ale: Tyneside, Jarrow Brewery – Rivet Catcher vs Yorkshire, Ilkley Brewery – The Norseman

Lager: Czech Republic, Pilsner Urquell vs Germany, Veltins

Real Ale: Yorkshire, Leeds Brewery – Gathering Storm vs Scotland, Innis & Gunn – Original

November is here so time to get your diaries out and listen close.

Fanfare please……I’m delighted to announce 2 beer tasting events in November.

Real Ale vs Fine Lagers

The first tasting event on 19th November, in the lovely upstairs room at The Crown Tavern on Clerkenwell Green, will be a tasting duel pitting real ale vs lager. Designed to be fun, interactive and informative it is perfect for those new to beer and wanting to get an understanding of the different complexities between the two styles, as well as for seasoned quaffers looking to take some time to judge beer in a controlled environment. Using the freshest beer available we are going to judge a selection of hand crafted British real ales against some of the finest continental lagers and pilsners. Which style is superior? Which tap is tastier? You decide!

Speed Beer Tasting – London Craft Beer

For the second event on Friday 22nd November Indie Ales are partnering with The Hub Westminster for a Speed Beer Tasting to coincide with the festivities for Global Entrepreneurship Week. The 30 minute beer tasting will involve tasting two of London’s craftiest independently brewed beers backed up with a barrel-load of beer facts and advice in how to judge your brew. The event is completely open to the public and will be followed by the Hub’s usual Friday night networking for budding or existing entrepreneurs.