Posts Tagged ‘indie ales’

August went down in a jiffy.  Like a swift, gloriously satisfying cold beer after an uncomfortably sweaty walk on a summer day.

 

Like many of my fellow beer bloggers and enthusiasts, it was a hectic month with tastings, trips, tours and festivals to fit in and similarly, we all seemed determined to make the most of all the incredible opportunities to taste some great beer and mingle with like-minded individuals… or just drink as much beer as possible!

 

What I managed to squeeze into just over 2 hectic weeks:

  • Pete Brown Music and Beer Pairing
  • James Watt (Founder of Brewdog) beer tasting
  • Great British Beer Festival
  • London Beer Factory Tour and Tasting – by Indie Ales
  • Beer and Brewery Tour of East London – given by Indie Ales
  • Dress Down Thursday – Bar Takeover of Paper Dress Vintage by Indie Ales

 

I’m still not convinced of the decision to launch London Beer City in the same week as the Great British Beer Festival AND the London Craft Beer Festival but I can say it was a great occasion and a privilege to be involved.  The variety of events on offer all around London was a fantastic tribute to our beer scene which now must be considered one of the most exciting and influential in Europe.  Events were staged for all levels of interests and experience was from educational tasting sessions, to historical walking tours to the more traditional real ale events and the more hip and progressive.

 

I do love the GBBF.  I’m a big fan of real ale and love trying all the beers from smaller breweries around the country.  I spoke to a few people who were disappointed by the quality of some of the beer this year but this wasn’t obvious to me.  What really annoyed me was even by 7pm on the first day, many of the award winning or recognisable beers had gone, including 90% of all the cask ale over from the US.  I’m not sure if they were holding some back for visitors later in the week?

 

The busy schedule meant I had to bypass something this August, which was unfortunately the London Craft Beer Festival.  The feedback seems to have been hugely positive with the organisers stepping up the food offer, demonstrating beer’s awesome capacity to be paired with gourmet food and by all accounts the brewers really upped their game as well with fruit infused and barrel aged beers. These demonstrate the real leaps and bounds the beer scene is undertaking with experimentation and collaboration… pushing the boundaries of what we perceive as ‘beer’.  Gutted to miss these!

 

I read an interesting article from a food blog (http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/community/london-craft-beer-fest-review) highlighting the rightful appreciation of beer as an alternative to wine which I completely agree with:

‘People are almost looking and talking about beer like they do wine, looking at colour, smell, texture, everything. And the fact is, they want to know the story behind the beer. With the ever-increasing access to information, people want to know what goes into their food and drink, they are aware of what goes into the average can of lager and they are not prepared to put that in their bodies anymore.’

 

All these events can only help heighten the appreciation of your average beer drinker which means growing the market to encourage the great breweries we have in this country to brew even more outstanding beer.  All this fun and games is also bringing great beer to more people.  That why I initially started Indie Ales; to inspire and help people discover fantastic beer, so it’s great to see.  To steal a line from Chris Hall ‘ If you think London’s ‘beer ego’ is already so big it can be seen from space, then I’ve got bad news for you. We’re only just getting started’.

 

Charlie

 

20140813-233059-84659786.jpg

 

Howdie guys.

If you missed the Independence Day tasting on 4th July or the incredible Rooftop Brewing event on 5th July then never fear as I have a feast of events coming up!

Argentinian Pizza and craft beer Supper Club
Speaking of feasts, I am shaking with excitement and incredibly lucky to be running an Argentinian Pizza and Craft Beer pairing on Thursday 24th July with Olly the singing pizza chef extraordinaire.

Say Ole to Oli from the critically acclaimed Argentinian Pizza Supper Club! This event will introduce you to some of London’s Best Craft Beers & Argentinian Empanadas, Original Pizza Recipes hand made right here in London.

The format for the evening will be as follows:
-Three (3) different Craft Beers to taste (330ml bottle)
-Three (3) different Courses
Optional Ticket Upgrade: Four (4) Craft Beers & Three (3) different Courses Plus Dessert.

http://www.edibleexperiences.com/p/17752057/Indie-Ales/320001/Argentinian-pizza-supper-club-and-craft-beer-tasting

August – London will be the beer capital of the world

In August this year, there are some mind-blowingly cool events happening in the name of celebrating beer. The countdown begins.

London Beer City August 9-16th August
Some great events this week including talks and tastings. I’m running a special event at London’s newest brewery, London Beer Factory where we will have a tour and tasting of their beer right in the belly of their beautiful brewery. Booking details to follow.
http://www.londonbeercity.com/schedule/

Great British Beer Festival 12-16th August
Established in 1977 and still going strong
http://gbbf.org.uk

Indie Ales presents “Dress Down Thursday” Thursday 21st August.
Let loose at Paper Dress Vintage in Shoreditch with craft beer and craft cocktails. So on trend. Booking details to follow.

Hi beer fans.

Here’s 9 crazy facts about beer which I put together for Twentysomethinglondon ahead of our upcoming Rooftop Brewing beer party!

1. In 1814, 8 people in London died by drowning in beer when one of the huge vats of ale gave way sending 1.4 million litres into the streets.

2. The oldest recipe for beer is 4000 years old, made by Sumerians.

3. Hops are a very close cousin of the marijuana plant.

4. Beer is higher in protein and vitamin B than vino and also contains iron, calcium, phosphates and fibre. Vitamin B particularly folic acid helps prevents heart attacks.

5. In the Middle Ages beer was consumed more than water since it was healthier and safer to drink than water (boiled water is used in the brewing process).

6. The geometry of a beer glass affects how it looks, tastes and feels

  • A narrower top than the middle traps the aroma inside the glass
  • An outward taper helps maintain the size of the foamy head
  • A wide rim or flared glass delivers the beer into your whole mouth not just to the    tongue which changes the way flavours are perceived

7. Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.

8. Oatmeal stouts were the advised drink of lactating mothers due to the nutritious benefits of drinking it.

9. The Czech Republic drinks the most beer per person in the world.

– See more at: http://twentysomethinglondon.com/9-weird-facts-about-beer-to-whip-out-at-the-pub/#sthash.sCNCBYgu.dpuf

London’s looking beautiful in the sun and it will look even better from a rooftop overlooking the city holding a crisp craft beer or refreshing cocktail!

Don’t forget to book your tickets for Rooftop Brewing on 5th July, the first release tickets have already SOLD OUT.  Think views over London, street food, live DJ’s, glorious sunshine and a big screen for the footy.  As Bar Chick put it… ‘this is going to go off like a Pitbull video’! Oh and did we mention hot tubs… we’ve got those too!

£20 which INCLUDES entry, and 8 free tokens to spend on food, beer or cocktails.  Just not on the hot tub 😉

Pick from two sessions; Boozy Brunch or Alfresco Disco.  We are trying to sell 1000 tickets over the day, so I’d love you to come and have some fun in the sun! It’s my first major event so your support would be awesome!

Link to tickets:

http://twentysomethinglondon.com/tsl-presents-rooftop-brewing-netil-360/

 

'Fuckin-A' Rooftop Terrace

‘Fuckin-A’ Rooftop Terrace

4th July Independence Day Tasting

For those of you who cant escape a bit of American love over the Independence Day weekend or are looking for a little more mental stimulation, my next tasting is a cracker.  We’ve got the space at the brand spanking new Social Kitchen over at Jenius Social in Holloway where the Chef Malcolm will be making some American gastronomic classics to pair with each American craft lager.

6 beers and 6 delicious dishes to blow your rocks off! These are beers which you certainly cannot find in your local.  Find out about the ‘state’ of US craft beer (excuse the pun) and how it is influencing the British beer industry.  These guys are way ahead of the curve, doing mind bogglingly awesome things which will change your whole perception of beer for good!

Tickets: £28 for 2 hours of mind blowing beer and food you want to bury your face in.

http://www.jeniussocial.co.uk/shop/jenius-social/m08-independence-day-craft-beer-tasting

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Heaven on a plate

Heaven on a plate

 

29 Cornwall Road

London SE1 8TJ

The White Heart, Waterloo.  Boozer worth seeking out

The White Hart, Waterloo. Boozer worth seeking out

I’m unsure which emotion to use when describing this place… Part of me is ‘ahh, this place is so cosy, warm, inviting, historic I want this to be my local!’ kind of way, or ‘ahh! How have I never discovered this place before, it is aweseome!’.

I was brought here by a friend as we were looking for a place to dive in for a drink after a wander along the South Bank.  Located conveniently close to Waterloo as well as the The South Bank, this is your perfect destination pub.  It’s in spitting distance of Waterloo, convenient for when trains are cancelled and easily walkable if you want a decent beverage and can’t face the tourist traps along the South Bank.

The pub itself is a Mitchells and Butlers’ owned establishment nestled in a cute back road amongst neat and pretty terraced cottages.  You can feel the history of the place even before you enter.  It skilfully toes the line between Oldy Worldy Dickensian character but is light and airy enough that you don’t need night goggles to see the person opposite.  I liked the traditional central bar despite it taking up 80% of the potential seating space but it adds character and breaks up the room so every table feels like it is in its own little space.

The beer is also very good.  It has a large selection of taps (up to 20) serving a variety of good European pilsners and wheat beers alongside some of the larger London breweries like Camden and Meantime.  Mainstream craft beers from UK, Belgium and USA are attractive enough to bring in a younger crowd and satisfy most beer geeks. They also serve 3 Cask Marque real ales on rotation.  There was also some decent nosh available and I am told it’s a great place to graze on a hearty roast whilst absorbing the Sunday paper.

It’s a gem of a pub, heaps of character without being full of old codgers and completely unbeknownst to 95% of the commuters passing right by its door each day.  So now you know.

Not an example of drinking responsibly

Not an example of drinking responsibly

 

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to remind you that the 15% discount for the St George’s Day, English craft beer tasting runs out on FRIDAY (thats the 11th April).

This year St George’s day falls on Wednesday 23rd April and we will be celebrating this momentous occasion at The Phoenix Pub in Clapham North / Stockwell.  This discount is exclusive to you brilliantly intelligent people who subscribe to my blog!

Ticket sales have been going strong this week, I have almost sold 50% already, I’m sure being mentioned in The Londonist’s Top 10 Foodie Popups in April on the homepage may have helped 🙂

Thumbs up Londonist.com

Thumbs up Londonist.com

 

Remember this tasting is all about fantastic English beer.  I will will be walking you through six of the best beers being brewed right now here in England and we will be enjoying it with some hearty, traditional, English food.  Match made in heaven, imho.  This will be great if you are just starting out on your journey of beer discovery or you are  looking to get your hands on some darn tasty beverages and raise a few drinks to our Patron Saint.  Educational, sure… fun, absolutely!

The direct link to the 15% discount is Here, if you were in any doubt.

Keep well and hopefully see you for a beer on the 23rd!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cask Pub & Kitchen, Pimlico, SW1

 

Good for: great beer and good vibes with friends.
Food: Burgers

This pretty inauspicious looking bar is like your girlfriends ‘really pretty friend’. Not a great looker but great personality. You could easily walk past Cask without a second glance, but once you get over the awkward appearance and slightly unsightly exterior you’re sure to find a new BFF.

It has exactly what you’d expect from the guys from Craft Beer Co. chain of bars, namely great beer. There are 10 real ales on cask and a further 15 craft beers on tap which tend to have the good UK beer from likes of Thornbridge, Magic Rock and Dark Star as well as many smaller breweries on rotation. They get a good selection of London bottled craft beer (the new stuff from Anspach & Hopday, Kernel, Partizan, Brew by Numbers, Weird Beard) and hundreds of import bottles from USA and Europe (regular size and Bombers). The sheer choice can be overwhelming and so can the ABV of some of the beers. Warning: It can be a challenge to find anything less than 5%!

What I like about this place is the atmosphere. It is consistently buzzing with the good vibes of people hanging out with friends. It feels a little like you have the run of a school classroom with chairs packed in and assembled haphazardly as people spin them around an assortment of tables, but with absolutely no danger of getting a ticking off from the teachers. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and seem to blend into the crowd. It doesn’t attract the hipsters and there aren’t too many pretentious craft wankers… Nobody judges you on what you are drinking or what you are wearing.

If your peckish, the menu is small but the burgers (brought to you by Forty Burgers) are impeccable. The smell of them wafting across the bar is almost impossible to resist.

http://www.caskpubandkitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/CASK-Beer-Menu-227.pdf

The other weekend a friend persuaded me to venture up the Northern Line for a few crafty ales at The Southampton Arms in Kentish Town.  Not really knowing what to expect, I dully made my way there, beer tokens at the ready (no cards accepted).

I was greeted by a quirky local drinking establishment with a friendly friday night buzz in the air.  The place was busy without being packed, but we were lucky to grab a pew (literally a church pew) tucked in the corner.  The folky style music and shabby wooden interiors creates a lively cosy atmosphere which successfully treads the line for a place to enjoy a few Friday night beverages whilst also being a good place to load up on good beer before heading on somewhere more lively.

The Southampton Arms.  A real English pub

The Southampton Arms. A real English pub

The beer itself is only sourced from independent breweries constantly rotated and served by knowledgeable staff, happy to let you to take a sample before diving into an unknown ale.  I had a Redemption Hopspur Bitter and the Belleville Battersea Brownstone, which were both delicious.

The unpretentious yet eclectic mix of genuine local drinkers and trendy younger crowd together with the great beers and ciders and epic meat snacks make it a worthy pub to visit if you are a beer hunter or looking for great London pubs.

If you are in the area, please do check out The Bull and Last, which is a cosy gastropub just up the road. More of a foodie pub than a drinking venue but nevertheless, the beer offering is fantastic.  Beers at the time were from Tiny Rebel, Bristol Beer Factory and Five Points on keg and bottle.

The Southampton Arms

139 Highgate Road, London N5 1LE

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: Emailjames@james.ramsden.com – 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 (http://www.jamesramsden.com/about/press/).

 

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 NOW:james@james.ramsden.com

 

For more info check out The Secret Larder (http://www.jamesramsden.com/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:http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/warm-up-with-winter-craft-beer-tasting-tickets-9714978763?aff=eorg

I was kindly invited to put on an informal beer tasting at the December Startup Grind event for startup entrepreneurs at Google Campus…. Just the ticket to inspire some unsuspecting hipsters, hackers and hustlers t0 drink some incredible craft beer (in case they needed any convincing!).

Can I have some more beer please?

Can I have some more beer please?

Must have craft beer available at networking events... its thirsty work!

Must have craft beer available at networking events… its thirsty work!

IMG_0048

 

The idea was to offer a relaxed beer tasting experience in a networking session, which would also be a great ice breaker and get people nattering about how much they enjoyed  (hopefully) the beer and what aromas and taste’s they were experiencing.  There was massive interest in the Indie Ales beer stand, where we were offering free Fourpure Brewery craft beer.   It was even more incredible to see the reactions of those unfamiliar with good tasting beer, goofy smiles and cheshire cat grins all round.

Some great techniques on display

Some great techniques on display

The Fourpure Session IPA, is a lovely, refreshing drinkable IPA (4.2%) with great fruity aroma from the American Crystal and Cascade hops. It really suprised everyone with the aromatic fruity notes and drinkability, a great intro to IPA’s for the lager drinker and went down well with the females as well!

Exhibit (a) : 1 x Fourpure Session IPA

Exhibit (a) : 1 x Fourpure Session IPA

The IPA started off as my outright favourite, but switching onto the Fourpure Oatmeal Stout a little later into the tasting, in a clear bid to swing some attention towards to darker brew, it really grew on me.  It was really pleasing for me to see some people take to the darker beer straight away.  It found an immediate affinity with chocolate and coffee lovers who were smacked by the dark delicious flavours and many people were shocked at the drinkability and tastiness in comparison to other more prevalent Irish Stouts!

I really hope I was able to inspire a few people to convert to brilliantly tasty craft beer.  High five to StartupGrind for getting me down and for everyone at the event for giving it a go!

Respect to Fourpure for the incredible beer, it is now available in various locations in London and you can purchase the beer from the Brewery’s website: http://www.fourpure.com/

BIG thanks to Peter Alberti photography for the great images of beer!

Did anyone order cheeeeese?

Did anyone order cheeeeese?