Saturday, 21 May 2011

Photoblog: Beer Bloggers Conference 2011 Day 1

Having a full weekend of sporting activities to occupy me I was only able to make the Friday of the Beer Bloggers Conference in the Brewery in Chiswell St. I took my camera, thinking i may not have 100% recollection the next day and this is what I saw:

The brewery was a fantastic location for the conference...

but all was a bit quiet when I arrived.

The ice bucket led me to my first beer of the day, unfortunately the clear glass bottle meant the beer was more lightstruck than the doctored sample later.

After that I avoided skunk alley. 

I found something really rather nicer. Worthington's Red Shield was a refreshing zesty citrusy blond beer that was superb when matched with the salmon later in the evening.

However the best beer of the reception was Sharp's Single Brew Reserve 2010 which is a single hop beer made with Bobec. A riot of pineapple, toffee apple and lemony zing.

Lunch was served.

As you may expect with beer bloggers there was plenty of nosing the beer.

The Hardknott clan were there. Dave was refusing to look at the camera...this was to be a recurring theme in the photos I took!

And who knew the depth of love this man had for his little bear?

Just time for a Brain's Black Stout, from a can with a widget, more Murphy's than Guinness but I can imagine it going down very well watching some rugby.

We went upstairs to kick off the main event.

A welcome from Scott Wilson from Molson Coors the main sponsors. I gained some respect for these guys over the day - they talk a good game about craft beer.

Peter Haydon from Meantime delivering a fascinating talk on the history of London Brewing. 

David Sheen from the British Beer and Pub Association, looking somewhat perplexed about his statistics.

A great panel on the Do's and Don'ts of Blog writing. I suspect I'm breaking at least 3 or 4 rules in this blog!

Melissa Cole adding a bit of glamour with her oversized ring...or is it a knuckleduster aimed at Shepherd Neame? Scary face there Melissa!

Next up was a beer fault tasting masterclass, or a faulty beer tasting class perhaps. The girls from FlavorActiV struggled with some facts.

Any joke about Carling being the main fault in the beer is in the minds of the reader.

The beers laid out for dinner.

The food in general read better than it tasted. Nothing too bad but somewhat under seasoned.

I was lucky enough to be on Stuart Howe's table.

The beers on the other hand were in general fantastic.

Chalky's Bite was better than the Grolsch with the starter.
At this stage I was lubricated enough to forget to take pics for a while.
DW was a great beer but the Red Shield was a better match for the salmon. 

The Brew20: Gorse Strong Ale was best with the dessert, with Blue Moon being positively awful as a match.

Syringes...were we about to start mainlining the beer?

Ah that makes more sense.

Best beer name of the night: Turbo Yeast Utter Abhorrence from Beyond the Ninth Level of Hades III Actually not a bad beer if you could get over the grappa like smell.

A great speech from Steve Wellington, what an absolute gent as well.

Is that a tear in Pete Brown's eye when Steve announced his imminent retirement?

All that was left was to hand the party over to Václav Berka from Pilsner Urquell who brought many casks of fresh unfiltered beer with him. He was moving way too fast for my camera but led us all to a great party downstairs.

All in all a great time was had thanks to Mark and Allan (who must be a vampire as I have no pictures of him!) for their organisational efforts. Shame I could only be at day 1.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Photoblog: Redemption Collaboration Day.

Redemption Brewery is a newly founded (2010) 12BBL micro a stones throw from White Hart Lane in North London. They brew a cracking 3% beer called Trinity among other hoppy brews. 

Today they were brewing a collaboration brew with Evin from the Kernel Brewery a subject of a previous Photoblog

They were good enough to invite a few more interlopers along.

Tony, Manager of  the Euston Tap and ex brewer at the Florence Pub.

Bryan, a fellow beer geek, brewday virgin and owner of some of the best facial hair around, he is slowly been weaned off a Brewdog obsession.

Meet the Redemption guys. Andy Smith is the brewer. He moves so fast it is impossible to take a picture of him in focus FACT!

And Andy Moffat. An ex city trader who is the organisational brains behind the the brewery and as nice a guy as you would ever want to meet.

By the time I got there after a 2.5 hour commute they had mashed in and were weighing out the first of the hops.

Still there were some advantages with bacon butties on the go.

Evin and Andy discussing the recipe which was a mash up between Redemption's Trinity and The Kernel's SCCANS. 

The conclusion....

More hops....

and more Hops....

And even more HOPS

....they ran out of buckets as there was so many hop additions 22 in all.

I liked the Redemption brewery. It has a well worn look to it, well I say well worn, battered would be a better word especially for the brew kettle.

Although they seemed to have a bit of a large slug problem.

Mexican standoff for who digs out the mashtun.

Strangely enough lost by the visitors Bryan and Tony

Time for some Trinity straight from the conditioning tank.

With so many hops in the brew it is no real surprise that the hop filter clogged a few times. but it was still a really fast brewday. Done by 2pm.

Time for an arty shot...there is always one.

Finally off for a bit to eat at the Jolly Butchers.

It was another really fun brewday. Many thanks to Andy and Andy for their hospitality and Evin for allowing me to continually stalk him! Really looking forward to getting a pint of this beer.