Monday, 27 September 2010

York Beer & Cider Festival 2010

Meant to post about this last week but with one thing and another it didn’t happen. If you think when you get married that ends all the time consuming stuff of marriage, forget it. It doesn’t.

Anyway when we were in York on our mini-moon we had the luck to see a local Camra magazine in one of the pubs which was advertising this lovely event. Normally we only get to go to beer festivals on the weekend when a lot of the more unusual beers have gone but this time we were able to attend the first day which was great. Even better as we weren’t Camra members we were first of the first in, as for this event they split the queue into members and non-members, at opening time we were one couple of four in that line and the Camra queue was a lot longer.

The event has encouraged me and Mr Meer to be joining Camra, it was quite possibly the best event I have ever been too. Well run and organised with lots of friendly staff behind the bar. In a way a lot of the choosing had been decided for the both of us as we concentrated on breweries that we don’t see in London with only a couple of exceptions. Breweries such as Bird Brain, Brown Cow, Old Mill and Hambleton are all based various parts of Yorkshire but all new to me.

Old Mill’s Yorkshire Porter was a lovely example of a dessert beer, sweet and dry perfect to go with a cheese board. Brown Cow’s Thriller in Vanilla was a good working vanilla stout, unlike Artisen’s ibeer which we tried in Battersea. The chocolatey Thriller stout was brought out by the sweet vanilla which makes it an enjoyable half, not sure I would drink a full pint but as a half very nice. Hambleton Brewery’s Nightmare was also a delight, dry hoppy first taste but tempered by the coffee roasted flavour that comes though. All in all we tried some fantastic beers which don’t make it down here that often. We didn’t have any of the Yorkshire Breweries beers at the festival but then we were drinking them all week in pubs.

Of course the good thing about festivals is the fact you can try beers for a very reasonable third pint that are normally quite expensive and with this in mind the strongest beer I had was Brewdog’s Paradox Smokehead at 10%. Normally I just don’t get their beers, buy a bottle try it and usually half goes down the sink but this was a beer I really enjoyed. Oily thick texture with an intense whisky stout taste, beautiful. However my partner did buy me a bottle of this as a present at the end of the mini-moon which I found wasn’t as nice as the cask. Perhaps it’s the bottling that affects the taste, I don’t know. It means I will just have to keep a look out for it in a pub or another festival for another try.

They even had entertainment in the form of Balloon Platoon, ( this guy was brilliant. Many a glass ended up with a balloon bug attached to it much to the amusement of the bar staff and I ended up with a balloon wand which was very swish and proving I probably do have a child’s mental age sometimes. But what a great way to provide off the cuff entertainment! Fantastic.

The plastic glasses due to licensing laws in York was good for us too as we had to transport the glasses back to London later that week.

Great festival, great people. If you find yourself in York when this is on again I would go, it will be a great day.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Wedding Reception For A Beer Bride

It seems strange being back at work after the mini-moon and of course this is not helped by my desk being ‘re-organised’ in my absence. However it was a great wedding and reception on the 11th September and we both enjoyed all of it, despite the last minute no shows from some guests.

The reception was held at a Fuller’s pub in Fleet Street, The Old Bank of England. If you haven’t been there I suggest you do, fantastic building and staff who bend over backwards to be helpful. The decision to hold the reception there was mainly due to my desire for a pub with good beer and food coupled with a relaxed atmosphere.

Many weddings I have been to tend to be formal affairs and I personally prefer to be able to relax and chat to guests than being restricted by a sitting plan. Which we did away, with knowing people can organise themselves into seats and tables. The buffet was brilliant with the Fuller’s mini pie platters and lots of various finger foods meant that everyone was well fed including all fussy eaters we had with us on the day. To be honest I don’t think I sat down more than once, most of the time I was wandering around chatting to folks with a glass of ESB in hand. A lovely way to spend your wedding reception I thought and I was presented with a lot of opportune moments to enjoy the atmosphere with my new husband.

We did have a live jazz band playing called Quartz who were excellent and also a silhouette artist wandering around cutting out folks silhouettes as part of the wedding favors. ( I highly recommend her work, she cuts out each one in less than a couple of minutes and they cut out any family arguments as everyone was too busy commenting how good they are or comparing each others to argue… brilliant and unusual!

Can’t imagine a more perfect day than the one we had which I think is the best way to remember such a day.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Absence Note

Sorry for the lack of posts but on Saturday I got married and myself and Mr Meer are on a mini-moon in York. Beer festival to attend tomorrow and lots of kisses from "him indoors" is stopping me from posting too much. :)

Normal service will resume next week.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Friday In A Nutshell

I know a few other bloggers have mentioned a new brewery in Druids Street, London but it wasn’t until last Friday I got to try any of the Kernel Brewery beers. The Antelope in Tooting which is a great place to go for a good meal and pint have expanded their range of bottled beers as I only found out that Friday when I arranged to meet my other half for a meal.

The first one I tried with the London Porter, which was lovely if a tad on the thin side in the mouth. I have to admit I much prefer Fuller’s London Porter in comparison as it feels nicer. But taste-wise it is an easy going style of porter, which worked well with the steak I had ordered for dinner. The other two Kernel beers I tried were more my style but as they weighed in at over 7% they weren’t going to be as easy going. The Kernel Brewery’s dark beers all have a marmite taste rather than an liquorice one which I really liked as a change. The Baltic Porter is especially good with a chocolate marmite taste which I really found enjoyable and I have to admit I am looking forward to having another one of those at some stage.

I hope that the Antelope can get their other ales in soon so I can have a try of those and I know my partner prefers lighter beers, so I know he would interested in trying them too. Whilst I was enjoying the Kernel beers he partook of a Passion Fruit beer which was peardrop tasting and so sweet you could feel your teeth enamel melting but he enjoyed it.

Friday’s are always enjoyable in a good pub with great food (including a rare steak nom) and interesting unusual bottled beers alongside a good line-up of beers on pump. Proving that pubs can survive without gimmicks or stupid promotions on drinks.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Did It!

Completed my first 5k race with a not bad time of 40 minutes.

Needless to say my body hates me this morning, still not bad and I know I can beat that time next race. :)