So clearly I didn’t do so well at the live blogging malarkey I mentioned on Wednesday, two lines of text and one pretty piss poor photograph, amateur journalism at it’s best? I think not…
To be honest I did try, but was pretty much impossible for a novice. A busy, noisy room full of happy-chatty beer drinkers, brewers talking about the beers, smelling, tasting, laughing and eating, then trying to write all that up live into a phone, crazy, but hey I tried. (and failed)
I suppose that in itself is a testament to how the night went, had it have been a boring sluggish affair I would have had time to write etc, it wasn’t, largely because the organisers at Young Pretender are just so slick at this AND the brewery guys (Rob, Tom and Ol) just kept pushing things along nicely.
In terms of beers we had a mixed bag, starting with “Malpa” as I so enthusiastically reported ‘live” on Wednesday, a pale ale brewed with predominately Polish hops. This was a real quaffer, not massive on flavour but a nice crisp bitterness I liked. I think the next was “Pale Exp 3″, noted as an English Bitter (according to Untappd), hmmm didn’t do much for me I’m afraid, a little thin and not much going on.
We moved on to the elaborately named “Porter” which was, well, a porter strangely enough. It was also a bit of an unexpected success saved from the jaws of failure too as the guys explained as the hop addition was misread in the recipe by Ol the brewer and upped somewhat. The resulting brew was rather tasty instead of going to feed the fishes as first thought and went down very well on the night all round, a keeper.
STOP! Collaboration time! (Cue M.C Hammer music)
Dunkel Hopfen-weisse, thank god I had a picture and wasn’t video reviewing, what a mouthful in more ways than one. This was my favourite beer of the evening, it went brilliantly with the bread, cheese and cold meats on the table by this point and benefitted much from a few minutes out of the keg as the flavours really came to the fore as it warmed. Brewed with the guys over at Bitches Brewing, an idea no doubt conceived during a long sampling session at The Grove, a bloody good idea it was too.
I must confess the last proper beer eludes me, when I say proper there were a few more “work in progress” samples to come. I’m sure there was a keg IPA, but can’t say I can remember much about it unless of course I imagined it, which at my age is possible.. (what can I say, there was a lot going on and I’m easily distracted)
Update: I think I did imagine it DOH!
The Hand Drawn Monkey crew I have to say were brilliant, yes they waffled nervously a little at fist, but wouldn’t you? A fledgling brewery with all your wares on show for the first time and an angry mob baying for your blood..(ever so slightly exaggerated) What really showed though, was the thought that had gone into the visit. Yes most brewers bring out a handful of malt grains to chomp on and a few hops to sniff and rub, but they had brought loads to the party and lots of different varieties of both too.
Not only that they had prepared a few mystery potions to try, infusions of summit hops boiled in water for 10, 20 and 80 minutes to allow folks to see what effect this had and would have on beer, another batch too with the hop name again eluding my befuddled memory.. I have to add here that I made my own infusion too, it was half a glass of left over “Schneider Weisse Tap 5″, dry hopped with cascade and centennial, murky as hell but a taste explosion, great fun.
The night drew to a close with samples of an IPA in progress but not fully ready, if memory serves a new and improved Monkey Loves Hops which had been given a bit more oomph, t’was very tasty, plus an extremely interesting example of what sounds like is going to be an awesome Kriek straight from the fermenter (via a jar, they couldn’t fit the FV in the car), with more and more cherries to come, marvellous.
To summarise, although not every beer on the night rocked my world so to speak, all showed great promise of things to come and lets not forget this is a brewery in its infancy too. The guys are clearly focussed on pushing the boundaries and not simply in it to make beer, they obviously love what they do. Did I mention that they have a beer shop, no, or that it’s on the way to The Grove? Well they do, so go try some.. Check it out at www.hdmbeershop.co.uk
As for the guys at the Young Pretender Beer Parlour, I salute you (raises glass, doffs cap and bows as much as the belly will allow), you put on a damn good night out. Brewers, brewery promotional folk and drinks take note.