Dinner with Molson Coors and a night of International beers

Following on from yesterdays post on the European Beer Bloggers Conference we move swiftly on to Friday evenings event, which was a three course beer and food matching dinner kindly sponsored by Molson Coors and the exciting sounding “Night of International Beers”.

Dinner tables were heavily laden with beers on arrival, including a selection of new beers devised by Stuart Howe, head brewer at Sharps.

Stuart explained that although overall ownership of the brewery had been taken over by MC, they had injected sponsorship and were happy to let him and his team lead on new projects such as this away from the mainstream brands without any intervention, the result, “Connoisseurs Choice”.

Each course was served with a choice of two beers to try and compare as to which beer matched each course. Great conversation pieces.

Out of the three new bottles for me the Honey Spice was a clear winner in terms of best beer, a spritzy little number full of citrus fruits and flowery aroma as I recall (it had been a long day). We were also served a Honey Spiced IPA from cask too at this point, I didn’t catch any details but it was bloody gorgeous.

It was the quadrupel though for me that won bast beer/food pairing. The dark roasty notes in perfect harmony with the rum toffee and banana. Not quite your conventional Belgian style quad I hasten to add, definitely hoppier and lighter in body too, it reminded me more of a strong black IPA if I’m honest. Good beer though and one I want to taste again to see if my opinion changes with a clear mind and palate.

Hmmmm, banana and rum toffee pie with a nice quad…

Dinner finished we moved next door to the other large room to the last event, Night of International Beers. This one had me salivating from the beginning as I love trying new beers, especially from far flung places.

The basic premise was that beer bloggers and brewers travelling to Leeds from all over Europe were to gather together a selection of beers, ship them to the UK and present them to the rest of the delegates as a good representation of what each country had to offer. We had beers from Holland, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, Italy and Czechoslovakia to name but a few.

Unfortunately the guys from Holland had encountered a small problem. On the day before their flight, it was advised that the beers they had selected would not make it to the UK in time for the conference. Not to be beaten, flights were hastily cancelled and in the true spirit of beery endeavour, they hitched a trailer up to their car, collected the beer and set off at 5AM in the morning to make sure we all got to try their country’s fine wares that night. TOP MARKS GUYS!

Can we have the vote for Holland please? 11/10 points.
For the beer selection and dedication to duty.

Sorry about the blurry pic, camera shake or alcohol? This was a cracking beer made in a really extraordinary way. More on that on another day.

One of Italy’s many offerings, they have a great beer scene and are a must try. In fact make that a must visit, see Mark Dredge’s post on Rome http://www.pencilandspoon.com/2011/04/rome-beer-trip-veni-vidi-vici-i-got.html

Despite appearances this beer was not Nipponese, all beers were from Europe. I can also confirm that it was particularly tasty.. 😉

and so it went, late into the evening until all but the hardiest had drunk their fill and gone to bed…

A great night all in all and I offer my heartiest thanks to all that pulled this together. Some memorable beers and a few to revisit with my local tasters courtesy of samples kindly donated on the night. Watch this space for that on a later date.