Belgian Ale Tasting

I am so happy to be working in a company with people who love beer and more importantly, love trying new styles and learning about it! Last weekend, a group of us went to The Elm Tree in Cambridge to take part in a Belgian ale tasting. It was the first proper tasting I’ve been to and I loved it. I really want to go to more so if anyone can suggest good ones around the London area, please let me know! The Elm Tree was exactly my style, small, cosy, dark wood and lots of interesting things to look at. I’m a sucker for skulls and there were lots of them around which added to my fondness for the place. They had an amazing selection of English as well as Belgian ales and the staff were very friendly and clued up on their stock. They were able to recommend things to try based on other beers you like and even what your favourite foods were!

 

Jessica was our Belgian ale guru and she was fantastic. You could tell she was truly passionate about Belgian beers and she was a fountain of knowledge! She talked us through 8 different beers and was able to provide so much fascinating information. I really wish I’d brought a dictophone so I could listen back to it. I’m going to do reviews of the beers we tried but sadly my laptop broke recently so I can’t upload pictures at the moment and so this will have to wait for a little bit. I just really wanted to do a quick post to let you know about this pub and to recommend their Belgian ale tasting. If I can make my subsequent blog posts half as interesting as Jessica was, I’ll be happy!

Advertisements

60 North!

I FINALLY GOT MY HANDS ON SOME 60 NORTH!!!

I was so excited to eventually see the bottle for real after looking at designs and pictures for so long. I’m so pleased with how it looks, it’s even better than I imagined!! Obviously tasting it was pretty great too 🙂

For anyone who hasn’t read any of my other posts, 60 North is the first beer brewed by The Lerwick Brewery, which is owned by my Dad and his two brothers. We wanted to brew a high quality, tasty Pilsner style lager which I definitely think we’ve managed to do (albeit I’m a bit biased 🙂 ).

Dad only had two spares and I wanted to take one back down to London with me to keep so that left only the one for drinking. Anticipating my excitement to try it, he’d already put it in the fridge so it was nice and cool for me after my plane journey. I was so eager I didn’t even bother with a glass, just glugged it straight down (apologies for the pictures, I nearly forgot to take any in my excited state). It’s pale and fizzy but not overly so, and has a stronger taste than most commercial lagers which can be really watery. I’m the first to admit that describing tastes isn’t one of my fortes in life but I thought it was quite citrusy, floral and very crisp. Perfect for the current heatwave!!

Even if you normally refuse to drink lager, I really urge you to give this little guy a go as I think he packs more of a punch than some of the other varieties on the market.

Image<a href="https://diaryofabeergirl.files.wordpress.com/

Lerwick Brewery Website

Hello! I just wanted to let you know that the Lerwick Brewery website has finally launched!! I’m so, so excited to be part of this and I can’t believe we’re so close to launching our products too! We have our final bottle and label designs which you can see below, and I think they look amazing (I know I’m biased but they’re exactly the kind of thing I pictured way back when it was just an idea and words floating about).

 

We’re starting off with two kinds of beer, and have decided on the names 60 North, the latitude at which they were brewed and Skipper’s Ticket which refers to the license you need to drive (?!) a boat. We really want to focus on the fact we’re brewing in Shetland as it’s just such a fantastic place (see my previous Lerwick Brewery post if you want to read about my love for the island!). Both of the beers will be available in 330ml bottles and will be 4.8% and 4% ABV respectively. They’re also both free from isinglass so are suitable for vegans 🙂

 

We’ve suggested some foods that each beer will compliment as we feel that beer is a fantastic alternative to wine when having a meal. We also recommend the serving glass and temperature so you can really get the best out of them.

 

I’m going to hold off describing the taste of the products for now as I haven’t been able to taste the final recipes just yet (living in London does have its disadvantages!). However, there are full taste descriptions on the website…and they sound bloody delicious!

 

More info will be coming soon once we’re at the product launching stage, and once I’ve got my grubby hands on a couple (or 10) to try!

 

Image

Kapplerbrau

I recently came across the brewery Kapplerbrau (or Kappler brewery in English) and wanted to let you know about them. They are a small, private, family-run brewery and as you can imagine, the family element of their company makes me have an affinity for them. They’re based in the Bavarian countryside in Germany and focus on ‘quality not quantity’. Kapplerbrau are sticklers for Reinheitsgebot (or the Bavarian Purity Law to us non-German speakers) which insists that only beer, water, barley and hops are to be used in the production of beer. There has been a brewer on the site for hundreds of years and has been passed through four generations of the Wiedemann family to the brothers Hans, Toni and Max.

Their two most famous beers are the Export Hell and Hefeweisse which you can see pictured below.

 

Image

 

Export Hell is a bottom fermented export beer. It’s quite light in colour but full bodied and 5.2%. In the 2012 Beer Star Awards it received Gold in the Export category and I would definitely recommend trying it out.

 

Image

 

Hefeweisse is their wheat bear. As you can see from the photo it’s a thick, light, golden straw coloured beer. It pours with a thick, creamy head and tastes quite fruity. Like the Export Hell, it’s also 5.2% and bottom fermented. It’s also bottle conditioned which sits in line with their traditional ways.

 

Image

 

So far I only know of the following places that sell the two beers:

Glasgow:

Hippo Beers
The Cave
The Belle
Good Spirits Co.
Beer Cafe
 
Edinburgh:
Great Grog
Beerhive
Henderson Wines
Brauhaus
Villeneuve Wines
Appelation Wines
Provenance
Cloisters
 
If you get a chance to try these out or know of anywhere else that stocks them (especially in London where I’m now based), please let me know, I’d love to hear about it!
 
 

Lerwick Brewery!

As I may have mentioned in a previous post, I am currently doing the marketing for an up and coming brewery which is what inspired me to start this blog. That brewery has now begun to make beer! The Lerwick brewery was founded by my dad and his two brothers who all have a passion for beer. My family is from Shetland so we have decided to begin our company where our roots lie! Our brewery finally has the go ahead from building control and all the other permits and so we can finally begin the fun part – the brewing itself!

Because we are mainly focusing on the Shetland market to begin with, we have decided to start with a Pilsner style lager and an 80′ dark beer. These are the most popular styles in Shetland. Once we expand to the mainland, we are planning to introduce a variety of different ales into our product range.

Shetland has recently been in the limelight with the new Three dancing Shetland pony advert which is obviously fantastic news for us…the timing couldn’t have been better! Do you think he’s celebrating the launch of our brewery??

I think Shetland is an absolutely fantastic place and we really hope to promote it through our beers. The landscape is beautiful and the wildlife is incredible. I grew up here as a child and I didn’t really appreciate how lucky I was. I got to see orca whales, seals, puffins, otters and loads more animals regularly which most people are lucky if they’ll see even once in their life! There are also amazing beaches, albeit the weather maybe isn’t the best if you want to sunbathe, but if you enjoy nature and clean air, I definitely recommend visiting!

I have digressed slightly from the topic of this blog, beer. Because we haven’t started to sell anything yet and are still in the experimental brewing processes, I don’t want to give too much away. I’ll be providing updates on here regarding our progress because I’m so excited that it’s finally happening!!

In the mean time, please check out our facebook page 🙂

 

Brauhaus

I have recently moved to London but before that, I was a student in Edinburgh. Edinburgh really is a lovely city and I absolutely loved it. It has an amazing range of bars and pubs and you can always find somewhere that perfectly fits the mood you’re in.

One of my favourite pubs in Edinburgh has to be Brauhaus. I actually only became aware of this place in my last year at university which is such a shame! It’s a little bit out of the way (105 Lauriston Place – I’ll include a link to a map at the bottom), but well worth the detour to get there! It has a huge range of beers from all over the world and by far the best I’ve seen in Edinburgh. They even have my favourite – Aecht Schlenkerla, which is a huge winner for me! It can get a little busy during peak times but only because it really is a great little place. The staff are really friendly and clued up on the beer they sell. They’re very keen to help you pick something new and give good advice!

Here’s their Twitter, and their location on google maps.

So if you’re ever in Edinburgh, pop in past and let me know if you loved it too!

Samichlaus

I know it has been a long time since I last posted and this particular one is very overdue but I’d like to take you back to a couple of weeks ago. Back to Christmas! Doesn’t it seem so long ago now? That week filled with meat, rich sauces, cakes, chocolate and alcohol seems like a lifetime ago from the current detox diet most of us are on! Since it’s now snowing, lets cast our minds back to that festive morning and pretend we’re there…

Image

What better way to celebrate Santa’s visit than with this little bottle of festive fun which is 14% ABV! It’s only brewed once a year on the 6th of December (Saint Nicholas’s Day!) so relatively rare and definitely worth picking up if you ever see it. It’s aged for 10 months before bottling and is actually a lager rather than an ale.

Although the taste is really nice, I kind of struggled to finish the whole bottle because of the richness and definitely couldn’t manage a second. Probably a good thing considering the alcohol content! It’s well suited to being a Christmas beer since it’s sweet and dark, perfect for a sipping during the annual family monopoly game in front of the fire. You are definitely aware of the high alcohol content and also the fruitiness and because of this, kid of reminded me of a Christmas pudding with brandy.

Happy (very belated) Christmas one and all!