måndag 20 oktober 2014

SBWF2014 - My first meeting with Bath Ale and Beerd Brewery

Av någon anledning fick jag för mig att skriva resterande delen av detta inlägg på engelska.

During the afternoon of my second day - Friday the 26th September - at Stockholm Beer Whisky Festival (SBWF) I got an invitation from Lars (Brill & Co) to attend a Tasting-session with Bath Ales. I had just been to a similar session (with Camden Town), but I figured that it might be equally interesting to try beers from this brewery. I had heard of Bath Ales prior to this occasion, but as far as I could remember I have never tried any of their products.
At 5 o’clock (pm) I sat down with a number of curios people (including my blogging-colleague Johan from “Beers & Beyond”) in a small room facing two gentlemen representing Bath Ales and as it turned out Beerd Brewery. Little did I know then, what a treat I (and the others) where in for.

On the table in front of me stood 6 empty beer-glasses, but that was about to change. Moussa Clarke – export manager at Bath Ales – and Shane O’Beirne, brewer from Beerd Brewery started with a short presentation of their two breweries. Beerd is wholly owned by Bath Ales, but it’s operated as a totally separate brewery and brand, with a slightly different ethos – more out of the ordinary. The brew houses are located in the same area, but in separate buildings. There is a pub in Bristol called Beerd, the town’s first Craft Beer Bar and obviously they serve Beerd Beers!

The six glasses where filled (not all the way up) with some good English beers, some better than others. When the last beer was tried an additional glass was added, with yet another beer.

The beers we tried during the afternoon were;

  • Gem - the original Bath Ale
  • Monocle - a good Beerd-brew
  • Convict Autstralian Pale Ale (cheeky name, no pun intended) - another Beerd, exotic fruit from the Auzzi-hops!
  • Silvertip - a bit of a lightweight, just ok
  • Hindsight - to funky in my nose, more ginger in my mouth
  • Barley Wine Sulis Collection - this is a new favourite!
  • Ghost Hare Chili Porter - quite hot!

Barley Wine - Wow!

All good beers, but Convict was really nice and the Barley Wine was amazing. The Ghost Hare on the other hand is not a new personal favourite of mine. Even though the chili was quite mellow it was harsh enough to set my sensitive taste buds on fire. Good thing I had left some Hindsight behind, the ginger really helped me there.

I went to the Brill-display right after this session and tried yet another Bath-beer – the Wild Hare.

I’m always looking for new organic beers, this is a good one. Now I got talking to Shane over the counter, partially about the production of organic beers in the UK. It was during this short discussion (in a noisy bar-environment) that an idea got planted in my brain. What if I could sit down with Shane & Moussa the next day, somewhere quite (within the convention-hall area) and have a longer talk to the both of them. Plans were made for a sit-down the next day, thanks to Lars (Brill & Co) for the help in arranging it.

First thing the next day – 11am, I dragged the boys away from the Brill-counter and sat them down at table out in the corridor. Sharing some organic (KRAV) Must (non-alcoholic apple-beverage) from Karlskrona Musteri we started talking about Bath and Beerd. 

The sad truth is that I didn’t write down any of this – I couldn’t find my notebook and figured I’d remember what was said anyway (doubtfully). But as I’m trying to type down my remembrances of our discussions, not all is lost.

All together I had a really nice time talking to Moussa & Shane about the two breweries, organic beer & brewing, cask beer, collaboration with other breweries/brewers, the beer-scene now in Britain & what about exporting some of their beers to Sweden.
Regarding the interest for organic beers in Britain, I do recall they claimed that it was turning more and more away from organic and towards local beers brewed with locally produced commodities and ingredients rather than organic.
They have done some collaboration-brews with local breweries, but considered doing some on larger scale – maybe sometime in the future.
The collaboration with Swedish importer/distributor Brill & Co will hopefully lead to a wider spread of their brews in Sweden/Scandinavia.

Thanks to Moussa & Shane

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