Grassington Festival 2009 here in the Yorkshire Dales is now well under way with a varied choice of events from the arts, entertainment and even some food and drink events. Last nights event was “Beer Tasting with Jane Peyton” at the Craven Arms, Appletreewick out the back in the beautiful Cruck Barn. Jane is originally a local lass from Skipton but now living in London, Jane is an author, beer & wine tasting tutor, events producer and public speaker.
What did we learn?
How to taste beer of course and a little about beer ingredients and flavour, colour, aroma, taste, feel and head. We tasted and marked 6 beers and tried to guess if they originated from the North or South! the bees and results are shown below.
Jane was an excellent tutor and speaker and kept us amused throughout with gems of information and beer anecdotes, great fun and very informative.
The main ingredients of beer are water, hops, malted cereal and yeast.
Beer was the third alcoholic beverage to be invented, the simpler process of making Mead and Wine coming along first. The word Honeymoon is about beer! from the suggestion that to aid fertility you should drink Honey Beer for a month after your wedding.
The UK is the 5th biggest beer drinking nation by capita and whilst we import 99% of wine we produce 92% of our own beer!
Food and beer matching suggestions :-
Traditional Porter and Oyster or chocolate e.g. Fullers London Porter and chocolate, really brings out the flavour in good quality chocolate.
Smoked beer and bbq food, Chinese black bean sauce dishes and smoked food in general.
Fruity beer and cheese e.g. Brakspear Triple and Blue Wensleydale.
The six beers we tasted :-
- Hetton Pale Ale, Dark Horse Brewery, Hetton, Yorkshire Dales, ABV 4.4%
- Sand Rock from Ventnor in the Isle of Wight, a smoked ale, ABV 5.6%
- Combine Harvest, Batemans, Lincolnshire, a multigrained beer of malted oats, malted rye, and malted wheat, ABV 4.7%
- Grozet, Craigmill brewery, a fruity gooseberry ale with a hint of honey, Scotland, ABV 5.0%
- Triple, Brakspear, Oxfordshire, ABV 7.2% a triple fermented, triple hopped strong beer with a hint of Fruity Bubblegum, HubbaBubba maybe!
- London Porter, Fullers, Smooth, rich, and strong, ABV 5.4%
and the scores on the doors, not everyone appreciated the smoked beer therefore coming in at 6th place, some very close scoring put many of the beers on a par but the winner was the Brakspear Triple with that hint of bubblegum! looking forward to next years event already and I do have the Grassington Festival Champagne tasting still to look forward to and I won a prize – dinner for 2 at the Craven Arms so I will be back again soon!