|GK IPA "action shot"|
Jack's first voyage into the world of home-brewing was when he spotted a sign for "brew your own, ha'penny a pint". Fed up with being stung for Belfast beer prices (3/-6!) he opted to give it a try and never looked back. The selection of beers chosen are widely available in supermarkets and in a range of styles, though all from "regional" brewers. Aside from a mishap with beer selection (Old Golden Hen rather than Old Speckled Hen being provided!) the talk went well and the audience seemed appreciative of their new found beery knowledge.
The beers tasted were Greene King Moorland Old Golden Hen, Shepherds Neame Spitfire & Bishop's Finger, GK IPA, Newcastle Brown and Theakston's Old Peculier. We were given a bit of history about each style and then allowed to taste. Innis & Gunn were mentioned for their use of oak and Brewdog also got a mention, though professedly too hoppy for the Professor! The remaining beer was then shared around and a few cheeses enjoyed. A fun night but seemed far too brief! Thank you to Dr Dermot Hanna for organising the evening and Professor Jack Pearce for hosting.
I found it interesting to compare Spitfire and Bishop's finger side by side as I always assumed they were the variants on a theme, but noticed that Spitfire was much hoppier and did not really enjoy Bishop's finger at all. I declined the Old Golden Hen as I have recently tried a bottle and the GK IPA was as bland as I remember. I do enjoy Old Peculier however.
|18 Empty bottles and a plateful of cheese|
Post-lecture we headed along the Ormeau Road to the Vineyard off-licence where I was delighted to see that both Kernel and Buxton beers were in stock, as well as some Sam Smith's beers I had not yet had a chance to sample. I was also on hand to advise my friend Julie on some good winter warmers for Christmas.
|Not so Christmassy|
Whilst I was in Belfast a much bigger beer event was alo happening, the British Guild of Beer writers Annual Awards ceremony. The winners list reads as a whos-who in the beer writing world, and its interesting how all winners are also users of Twitter, suggesting that those who embrace new media and social networking are most likely to get ahead. Rather than list the winners here I'll direct you to someone who was there.
|Click to see this properly!|