Brewery Speed Dating

Live beer blogging sees brewers given 5 minutes to share their beers with bloggers whilst they review them, beery speed dating if you will. There are no beer reviews here. Plenty of the 70-odd people in the room will be blogging their thoughts on the beer; some already have (and if you're really desperate to find out my thoughts check ratebeer). Something Susanna from Drink Britain said during her presentation struck a chord: you have to find a different angle to keep people's attention past the first paragraph. So I'm going to look at some of the people & stories behind the beer as after all "beer is people" as Garret Oliver reminded us.

One-off Oloroso
Innis & Gunn is a beer for the 21st century, turning a waste product that would end up down the drain into a successful brand with plenty of extensions to keep it going. We were treated to an Oloroso (great article from Drinks Advice here) aged variant, with the base beer designed to match the character expected from the barrel. There is also a bourbon barrel aged beer brewed with rye crystal to be released later in the year and a re-release of the successful Irish whiskey aged stout next St Patrick's Day.

A surfing hop-bine, what else
Surfing Hop from Toccalmatto is a double IPA done differently. Dry-hopping is usually performed in cold conditioning (Temperature below <5°C) but Bruno dry-hops this beer at 23°C for 15 days which gives it a completely different flavour profile. Would love to do a side by side comparison.

Ken of Inveralmond pouring Blackfriars
Ken of Inveralmond describing his beer in 5 words said "gorgeous, delicious, scrumptious, amazing beer". Named for the abbey King James I was assassinated in its not often available in the UK with most of it ending up in Scandinavia. Perhaps it competes favourably with Baltic Porters. It apparently works best with dark meats and bizarrely blueberries, one that needs trying to be believed perhaps.

Beer and chocolate,
almost as good as beer and cheese
Harviestoun brought a pre-release of their 30th anniversary special aged in first-fill sherry casks. A completely different use of sherry butts to the above example. We were lucky enough to hear a talk from head brewer Stuart McCail on the process of aging beer in whiskycasks, summed up very well in Hot Rum Cow by Rich of the Beer Cast. The beer worked fantastically with the 72% Madagascan chocolate from the Chocolate tree (not just cheese that pairs well...)

The original golden ale
This next beer is a triumph of brewer over marketing department - a beer in brown glass; so different is it that the Bottle Shop have actually chosen to stock it. Brilliant Ale is brewed from an original recipe predating the recent "advent" of golden ale by some 150 years shows that nothing is truly new in brewing.

Summer quencher
The best news from WEST's Ruth Oliver is that now third pints are available at the brewery in Teku glasses no less to allow the beers to be tasted properly. There's an expansion in brewing capacity is planned; so potentially more of their beers could be bottled and hit the shelves.

Liquid chocolate pudding - with chili kick!
The Mayan is a beery version of the Aztec hot chocolate given out on tours of the Cadbury's factory. Its good to catch up with brewer Luke again, who lugged the beers up on the train. The experimental range has been so successful that some of the beers are now being aged in whisky hogsheads, including the fantastic Siberia Saison.

Sppok-tacular special
The second annual release from Badger (available direct) is named for a Dog of the Damned who eats the souls of its victims, taking their eyes as part of its cost...how gruesome. Luckily the beer is less demonic but has lead me to discover the Dark Dorest website, which will steal many hours from my life.. the dog has claimed another victim it seems...

Traditional masterpiece
We finish the frenzied session with a bewer that has earnt the contemplation time that the final spot allows, Traquair Jacobite. Some lucky so-and-sos were allowed to stay over at Traquair House and the lady Catherine Maxwell is a lovely Brewster who certainly knows her stuff.

A big thanks to all the breweries for providing samples and everyone who spent time talking to us nosy bloggers about them!

More posts looking at EBBC from a different angle still to come!


  1. Way cool!! What a fun event!

    1. oh its great fun, but I reckon there needed to be a longer changeover time this year as some breweries wasted a minute getting to their next table...too many strong beers too maybe

  2. Great write-up and thanks for the link to my sherry article.

    I reckon I'll make it to EBBC in about 18 years or so when I've packed my daughter off to Uni or somewhere!

    1. Cheers Gareth, I'm sure you'll make one sooner or later!