Let’s go to the Hops - October Meeting

Wednesday, 28 June 2017 § 0

Our President, Emma introduced Annabel Smith, a beer sommelier and founder of Dea Latis and Beerbelle.

Picture of Annabel Smith taken from the gallery page of her website http://beerbelle.co.uk

Dea Latis is a group formed to change women’s perceptions about beer and encourage more women to consider beer as a drink of choice.

Annabel has over 25 years experience in the beer industry and shared her passion and knowledge with us over a few drinks & nibbles ….

We tried 5 beers in total

1) A wheat beer with smoked salmon

This was Erdinger Weissbier, this is slightly cloudy due to a protein in the wheat which cannot be brewed out.
The beer is light and not bitter. The beer cut through the fattiness of the smoked salmon.

2) A pilsner with Chorizo

Pilsner Urquell - a type of lager. Lager has only been around since the 1840’s but now makes up 90% of total beer consumed globally. Lager was discovered by accident when some beer was left in some ice caves and the yeast mutated. The term pilsner can only be used if particular Czech barley and hops are used, otherwise the term pils is used indicate a pilsner style beer.
We could smell toffee and caramel with this one, once tasted there were waves of flavours including some bitterness. The chorizo made it taste less bitter

3) A pale ale with mature cheddar cheese

Timothy Taylor’s Landlord – this one was amber in colour – actually a lot light than the original beers brewed but the steps made in the industrial revolution meant that brewing became more consistent. This beer is made from barley from Scotland or Northumberland and Hopes from Kent. We could smell toast and marmalade. The word to describe how the beer and cheese tasted together seemed to be yum.
We drank the bottled version which is pasturised, normally this is hand-pulled. If your pint if warm and flat, it is not being stored correctly – when Annabel was an inspector 13% of pubs failed with temperature of the beer being the main reason why.

4) An abbey ale with brie

Leffe Blond – which is derived from a beer originally brewed by Trappist monks but is now sold commercially.
These beers tend to be a bit stronger and are sipping beers.
They are popular in northern Europe.
The monks were literate, clean and patient - this led to good beer which they were able to sell to support the upkeep of their monasteries
This beer has added sugar and smells of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon.
The sweetness of the beer completed the creaminess of the brie.
There are still 7 Trappist breweries left (6 in Belgium, 1 in France) – their beer is marked with a hexagon

5) A Kriek with Chocolate Brownies

Bacchus Kriek – made with all natural ingredients, not flavorings. Whole cherries including the stones are added to the fermenting vessels. The style of this beer is a Lambic which is fermented by being exposed to will yeasts in the atmosphere (specifically found in Belgium). We could smell marzipan and cherries, when combined with a chocolate brownie or some bonus dark chocolate, we got black forest gateau

Picture taken from the gallery at website http://beerbelle.co.uk

The meeting closed at around 21:45 with Annabel encouraging us to remember the beer aisle when we next in the supermarket.

Emma thanked Annabel for what was an engaging and entertaining evening.

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