I had naturally thought that my next blog post would be about Beavertown’s 4th birthday party, which for those of you that didn’t get in, the beer party of the year by the way 😉 But then this came along.
I had been toying with the idea of trying a beer and food matching event for a while but was hesitant for mainly two reasons. Firstly, I was expecting them to be quite formal and secondly I would rather spend my money and tastebuds on the beer rather than eating. However as drinking beer usually leads to eating food anyway, I thought why not do it in a way that I eat some better than average food with my usually above average beverages!
So with my mind made up, I waited for the right event to come along and when I saw that the Hack and Hop pub near Fleet Street were doing a Beavertown beer, whisky and food pairing event, I decided this would be the one.
What makes this decision somewhat strange, is that I generally don’t like whisky and when I have combined beer and whisky in the past, the results have been disastrous. But because Beavertown were involved, I felt confident that they weren’t out to screw me over.
The venue was the upstairs room at the Hack and Hop and had the feel of an informal dinner party with around 30 people in attendance (with the usual no shows that I see too often these days). The seating was such that you were close enough to chat to your neighbours but not so close that you were nearly sitting on their laps.
Two of the brewers from Beavertown, Cosmo and Olly, were there to talk us through the beers and Tom from Speciality Brands filled us in on the whisky front. And this is what was on offer-
The focus was mainly on the beer and whisky pairings but also included an unexpectedly generous amount of food to compliment the two.
For a more than reasonable £20 and with food included, we got a full can each of all of the four beers. In some places the beer alone would cost that. I knew very little about whisky and have struggled in the past to finish a glass. These weren’t full measures apparently but all four whiskies were very different but also very drinkable. The whiskies I have ‘liked’ to date have been a rye whisky, as I like the taste of rye generally in drinks including beer and also a Japanese whisky, which apparently are generally sweeter than other whiskies. We were also introduced to the ‘Boiler Maker’ by the host of the evening, George, (who hosts various whisky tasting events around London), which is when you taste the beer and whisky in your mouth at the same time. The Gamma Ray and Michter’s Rye combination was particularly lovely and ended up tasting like buttery popcorn.
The smoky whisky, Pork Askaig 100% Proof, was probably the most unfamiliar tasting to me but also the most pleasantly surprising and the smokiness of both the beer and the whisky went wonderfully with the beef brisket course. The only criticism I do have, is that the beef brisket was too salty and none of our group managed to finish it which was a shame as the combination with the smoked porter was one of the favourites of the night.
As the night went on and more drink was imbibed, the enthusiasm increased as did the questions, one of the Beavertown brewer’s cheeks got rosier and rosier (not naming names) and the more knowledgeable everyone became. All to become undone overnight probably but never mind. Our neighbours, who were big Beavertown enthusiasts like myself, loved the event and before starting we all had our favourite beers but by the end of the night we had all discovered new ones which was the whole point.
However my main goal was very much achieved, to find out once and for all whether I could ever genuinely like whisky and the answer is yes.
(Here’s a photo of some beer as I forgot to take photos of the whiskies)