The June Session – attempt #1

I was so look­ing for­ward to our first Ses­sion. This month’s chal­lenge was to blog about a local brew­ery or brew, per­haps to act as a guide to tourists or vis­i­tors to your town. Liv­ing in Lon­don, we have a great choice of beer brewed with­in 150 miles, and we could (we excit­ed­ly thought) even extend our options fur­ther by opt­ing for some­where near Bailey’s orig­i­nal manor (Som­er­set).
session logo
Alas, it wasn’t to be. A tough day at work round­ed off a stress­ful week, and before we knew it, we were in a mid­dle-of-the-road pub (Greene King!!) drink­ing for the sake of drink­ing. OK, so I’m pret­ty sure it’s with­in 150 miles, but I wouldn’t par­tic­u­lar­ly rec­om­mend it to tourists.

Still, this led nat­u­ral­ly onto a fri­day night cur­ry, which for us means a bot­tle of fan­tas­tic Lion Stout. I can­not get over how deli­cious this beer is. The most remark­able thing is the incred­i­bly long and rich after­taste, although I also find the dark beige head very appeal­ing. It’s 8%, trea­cley with­out being sick­ly, roast­ed with­out being over­ly bit­ter – it’s dessert and cof­fee in one sweet deca­dent glass.

Of course, if you’re a Lon­don­er you can’t get much less local than Sri Lan­ka…

lion stout
Find out about the ori­gins of beer-blog­ging Fri­day on Appel­la­tion Beer

Link to Gas­tro­nom­ic Fight Club, host of this month’s ses­sion.

Curry and beer

The British Guild of Beer Writ­ers reports on a recent “tast­ing event” at the Bom­bay Brasserie in Lon­don. Emi­nent beer experts got togeth­er for a cur­ry and tried to work out which beers went best with spicy foods. Their rec­om­men­da­tions are here.

Rupert Pon­son­by, co-founder of the Beer Acad­e­my com­ments:
What this tast­ing hope­ful­ly shows is the poten­tial for Britain’s 8,500 cur­ry restau­rants to look seri­ous­ly at devel­op­ing beer lists to inspire their cus­tomers and to match with their cui­sine. This is a fan­tas­tic com­mer­cial and mar­ket­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty for them. Top Miche­lin-starred restau­rants such as Le Gavroche, Le Manoir aux Qua­tre Saisons and Aubergine have already tak­en the lead in cre­at­ing inspired beer lists, and it will be won­der­ful to see top Indi­an restau­rants doing the same.

On a vis­it to the Cin­na­mon Club last year, I was appalled to find that the only beer they had avail­able was Cobra lager. Cobra’s OK – nicer than you’d expect, is what I mean, for a mass-pro­duced lager made in Bed­ford – but sure­ly not any­where near as posh as the food, the wine or the wait­ers? Ms. Boak vis­it­ed one of Gary Rhodes’ restau­rants in the City of Lon­don last year, too, and was sim­i­lar­ly dis­ap­point­ed by the lack of any beer, nev­er mind a beer list.

Of course, my local cur­ry­house, which is very cheap and cheer­ful, is run by Sri Lankans, and they sell won­der­ful Lion Stout. It’s not a per­fect beer to drink with a cur­ry, but it’s a great one to have as a dessert. So, posh­er isn’t always bet­ter for beer lovers.