Beer on Saturday Kitchen again, yet room to grouse

You wait forever for BBC to wake up and smell the hops on Saturday Kitchen, but just a few weeks after choosing BrewDog’s 5AM Saint red ale to break their beer/food pairing duck, along comes another beer/food pairing. I wrote about it here.

Olly Smith selects Harviestoun Schiehallion Pilsner beer on Saturday Kitchen

Olly Smith shows his beer credentials on Saturday Kitchen. (Screen grab from BBC iPlayer)

Matt Tebbutt is again the host (coincidence?), Tom Kitchin is the guest chef, and the drinks expert is “Jolly” Olly Smith. Tom is preparing, somewhat controversially, a pan-fried grouse breast with watercress mayo and black pudding. It’s for brunch. What would Olly pick? Continue reading

No red, red wine for red-red stew on Saturday Kitchen?

My Saturday morning is predictable: toast, Marmite, jasmine tea for MaltCim, check the beginning of Saturday Kitchen on BBC1 to see who’s on. These days, this includes who’s hosting (instead of James Martin), and who’s doing the wine choices.

Saturday Kitchen: Host Matt Tebbutt with guest chefs Zoe Adjonyoh and Theo Randall and wine expert Sam Caporn

BBC Saturday Kitchen: Host Matt Tebbutt with guest chefs Zoe Adjonyoh and Theo Randall and wine expert Sam Caporn

Who am I kidding about the wine? As my regular reader will know, I get cross about the wine bit, because well, beer. Except, today, After introducing the guest chefs, 1 min and 14 seconds in…

Matt Tebbutt (guest host): And Sam, there’s a bit of a theme going on. Bit of a red theme. You going red wine?

Sam Caporn (wine expert): Er, red ale.

Matt: Really? Controversial…

Me: What?! (Pauses live TV, checks outside for colour of grass in this parallel universe. rewinds.) She just said “ale”! Continue reading

So what DID happen in Sweden? Beerbliotek Brewery in Alternative Fact shock.

Gothenburg, Sweden. 19 Feb. 2017. Woke up to the media aftermath of the latest Trump outburst: the astonishing claim that implied there had been a terror attack in Sweden the night before. It is not for this blog to go into detail about that utter nonsense, but I can admit to indulging in at least one Alternative Fact in Sweden, on the Saturday, while visiting Swedish craft brewery Beerbliotek’s tap room.

Beerbliotek Brewery Taproom Artwork Gothenburg, Sweden

Artwork decorating one of Gothenburg’s finest breweries

The American woman next to me in the tap room was desperate to avoid talk of That Man. “I’m sick of being asked about it”, she protested to her Swedish friends. Understandably. It was as if to assure us “I didn’t vote for him!”. I suspect there is no let-up for her, following Sunday morning’s “revelation”.

This was not how I was going to begin this blog post. As I wrote my notes in the understated “tap room” adjacent to the brewery itself, I was thinking Lincoln City’s shock win in the FA Cup would have the required ring of unbelievability . The beer I was drinking on THAT Saturday was called Alternative Fact. Continue reading

Warpigs: Mikkeller’s brewpub in Copenhagen with “authentic” Texas BBQ

“Generals gathered in their masses”. Goes the opening line of the Black Sabbath metal classic War Pigs. “Just like witches at black masses”, Continues Ozzy, with not a thought towards ever winning a Nobel Prize for literature. Chemistry, on the other hand…*

And not as generals, but like IT professionals at an afterwork on a Friday, we gathered at Warpigs brewpub, Copenhagen for an evening of “Authentic Texas BBQ” and American-style craft beer. We hadn’t been since it opened in the summer of 2015, so a planned extra day in Copenhagen meant the opportunity to pay a second visit. Would we still like it?

Outside shot of Warpigs brewpub Copenhagen

Mikkeller’s showcase brewpub Warpigs

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The Woking Food and Drink Festival: MaltJerry guests

“Hey Sophie, why don’t you come along to the Woking Food and Drink Festival,” they said. “I would, but I don’t live anywhere near Woking,” said Sophie. “But I know a man who does…”*

Which is how I ended up writing a guest post for Sophie Atherton. Why a blog post, for somebody else’s blog? Well, Sophie is an award-winning beer journalist who writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph and other nationals. She has food cred too, as the first accredited woman beer sommelier in the UK. Her blog is called A FemAle View on Beer. I am indeed honoured.

Sophie Atherton, beer writer and beer sommelier, and host of A FemAle View on Beer blog

Sophie Atherton, whose A FemAle View on Beer I guest blogged for

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MaltJerry does River Cottage

I’m hardly going to write “MaltJerry does Pig in a Day”, even if “Pig in a Day” was the name of the course I took part in at River Cottage HQ. Might boost the views, though… Surprisingly, it took the whole day before anyone mentioned David Cameron, that’s how foodie we participants were.

The River Cottage HQ cookery course “Pig in a Day” was a birthday present from my wife. Eight others were on the course for reasons unconnected to the anniversary of my birth. Four were on a stag do. Either lost, or the most Waitrose stag do ever.

River Cottage HQ for the Pig in a Day course.

First, catch your pork. River Cottage HQ Pig in a Day course

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MaltJerry is back!

Just a quick post to say “I’m back!”.

To a chorus of: “We didn’t notice you were gone”, the MaltJerry blog returns after a hiatus of several months. It was not abandoned, merely “suspended” by my web host, following unforeseen, but perhaps predictable technical difficulties.

Xmas dinner 2015 med

Christmas dinner 2015 chez MaltJerry

Apologies to everyone hoping for or expecting a write-up. I have received some great beers in the post in recent months, sampled some fantastic brews and drams, been to some brilliant events, eaten (and dare I say, cooked) some delicious meals, and changed in the way I think about “owning” whisky.

I wanted to come back with an all-new approach and look, but realised that would just delay things even more.

 

Many thanks to PolitisktinkorrPappa.wordpress.com for sorting this whole thing out.
Above and beyond the call of duty by many a mile.

Flying Dog Double Dog. Wrong time, right beer

A double American IPA on a Monday night? Surely not! A double IPA, at 11.5% ABV is no after-work quaffer. But, I would argue, on a tired, quiet Monday evening, it is just right. There is, possibly, no better time.

The double IPA that prompted this post is from a classic American craft brewery: Flying Dog. I took it at the end of a double-dog day with an inhumanely early start and travel. The stuff that had to be dealt with after could only be managed by wrestling it. So, when meeting up with a colleague not seen in a while, to wind down with just a couple of beers, it seemed a good (if odd) night for a Double Dog.

Flying Dog Double Dog Double IPA, surely

A glass of the wrong stuff? Double Dog on keg and in bottle.

A double or imperial IPA is not something I would normally countenance on an evening so early in the week. Or many other evenings. I think of a DIPA (or IIPA) as a special occasion, culmination beer. An after-dinner snifter, a port-and-Stilton finisher, with your Christmas cracker crown finally removed. However, there is a reason why a Monday is better. Continue reading

The Knowledge: Is a little learning about beer a dangerous thing?

Did you know beer makes cows less farty? It’s true! Rod Jones of Meantime Brewing told me. OK, it’s nearly true. Actually, it’s feeding cattle on spent malt grains that reduces the cow’s methane emission by 40%. Helps make the world just that little bit less greenhouse-y.

Meantime Brewing The Knowledge beer appreciation courses

Part of The Knowledge Master Class course

I learned this amazing flatulence fact at the launch of Meantime Brewing’s new beer appreciation courses called The Knowledge. Rod Jones, Meantime’s beer taster supreme, is our host and is here to tell us all about The Knowledge.

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Beer in a Can: Future Days or Soon Over (Babaluma)?

Excuse me for confusing beer and Krautrock, but the beer world is embracing the can to an extent not seen since the heyday of the German rock band Can. There was a time when at least the perception of any right-drinking beer lover was that the can was an indicator of an inferior product. Filtered and pasteurised, tainted by the metal.

In the 70s, cult favourites Can, progenitors of so-called Krautrock, whose album titles I borrowed for my headline, seemed to me and my little brother, the height of freaky rock. We were a little too young to know, perhaps. We were also a little too young for beer. Not too young, however, to notice that beer culture, like music culture was changing. Beer in a can, on the other hand, was normal.

Can albums and FourPure beer can stack with MaltJerry

MaltJerry stands in front of a Fourpure Brewery stack of Pils cans and underneath the sleeve pics for two classic Can albums

From our viewpoint, now, in the actual future, the 70s look retro hip. Everybody drank their beer from dimpled pint glasses and my dad had a hipster moustache. Even in bleak, three-day week Britain, brewers thought cans were so good they put seven pints in them and called it a party. Bottles seemed as old hat as flat caps. Are times changing?

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