Wednesday, 20 July 2016

You had me at "Free beer"...

As I've mentioned before, one of the perks of blogging is the occasional invite to interesting local events to help to promote local businesses and activities.  My rule of thumb is that so long as it ties in with the general nature of the blog then why not?  Always happy to do our bit and all that.

Anyway, one such offer came through recently from those lovely people at Booths and the conversation went something like this...

Booths:  Beth, would you and Steve like to come along to a free beer tasting event, there'll be...
Me: (interrupting) Yes
Booths:  Erm...there'll be local brewers and food prov...
Me:  Definitely yes.
Booths: ?
Me:  You had me at "free beer"

C'mon - you would have said the same thing too, wouldn't you?

The event was in Keswick so off we toddled, in Delores so neither of us had to drive home.  We arrived promptly at 7pm (I do so like to be on time, especially when free beer is involved) and I must admit I was surprised by what I found - not just beer tasting, but many of the brewers matching beers to particular foods and others very keen to put on an impromptu presentation telling you all about their particular brew.

Did you know, for example, that Hawkshead's Windermere Pale Ale is the perfect accompaniment to a big chunk of Anthony Rawcliffe Delice de Bourgogne cheese on a nice thin cracker?  Me neither, but it is, and I left with a big hunk of cheese and a couple of bottles just to recreate the moment at home.  We were also tipped off as to which beers went best with curry and a variety of other foodstuffs.


I wonder if Wainwright drank much beer?

Eden Brwery


Many of the local brewers were there, along with some from further afield, but all of them small independents and most with an interesting story to tell.  I felt particularly sorry for the guy from Sheppys Cider who'd set out at 11am and, due to an enormous amount of motorway delays, only arrived in Keswick at 7:30pm.  So we bought a couple of bottles of that too - you know, just being polite and all that...



We paused briefly to enjoy the lovely barbecue that had been laid on and then it was off to the Brew Dog stand where we were treated to a proper presentation and an assortment of tastings.  It was here we learned about different flavoured hops and why real ale needs to be kept in cans (to keep the light out).  He put such a lot of effort into the presentation that we thought it best to get a couple of cans of that too, just to see if the whole "tastes better when there's no light on it" theory worked.





I'm not privy to Booth's sales figures but judging by the fact that their beer shelves looked as if a plague of locusts with a severe alcohol problem had recently swarmed through, I'd say the evening was a great success.  We certainly had fun anyway, and we weren't the only ones heading merrily home with a heavy and suspiciously clinky bag...



Our haul...
Oh, yeah, and we may have nipped into the Wainwright Pub for a cheeky nightcap on the way back.  Cheers!.