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Sweet Treats & Beer, Brooklyn Invasion

Ok, a bit of shameless self-promotion is coming your way. As Zak explains on his blog, I’m collaborating with Beer-Ritz next month to try and get beer – through food  – out to an audience old and new. So, on February the 6th, I’ll be setting up stall in the shop, with a little array of baked goods and some samples of beers that you can enjoy with them.

The menu is always subject to change (if I have any kitchen disasters the day before, for example), but I plan on taking a Vanilla Cheesecake (which will be matched with a Stout, Porter or Dark Mild), Chocolate Brownies (which will be matched with fruit beers) and Banana and Toffee Muffins (which we are going to try with a Dunkel).

It’s free, informal, and if you’re curious about Beer and Food, then this is the opportunity for you to come to Leeds’s specialist beer shop (I hear Ghostie will be my trusty wingman, Iceman to my Maverick) and talk to staff about where to start. The point isn’t to show off my baking skills (Honestly!) but to try and expand the reach of Good Beer and Good Food beyond the beer-blogging fraternity. That, after all, is what we are about, no?

Hopefully, this will be the first on a series of nights where local food producers and Beer-Ritz can come together and share their expertise. Stay tuned for more details as the year rolls on.

People of Leeds – it’s all systems go in February. Revolutions Brewery will be taking over Foley’s on February the 10th, and our Milk Stout (Milk & Alcohol) has been brewed, fermented and is ready for your attention. I can assure you that Dean, myself and the lads from Revs slaved over a hot mash tun all day with only a bellyful of Pork Pies and 80’s New Wave Classics (Belouis Some, anyone?) blasting out of the brewery in order to bring you this delicious beer. Details are on the previous link above. Do come and join us, if Music and Beer is your thing. Love Music, Love Beer.

 

Finally, there’s a bit of an Invasion of the Brooklyn-Snatchers happening at North on February the 1st. Expect to see a myriad of Brooklyn’s finest on tap and in bottles; including rarities such as Blast, Winter, Monster, Pennant (my main ‘tick’ for the night) and another, mythical beer that, if you look closely enough on their poster, you’ll be able to try. Do pop down.

>Cask vs Keg vs Bottle vs Can

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The Session: It’s like a Royal Rumble of dispense.
This argument has been rumbling on for a while, and I doubt that I’m going to add anything meaningful to it apart from my own point of view. However, seeing as though one of my favourite blogs, Reluctant Scooper is hosting the session, I thought I’d wade in. Hey, that’s what the blog’s for, so here goes.
Firstly – Bottle vs Can. Along with the true identity of Jack the Ripper, or why people ever rated Rafa Benitez, one of the true mysteries of life is why brewers put beer in clear glass bottles. It simply makes for a badly-kept beer, and one that tastes, no matter what beer it is, like all other beers in clear glass. Skunky. Harsh. Oxidised. Yuck. In the grand scheme of things, putting beer into cans holds no great pain for me; I’ve tried a few average US Pale Ales in cans and enjoyed not only the novelty, but the taste of the beer too. Some purists argue that the can taints the beer; let’s get glass right first, eh? Bring on Canning, I say. My view will stay that way until I drink a beer that’s genuinely been ruined by canning – the process, that is.

As for Keg…well, I have to agree with what Zak says in so much as that I’d like to think it’s horses for courses; some beers suit being Keg-Dispensed, some not so. The turning point for me was when I took a trip to Edinburgh in 2009 and enjoyed a pint of BrewDog 77 Lager on cask at The Abbotsford. Lovely it was; but at the time – for the first time, I might add – that flash of ‘might be better served in Keg’ came across my mind. Since then, there have been many beers that I’ve enjoyed on Keg, and those that I wish I had enjoyed on Keg – such as SummerWine’s Project 6 IPA series. I know Andy and James are pro-Keg, but I really believe this. Powerful, aromatic beers that do well slightly colder are great on Keg, as are excellent lagers such as all-time-fave Moravka and, more recently, Thornbridge Italia. Foley’s Brewdog tap and North’s constant Keg presence means we are sorted in Leeds, and The Grove (Huddersfield) unashamedly flaunts Keg as a dispense system for their US range; and that’s not even mentioning BrewDog Aberdeen’s all-Keg lineup. It’s popular, and that’s just here. When I open the West Coast Good Beer Guide, and am flicking the pages, gazing upon row upon row of Keg taps, I’m slightly romanced by it. It’s not a fad, and there’s no need to be scared of it. It’s just another option.
Old Peculier from the wood? Stouts, lush, velvety Porters, fruity Ales and Brown Ales? Give me cask. Summer Ales, Weiss, Wits and Pales at a Summer Barbecue? Chill those bottles. The best dispense system for any beer is surely the one that suits it the most.
…By the way, if you’ve got the Good Beer US West Coast, flick to Page 97 and check out the Maiden Publick House. That’s what I dream of: a bar in woods, with neon signs in the window and a shitload of great beer. If I win the lottery, that’s what I’m buying. You’re all invited.
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