Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Tuesday, 13 August 2013
The greatest event for me at this years conference was the keynote speech by Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery. Mr Oliver, who gained some notoriety for his boating hat during the weekend, delivered an inspiring but yet honest and at some points blunt speech about his involvement in craft beer. The general gist is that we are all in this together, craft beer is open to interpretation and we should stop fighting about creating a definition, and that he has had an amazing career from music to beer. I had the pleasure of chatting to Garrett during the Pilsner Urquell dinner at Edinburgh City Council Chambers and it was a pleasure to speak to someone so inspiring and totally down to earth about how great beer is.
For me the conference ended with the Williams Brothers and Fyne dinner, which was very good indeed (minus the cranachan, which could have given a small horse a heart attack). Some lucky bloggers went to Traquair the next day, but I don't think I could have faced the journey.
All in all I would like to thank all those who made the conference happen, including the sponsors, venues and organisers. Thanks also to all those bloggers who made sure I had a great time and never stopped laughing all weekend. The conference has provided me with plenty of inspiration for the months ahead and hopefully now that my University experience is finally over I will have the time to post much more often.
For those looking for more regular updates make sure to follow me on Twitter!
Saturday, 13 July 2013
Here is my live post from the European Beer Bloggers Conference . This is written live so excuse any spelling errors etc.
This is like speed dating for breweries. 5 minutes per brewery and the chance for them to impress bloggers.
Firts up is Birra Toccalmatto Surfing Hop-Double American IPA at 8.5%
Looks chestnut brown. Not typical of style but thats due to Belgian malt used.
Tastes of peaches and apricots. Resinous from Amarillo and warrior hop.
Will take a lot to beat
2, Inveralmond Blackfriar Scotch ale at 7.0%
Looks exactly like scotch ale should. Toffee coloured.
Esters dominate with toffee and fruits. Not too rich. Could drink a lot of this. Im very impressed by this.
3.Harviestoun 30th anniversary Ola Dubh single barrel 11, 3%
Dark as night.
Lots of wine, sherry and cherry with some chocolate. Im told this is a once of. I love this beer , would be great as a nightcap.
4.Shepherd Neame Brilliant Ale 5.6%
Lovely golden colour and nice to see it in brown glass.
Refreshing session beer. Its a tad boring after a double IPA and a whisky cask beer. I can see this as a gateway beer for non ale drinkers. Overall very drinkable.
5.West St Mungos 4.9%
Im very familiar with this beer.
Looks like typical Helles and tastes like a good example of this. Herbal and great lager. Tasty stuff.
6.Ilkley The Mayan 6.5%
Lovely dark chocolate colour.
Smells like terrys chocolate orange or bournville. Like liquid chocolate with a chilli kick and a touch of orange peel. Lovely sweetness but with balance. I love it!
7.Badgers Roaming Roy Dog 7.5%
Dark chestnut and a bit hazy due to non pasturisation and filtration.
Boozy on nose with loads of berries.
Massive sherry and berries with Bramling X underpinnings. Spicy finish and very warming
8. Traquair Jacobite Ale 8%
Lovely colour light chestnut.
So complex, touch of coriander and very modular. Vineous and sorry to state again, very complex I love this stuff. Traquair are my favourite Scottish brewery
9. Innis and Gunn Oloroso Cask 7.4%
Looks dark golden like regular Innis and Gunn.
I can only smell vanilla, honey and clove.
Sherry and cream . Oak is too dominant.
Thanks for reading
Thursday, 11 July 2013
Sunday, 7 July 2013
In the UK pubs and bars have an annual turnover of £21 billion, that's quite a lot. It would be fair to say that they contribute a great deal to the economy. However, they are still closing at a record rate according to consumer groups such as CAMRA. The current and previous UK governments seem to have done very little to protect the precious British hospitality industry that we all know, love and use. Of course you could mention the Beer Duty Escalator scrapped by Mr Osbourne this year but I would argue that is too little, too late.
Its time to reduce VAT for pubs and restaurants. Customers buying food in pubs are forced to pay 20% VAT compared with 0% VAT for supermarkets, giving supermarkets a further advantage over and above the many they already have. I understand that people can't and do not want to eat out every night but when an estimated 600,000 jobs could be created with a VAT drop to 5% it is important that we make our politicians listen (ALMR, 2013). Last year, the pub and bar industry created 1 in every 8 new jobs created, we can't turn our noses up to that.
France have tried it, and it meant a creation of 225,000 jobs in the first year alone. Mr Osbourne should sit up and take note. It is a campaign that the Scottish Government are already looking in to but we need action for the sake of our pubs and restaurants. The ALMR, Morning Advertiser and Jacques Borel Vat Club campaign are spearheading this campaign. Brains, Shepherd Neame, Fullers, Cains and JD Wetherspoon are just some of the names supporting this important campaign.
Just think what a VAT drop could do for the hospitality industry, for the people who rely on it for their livelihood and for the community spirit that pubs can bring to our villages, towns and cities.