Yes, I know, they’ve got a day for everything nowadays, and yes International Beer Day was last week. But given that Store Street have great beers on all year round, and they’re offering everyone a free pint during August, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass you by.
On Friday, Store Street held a little beery tasting with local brewers Brightside Brewery. Based over in Radcliffe, they’ve built up quite a following since their humble beginning with a starter home brew kit back in 2009. Now they have a core range of classic styles – Session, IPA, Pale and Helles Lager, as well as a slightly more creative range in their Wildside Beers, which is where our tasting started.
I began with a Tropical Fruit Blast – passion fruit, mango, orange and coconut which sounds like a fruit sundae, but this was definitely a beer with added tropical fruit. Mr GFB opted for one of that last cans (!) of their hoppy Project Pale. Lots of floral bitterness, but still light and delicious. Perfect for the humid temperatures outside.
Appetites whetted, it was time for Brightside’s Carley to take us through the core range on offer at Store Street, along with a selection of suggested food pairings. And we began with the lightest of their offerings, the lager.
I must admit, I’m not a massive lager fan. I can often find it a little overly fizzy for me, which leaves me feeling a little bloated, and calls time on my beer drinking early – which is a shame because I’m rather fond of beer. Brightside’s Lager is light and crisp, meaning it works rather well with fish and chips – the first of our pairings. It also manages to avoid giving me that overful feeling, which meant I kept going back to the glass throughout the evening. A definite win for me.
Onto the next beer and our next set of nibbles. The Brightside Session does what it says on the, er, tin. An easy drinker, but still has plenty of flavour, but nothing likely to grate after a glass or two. You know the kind of beer I mean, there are those you can only manage one of, and those that you can still find yourself drinking a couple of hours later. Using Ekuanot, Waimea and Citra hops, it’s got a good amount of citrus and round flavours, which made it a great pairing for the calamari. Nothing to overpower the sweet seafood flavour, but enough to compete with the flavour in the lemon aioli.
Our penultimate beer was the Pale. It steps up the hops a little, though is still not as bitter as an IPA. It’s has a little more bite, making it a great match to something more meaty, like the burgers.
Finally, the IPA. More citrus, more tropical fruits, and a bit more of a bitter bite. It’s perfect to cut through spice and fatty flavours, meaning it paired well with the flavours in the (somewhat moreish) buffalo chicken wings.
Now you’ve been patient and made it to the end, I did promise a little free beer didn’t I? So, all you have to do is sign up to the Store Street Exchange mailing list here, and you’ll get a voucher valid for this month, for a FREE PINT of Manchester Pale Ale.
(I won’t tell if you unsubscribe afterwards).
And once you’ve had your free pint, you can enjoy 2 pints of any of the craft beers at Store Street, and 3 light bites from the bar menu for £18.
Anyone for a pint after work?