One of my favourite times of year is upon us – Manchester Beer Week. A week (well just over, but who’s counting) of celebrating both our own producers of the hoppy stuff, and those from across the world. A week of learning, eating, drinking, and well, all things beer-related. It’s also my annual catch up with Melissa Cole, who’ll be cooking up a storm, talking beer, and on Monday night (1 July) will be talking diversity in beer too. If you’re heading to that, I’ll see you there, fresh from my spin class (I’ll have showered, don’t worry).
Over at Ply, everything has gotten a little bit Scandi. In a partnership with Bottle Shop London, they’re taking their own theme and they’ve expanded it into both their beer selection, and the artwork on the walls, they even kicked things off by giving away Swedish Meatball Pizzas on day one. Take that IKEA.
Whilst Mr GFB and I missed out on the free pizza (dammit), we did get chance to pop in and try some of the delicious beers on offer. How could we not when amongst the list are some of our personal favourite breweries? I have a bit of a thing for Omnipollo (seriously their Lemon Meringue collaboration with Buxton Brewery is a thing of beauty and one I will stock up on any time I spot it). And we’re both rather fond of Mikkeller, and Brewski, so Friday night, we took advantage of the aircon and settled in for a beer or two.
Fresh from a walk across town (I use the term fresh loosely) I was in need of something a little light and clean. Something to not only quench my thirst a little, but spark up those tastebuds. I was swiftly pointed in the direction of the two sours – the Strawberry Sour from Dugges, or the Peach Popcorn from Omnipollo. Given my love for both peaches and Omnipollo, it was a no brainer.
Light, refreshingly sour, it might have not been overly laden with popcorn flavours, but there was plenty of peach and it did just what I needed it to do.
For our second round, Mr GFB went for the aforementioned Strawberry Sour, whilst I went for the Mango Hallon Feber from Brewski. The latter is brewed using raspberries and Mango, leaving it fruity, lightly floral and a little creamy, but not overly rich, or cloying. It’s a great summer beer, as was the Strawberry Sour, with lots of fruit, and a good acidity, making it a real summer refresher.
Finally for dessert, Mr GFB opted for Mikkeller’s Stick a Finger in the Soil – an APA with lots of piney and citrus notes, whilst I went somewhat heavier.
Advised that the Noa Pecan Mud Cake from Omnipollo was a bit special, that was my final choice. And wow what a beer it is. Rich, puddingy, with lots of chocolate notes and that pecan flavour lingers on the palate afterwards, just tempting you back for a little more. Sure, it’s a strong one, but think of it as a dessert rather than a beer. Speaking of which, it would make an amazing ice cream.
Ply’s Scandinavian Beer Week runs through to Saturday 7 July. With promises of an Omnipollo beer served through a soft serve ice cream machine, more beers, and of course, the meatball pizzas, they might just see me a fair bit this week.
Someone save me a seat at the bar, yeah?