Thursday, 29 September 2011

Beer & Food Matching at the Butcher & Grill

The Butcher & Grill beer dinner last night was everything we love about these events - fantastic cooking, well-paired beers and an enthusiastic, appreciative group of people to enjoy it all. It's always a joy to introduce people to new beers, or styles of beer they might not otherwise drink.

We began the night in our favourite way, with a glass of Black Velvet on arrival, made with our new Imperial Stout.

The first course was my favourite of the evening - a Venison Scotch Egg with a bramble jelly and land cress. The breadcrumb coating of the scotch egg included some crystal malt to give a delicious sweet crunch. We paired the scotch egg with 2 different beers - Exhibition (probably the favourite), the berry fruit flavours from the rich, dark, old English ale worked perfectly as a compliment to the rich venison. We also paired our new Raspberry Stout, the raspberry aspect to the beer working almost like a chutney to the scotch egg.

The main course was Lamb shoulder slow roasted with sea vegetables, hay and hops inside a salt crust. The lamb was delicious and melted in the mouth. We paired Southville Hop with it (mostly because we wanted this group of BBF virgins to try it!), the beer acted as a palate refresher, and cut through the fattiness of the lamb, although the flavours weren't poerfect together.

Lincolnshire Poacher cheese with a Milk Stout fruit cake followed. It was a little bit of guess work to try to match to this dish - to the cheese or the fruit cake? I went with No.7, I thought the toffee malt sweetness might work with the fruit cake and the hop bitterness pairing with the cheese - I was wrong, the fruit cake over-powered the beer. The cheese and the beer worked very well together though, but the fruit cake needed a stronger flavoured beer to cope with it's sweetness. Matching the intensity of food and drink is vital when picking pairings to work together.

The final course was a divine chocolate truffle made with Imperial Stout and coated in cobnuts. We tried both the Milk Stout & Imperial Stout with it, the Imperial winning the day with the stronger alcohol and bigger flavour matching the intense rich truffle better than the milder Milk Stout.

It was a fantastic evening, we had a great time with the guys from The Butcher & Grill, its definitely worth a visit if you haven't been, the food is gorgeous.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Beer, Bread & Cheese Tour

On Monday 3rd October the BBF join forces with Mark's Bread & Trethowan's Cheese for an evening of beer, bread & cheese pairing, as well as a tour of the brewery, a tour of the bakery and a talk from the cheese maker. This is a fantastic opportunity to spend the evening with 3 real hands-on artisan food & drink producers and to taste their wares.

The BBF are even doing the first tasting of their brand new beer "Bristol Vintage 2011" a beer to celebrate 1000 brews and the first Vintage ale they have produced.

The producers will be carefully pairing beer, bread & cheese combination's to show how flavours can be enhanced by pairing them together. We will show you & educate you in how each of the products are made, even showing a bit of the alchemy off!

Tickets still available for £20, including all your beer throughout the evening as well as cheese and bread pairings. A very special evening, not to be missed.

Butcher & Grill Dinner

On Wednesday 28th September we are popping up to London for a fantastic night of Beer & Food Matching at The Butcher & Grill in Wimbledon. Carl has come up with a mouth-watering menu and we will be bringing up an array of some of our finest & newest beers. The menu includes a Lamb cooked in hay & hops & a delicious Milk Stout cake.

We look forward to seeing you there.

A few tickets are still available for the evening, costing only £35 with 4 courses and numerous beers it promises to be a night to remember.

Call the Butcher & Grill for your tickets on 020 8944 8269

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Factoberfest Cider & Perry

For those who like it fruity...

Orchard Pig - 4.2% Nr Glastonbury Medium cider

Bristol Cider Works - 6% Bristol's very own Dry cider

Janet's Jungle Juice - 6% West Croft, Nr Brent Knoll - traditional farm cider

Kingstone Black - 6% Hecks, Street - single variety medium cider

McCrindle's Perry 6% Medium

Factoberfest Beer List

BRISTOL BEER FACTORY - ACER 3.8% A huge hop kick to it, ripe tangerines, resinous hops and a blast of citrus play around on a solid bready malt backbone... it surely can’t only be 3.8% with that much flavour!
BRISTOL BEER FACTORY - OAKED NO.7 4.2% This is No.7 as you’ve never had it before. Aged in oak casks to give a distinctive vanilla character to the beer making it even smoother and adding an intriguing level of complexity to it.
BRISTOL BEER FACTORY - INDEPENDENCE 4.6% A New World Pale Ale that we have continuously hopped for an hour with very aromatic hops from the US & New Zealand. Big fruity flavours and a moreish resinous bitterness.
BRISTOL BEER FACTORY - SOUTHVILLE HOP 6.5% A fruit salad on the palate as beautiful tropical fruit flavours wash over you from the stunning American hops. Pineapple, mango & passion fruit on the nose & palate & a long resinous finish.
BRISTOL BEER FACTORY - BRISTOL HEFE 4.8% A German style wheat beer, zippy & zesty with lovely banana & clove aromas, banana & bubble gum on the palate & a refreshing grapefruit bitterness.
BRISTOL BEER FACTORY - AMBER 5 4.3% Amber in colour, a blend of 6 malts give a tasty backbone to this sessionable ale, a good dose of noble European hops gives a moreish bitterness leaving you wanting more.
BRISTOL BEER FACTORY - EXHIBITION 5.2% An old fashioned strong English ale, dark, rich, & fruity. Delicious estery flavours from the yeast & a sweetness from a good helping of crystal malt make this a delicious Autumnal beer.
BRISTOL BEER FACTORY - SAISON 4.6% Traditionally brewed for Belgian farm workers for long hot summer days, this beer has distinctive notes of spice & berry fruits & is very dry & thirst quenching from it’s unusual yeast strain.
BRISTOL BEER FACTORY - SUNRISE GALAXY 4.4% A special edition dry-hopped version of Sunrise. Punchy Galaxy hops from Tasmania add big fruity notes to the Sunrise
BRISTOL BEER FACTORY - MILK STOUT 4.5% Finest Creamy Stout. Sweet, black and extremely full-bodied. Unfermentable Lactose sugar (added during the boil) sweetens the Chocolate and Black Malt derived roast / burnt flavours.
BRISTOL BEER FACTORY - VANILLA STOUT 4.5% The multi-award winning Milk Stout has been infused with Madagascar Vanilla Pods to give a delicious sweet smoothness reminiscent of a creme brulee.
BRISTOL BEER FACTORY - ULTIMATE STOUT 7.7% Pours like engine oil with a dark chocolate coloured head, aromas of roasted coffee & liquorice, tastes of coffee, chocolate & liquorice with slight tart notes from the Belgian yeast we use.
BRISTOL BEER FACTORY - CHOCOLATE STOUT 5.0% So very smooth, so very chocolatey, coats your mouth with rich bitter cocoa and slides down like a velvety glove. A luxurious treat of a beer.
ARBOR ALES (BRISTOL) - SINGLE HOP ”STELLA” 4.0% As the name suggests, we’ve used just one variety of hop in this pale golden ale. Brewed with just low colour Maris Otter malt. Stella comes from Australia & has citrus & berry notes.
ARBOR ALES (BRISTOL) - INFERIORITY COMPLEX 3.4% Just because a beer is low in strength, it needn’t be low on flavour. To get the most out of this dark session beer several different hops from Europe, New Zealand and the US have combined.
ARBOR ALES (BRISTOL) - BLACK EYED PA 6.5% The name makes very little sense, indeed the style itself is a bit wrong if you put any thought into it. The beer does, however, work very well indeed. Before boiling we add a load of hops. During the boil we add a load more hops. After the boil we add yet more hops. You get the idea - lots of hops!
PLAIN ALES - INNTRIGUE 4.2% Amber bitter with a fair amount of bitterness. Dryish, hoppy finish.
MOOR BREWING (SOMERSET) - CONFIDENCE (unfined) 4.6% Exclusive malt is used as the base to produce this premium bitter and it is boosted with Crystal and Wheat malts. Spicy American hops and yeast further enhance the rich malt profile. UNFINED.
MOOR BREWING (SOMERSET) - SOMERLAND GOLD (unfined) 5% If you like your beers golden, hoppy and refreshing then this is for you, but be careful – it goes down quickly for 5%. UNFINED - suitable for vegans, this beer is naturally hazy.
FYNE ALES (SCOTLAND) - JARL 3.8% A full-on citrus experience from the aromatic Citra hops. Light and golden, the 2011 Champion Beer of Scotland. Driven down from Scotland by the MD just for us!
FYNE ALES (SCOTLAND) - CHERRY STOUT 6.1% Fyne Ales Sublime Stout flavoured with cherries to give a very drinkable sweet & tart finish. Another great beer from one of our favourite breweries.
WESSEX BREWERY (WILTSHIRE) - OLD ALE 4.6% A rich, dark, aged ale.
WESSEX BREWERY (WILTSHIRE) - LONGLEAT PRIDE 4% Tasty, golden hoppy ale with refreshing grapefruit flavours.
DEVILFISH (WILTSHIRE) - BOMBSHELL 4.5% A superbly refreshing blonde beer that we’ve tweaked and refined to perfection, to create a heavenly-hopped ale, light in character yet strong in taste, and offering a devilish kick in the tail.
DEVILFISH (WILTSHIRE) - DEVIL BEST 4.2% A very traditional beer made with the finest hops and barley, already a firm favourite among our customers and a winning brew at local pubs. Devil Best appeals to traditional beer drinkers
OTLEY BREWING CO (SOUTH WALES) - 07 WEISSEN 5% A light golden naturally cloudy wheat beer, top fermented with Belgian Style Yeast. Crisp, clean but distinctive flavours with citrus hop aromas and a balanced bitterness.
OTLEY BREWING CO (SOUTH WALES) - OXYMORON 5.5% A very smooth, mourish Black IPA. Packed full of German carafa chocolate malt and American hops.
OTLEY BREWING CO (SOUTH WALES) - THAI BO 4.6% A clear wheat beer flavoured with Sorachi Ace hops, Lime peel, Lime leaf, Lemongrass and Galangal
MILESTONE (NOTTINGHAM) - RICH RUBY 4.5% Lightly Hopped with a Malty berry finish.
MILESTONE (NOTTINGHAM) - LOXLEY 4.2% Full and rounded with a crispy lemony tang finishing with a slight honey sweetness.

See you there on Saturday & Sunday!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Wednesday in the Brewery...

Today we are...

Brewing No.7
Hand bottling 3000 bottles of Milk Stout
Getting some chillies for yet another of the 12 stouts
Listening to trumpets
Looking forward to our Beer Dinner with Masterchef Champion Tim Anderson
& watching our 1000th Brew, Bristol Vintage ferment away like crazy

Monday, 12 September 2011

Brew 1000, the Bristol Vintage 2011

A very special beer is being brewed this week at the Bristol Beer Factory to celebrate the 1000th Brew. Bristol Vintage 2011 is the breweries first attempt at a “Vintage Ale”, a strong, rich style of beer that can be aged to develop flavours and complexity over many months or years. The beer will be a strong one around 7% and will require 3 brews in one day to produce the amount of beer needed. MD Simon Bartlett will kick things off by mashing in at 2am, before 2 further brews, will be taken over by brewers Chris Kay and Brett Ellis, continuing through the day, with the brewing concluding at 10pm making it an epic 20 hour day.

Bristol Vintage 2011 will be a complex beer; a red ale with a big malty backbone, using 4 varieties of English malt, from Warminster Maltings, 4 of our favourite hop varieties from England, Germany, America & New Zealand, the beer will be aged on fresh English oak staves. It will be a beer that will be fantastic to drink fresh when the hop character will come shining through or to be aged for months or even years to allow the malt flavours to develop and mature.

Simon Bartlett commented “I brewed the first beer about 7 years ago, it has been a labour of love over the 999 beers and I can’t wait to see how our first vintage ale tastes.” The BBF is a local success story, having turned a derelict former brewing building back into a brewery employing 8 people and producing 21000 pints of beer a week.

The BBF have brewed some exciting and different craft beers over the last 12 months, including the current Champion Bottled Beer in the south-west Southville Hop and there is a big project to produce 12 Stouts for Christmas. As well as firm favourite Milk Stout, there will be a Chocolate Stout and Imperial Stout, whilst some of the stouts are being aged in Whisky casks, and another has been infused with 25kg of raspberries.

Friday, 9 September 2011

This weekend we will be...

Watching lots of Rugby
Cheering on England (& Wales apparently - Simon)
Opening the Shop 10 - 1
Looking forward to Factoberfest next weekend
Checking on the beers (Milk Stout, Independence, Sunrise x2, No.7 & Chocolate Stout)
Thinking happy thoughts about the Chocolate Stout that tastes amazing as it ferments
Running the Bristol Half Marathon (just Brett)
Reading about us on the Guardian website
Buying the Pieminister cookbook (& getting a free pie!)
& hoping you all have a fun beery weekend

Beers for Factoberfest

A little bit of a tease for next weekends Factoberfest...

I think we will have 13 BBF beers including Vanilla Milk Stout, Oak-aged No7, Saison, a dry-hopped version of Sunrise, Ultimate Stout, Southville Hop, Amber5 & our new Chocolate Stout.

I hope this gets the mouth watering, if not there will also be beers from

Arbor, Fyne Ales, Otley, Milestone, Keystone, Devilfish, Wessex & some unfined specials from Moor.

There is more info on Factoberfest here & here

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Beer & Food Matching at The Apple Tree

We begin our Beer & Food Matching Tour next week at The Apple Tree Inn at West Pennard near Glastonbury. Lee and Ally Evans re-opened the Apple Tree Inn, between the villages of West Pennard and Pilton in April this year and have transformed it into a thriving business producing food of the highest quality whilst keeping a relaxed pub feel to the charming old coaching inn. Renowned chef Lee has sourced his food locally and uses his vast Michelin star experience to produce inspired and exciting dishes.

For far too long beer has been the poor relative on the British dinner table but the recent craft beer explosion is beginning to change this, beer has never been as widely available, varied and creative as it is now. On Thursday 15th September the BBF team are taking their beer and food gospel on the road to the Apple Tree to match beers to each of Lee’s dishes. The BBF brewers will be working closely with Lee, who is creating a 6 course tasting menu, to find the perfect beer to go with each course. Andrew Cooper from the BBF said “We have a range of about 12 beers to choose our pairings from with a huge range of styles from very hoppy pale ales to stouts, wheat beers and old English ales. We will also bring some of our newest beers down for everyone to try for the first time.”

The evening will be a celebration of beer, using beer in the cooking of some of the dishes, and even using the raw ingredients at different stages throughout the meal. Lee said “I am excited by the challenge of incorporating some of the raw ingredients into the meal, the array of flavours in the beers should make for some really unique and flavourful dishes.”

The whole evening including 6 course taster menu and partnering beers will only co
st £40. For further information or to book your place, call the Apple Tree Inn on 01749 890060.

It will be the first chance to taste our new Raspberry Stout aged for 3 months on 25kg of Raspberries...

Friday, 2 September 2011

This week in the brewery...

we have been...

Brewing Independence, No7 (twice), Sunrise (twice), Acer & Bristol Stout
Bottling Southville Hop
Finalising details for Brew1000
Sorting out where to put the bar this year at Factoberfest
Looking forward to judging the National Homebrew Competition this weekend
Opening the Shop on Saturday 10 - 1
Going to be at Hotel Du Vin on Saturday & Sunday, so come & taste our wares
Starring in Beer Factory - The Movie!
& shaking our heads in disbelief at how much bottled beer we are selling - please bear with us why we try to catch up...