When I first started envisaging Ladies Love Beer events I thought it would be a hard sell – not because ladies don’t love beer but perhaps finding a whole room full of ladies to get together for a beer and food pairing might be a push.
It turns out, I didn’t really have to worry. On Saturday 14 ladies met at the upstairs private room of Commonhall Social to try different beers and to match them with food. After last time, I had decided to ditch the safe beers and challenge the ladies.
On arrival, the ladies were presented with a champagne flute of Curious Brew, double-fermented lager brewed with champagne yeast. A rather classy start to the day, and well received by everyone.
As the first pairing the ladies were served a goats cheese and beetroot cupcake paired with Brewdog’s 5am Saint red ale. The malty backbone of 5am Saint lends itself well to the delicate tartness of goat’s cheese, but you could probably pair this one up with any mature, strong cheese.
There was the added challenge of catering for vegetarians as well but as it turned out, the Commonhall Social team were on the ball and very helpful, and they ensured that the vegetarians didn’t have to content with slapdash replacements for the what the carnivores were enjoying – everyone had a similar plate in front of them.
The second pairing hailed from Hawaii, Kona Brewing’s Big Wave matched with either duck or vegetable spring rolls with sweet chilli sauce. This golden ale stands as a fantastic beer on its own, but the ladies felt it benefitted from the kick of the chilli which opened the hoppy mellowness of the beer much more than they had expected. From the feedback I gathered that they enjoyed it much more with the food rather than on its own, but they appreciated the novelty of Hawaiian real ale. Hold the bus, I though, suddenly the room was filled with beer know-hows!
Third pairing was one that I personally was a little excited about. The chocolate brownies would have been enough to get me going, but paired with Hitachino Nest beer, a Japanese treat brewed in the tradition of a Belgian style white beer and Infused with coriander, nutmeg, orange peel and orange juice, it became something of a thing. A very lovely thing. This kind of contrasting pairing is what I love the most, and it seemed the ladies did too.
Last but not least, we paired Tiny Rebel’s Dirty Stop Out with blue cheese and brie. The smoked stout went beautifully with the tangy blue cheese and the creamy brie, and there were plenty of each. As it turned out, after the event some of the ladies went and got themselves another one of these just to fully appreciate the hefty flavours of the beer.
All in all, I enjoyed hosting the event, and as far as feedback went, the ladies enjoyed attending it. It just goes to show that ladies DO love their beer, and now, I hope they know a little more about it too. On to the next one, I say!
P.S A big fat thank you to the crew at Commonhall Social, the food was fabulous and the beer was brilliant, and the guys really worked hard to make everyone feel really welcome. It did not go unnoticed!