Please accept my apologies, this post is two days out of date. Time is my enemy.
My afternoon with the angels and then with a hundred or so enthusiasts and casual passersby has led me to the conclusion that:
A beer tasting with the brewer is the most potent sales tool in the universe
All drinkers understand “good” flavours
Doom Bar is enjoyed by serious beer aficionados but they don't discuss it
I owe a debt of thanks to the Draft House on Tower Bridge who thought that the amount of beer I sent up was generous until everyone turned up and drank it all! It is a great pub staffed by great and beautiful people. In the next 7 days I am destined to work in 4 different breweries (if you count Sharp’s and Sam the distiller’s kitchen).
Today I am travelling up to the cradle of pale ale to brew a world classic beer with a world classic Brewer. Sir (only a matter of time) Steve Wellington is letting me brew a White Shield at his William Worthington's Brewery. The William Worthington's Brewery sounds like it’s Coal-powered and operated by ponies and blokes in flat caps. In fact it is newer than Camden. I have heard all about it because the man who designed it, built it and is still responsible for the pressure systems in it is running the project to install an anaerobic digester at Sharp’s. It sounds very plush, modern and well engineered.
For beer lovers in their thirties like myself, White Shield is almost certainly the first British bottle conditioned beer you tasted. While it is debateable that the method of bottle conditioning would have died out without the beer you have to admire the fact that it stayed put when most others had gone down the filtered and pasteurised route. Steve Wellington is a superb statesman for beer and from what I remember of the last time we met a sound bloke. I say from what I remember because it was after an afternoon at Nottingham’s Vat and Fiddle with Ade Redgrove and a CBOB presentation dinner. Tonight Steve is showing me all Burton on Trent has to offer.