Sunday Worship- The Return

26 02 2010

As you may recall, or not as the case may be, I took part in a beer and food matching event at the Bacchus in Newcastle back in November, well I’ve just got my tickets for the next one too.

This Sunday sees return to the Bacchus at the slightly later time of 15:00, I guess to allow Andy to maintain his normal Sunday lunch service.  This time the brewery in question is the Yorkshire Dales Brewing Company and the list is as below.  No word yet on the food to go with said beers but I’ll imagine we’d find out on the day as we did last time.

3.8% Coverham Abbey – A Blonde Lager style session ale.  Triple hopped with Centennial, Galena and finally Celeia.  Easy drinking but with a real fresh light hoppy taste.

3.9% Marsett Mild – A traditional Pale Mild brewed with plenty of vienna, amber and brown malts for a touch of malty sweetness and caramel.  Very lightly hopped with some English Challenger and Bramling Cross.

4% Fred Astaire – A Ginger Beer, golden in colour but with a real dry ginger bite.  This beer is hopped with a trio of American hops, Galena, Centennial and Cascade.

4.2% Warcop Fell – A Dark Marzen style Bock. Brewed with a range of dark malts including Vienna, Amber, Dark Crystal, Black and Chocolate, hopped with English Challenger and German Herkules hops.

4.3% Askrigg Ale – A Premium golden bitter hopped keenly with Northdown and Amarillo for a real grapefruit/citrus finish.  Very crisp and dry.

5.5% – Gaping Gill – a truly rich and smoky porter.  Brewed with the finest Bamberg beech wood smoked malt and plenty of brown malt for a smooth deep complex flavour.

5.5% Four Continents I.P.A – This is brewed with just Pale Malt and a small amount of Black Malt to reflect a simple malt bill but the abundance of hops in this I.P.A will blow you away.  The hops originate from 4 continents, Nelson Sauvin (New Zealand), Sorachi Ace (Japan), Chinook (North America), Celeia (Slovenia)

5% St’Out of this World – A vanilla stout hand crafted with a modern twist on a centuries old beer style.  Plenty of roast barley distinguish a stout from a porter and some rolled oats for a creamy white head.

Again a great looking line up and I can’t now wait for Sunday.


Bacchus For Good

11 11 2009

Firstly let me apologise for the delay in getting this post done but I’m afraid work has been making too many demands of me this week.  Still, it pays the bills and allows me to head out on jaunts like this along with the Good Lady Wife (GLW) and, so far unseen, co-writer (HH).  Of course I could just point you in the direction of Liz’s excellent post but as I’d made some notes, well…

With military precision plans were made to drop of my #beerswap parcel at a local newsagent’s, get into town early and pick up a couple of pre-ordered Christmas pressies and meet up with HH in Waterstones.  Of course, the military themselves scuttled these plans by marching the army (OK just some of it) in parade between ourselves and HH, effectively cordoning off Waterstones in the process.  Still beer was the order of the day so despite their best efforts rendezvous was made and we strolled along to the Bacchus.

Arriving a polite 15 minutes early we discovered the doors closed so edged up the lane 10 yards or so to stand on the street corner and not look like three desperate types gasping for the pub to open.  Within a few minutes a couple of other groups furtively edged towards the doors and catching the hint of a Yorkshire accent on the wind I realised that Pete from The Brew Company had arrived so over we popped to introduce ourselves as fellow twitter correspondents.

I have to admit to having a coffee as my first drink of the day.  Given all the beers we were due to be drinking and the fact that the GLW would only be having a few mouthfuls of each before decanting into my glass (and HH’s) I figured this to be prudent.  HH of course went ahead and had a half of the Abyss “to warm up”.  Seating was secured on the raised rear level where a collection of familiar faces were congregating and now all we had to do was wait for the menus to arrive.  It was at this point I suddenly thought about the food for the first time since the event was mooted, which I guess goes to show where my priorities lay.

Starting proceedings Pete stood up and gave us all a low down on the Brewery and what we should expect from the days event.  I prepared all my essential gear, phone for tweeting the courses as they happened, camera to take the pictures you see here and a notebook and pen for the taking of tasting notes before bracing myself for what was about to come.  And then came the beer and food…

Course 1: Abyss Best Bitter 4.2% – Duck Liver Parfait with Brioche Toast


Looking like a traditional, mid brown Best Bitter the Abyss gave off lovely toasted caramel aromas in the glass.  The sweetness of the caramel was present upon tasting too with a lovely balanced bitterness finishing things off.  This proved to be a great match for the course, the sweetness matching that of the onion marmalade and the bitterness cutting through the richness of the parfait.  What a start!

Course2: Slaker Pale Ale 3.8% – Radiccho with Thai Crab Salad


What a revelation this was.  I would normally avoid something this colour like the plague but what a wonderful beer this is.  With surprisingly more body than I was expecting this was an easy drinking, smooth, fruity beer with just a slight hint of bitterness at the back of the throat.  The bitterness became a bit more prominent when drank with the food but was never overpowering.  I could quite happily drink pint after pint of this stuff on a warm summer’s day/evening and even the odd one during colder months as a pleasant change of pace.

Course 3: Hop Manefesto 4.8% – Mexicana Cheese Tart


Blimey, you want hops? Well here you have them and more so.  My first taste of this was like sucking on a juicy grapefruit and all a bit overpowering for me.  However when tasted in conjunction with the tart things settled down somewhat and it did become drinkable.  Hats off to the tart here which, with its rich, cheesy pastry and dense, flavoursome filling, saved this course.  This is not something I would choose to drink again, reminding me too much of the OTT BrewDog beers that I just don’t get either.

Course 4: St Petrus Stout 5% – Fresh Oysters, Lemon Juice & Coriander


You can’t get much more classic than this, now can you?  Smooth, full bodied milk chocolate giving way to a hint of liquorice bitterness towards the end, absolutely bloody glorious.  This worked really well with the salt and lemon juice on the oysters which didn’t clash at all.  This is close to my perfect beer so naturally the GLW decided she liked it too meaning I got very little decant this time around, although I did gain several oysters from both her and HH as compensation.

Course 5: Hop Ripper 4.3% – Thai Fried Noodles


Hmmm, Hop Manifesto Lite anyone?  I have to admit I really didn’t like this beer, although the consensus from surrounding tables was very positive.  It didn’t have the shock factor that saw my glass of Hop Manifesto emptied and I only drank about 1/3 of a pint, the noodles were particularly nice though.  Sorry Peter.

Course 6: Tantalus Belgian Dubbel 6.5% – Sticky Pork Spare Ribs


Ah, back on the rails again, this is more like it.  A dark and rich Belgian style Dubbel beer, my notes at this point read “Black treacle and malt extract…yum…yum…yum” which I think says it all.  Some of my favourite childhood tastes blended in a wonderful adult pleasure.  The pork ribs were a lovely match too but a bit fiddly when impatiently waiting to get back to the booze.

Around about now a combination of the poor phone reception, me not understanding how to use my phone properly and the effects of the beer resulted in me tweeting pics of this particular course 4 times, but it was worth it.

Course 7:  Autumnus Porter 4.7% – Dark Chocolate and Courgette Brownies


The first of two pudding courses and the end of my tasting notes so these are from memory alone.  Another great beer and food match what with the crispy/gooey contradiction of the brownies highlighting the surprisingly delicate spices of the Autumnus.  This was much more of a subtle flavoured beer than I was expecting but a particularly nice one at that.

Course 8:  Raisin to Live ~ Black Chocolate Raisin Imperial Stout 7% – Strawberry Crème Brulee


A special one off brew by Pete for the Sheffield beer festival and this was one of two remaining barrels he tells us.  There is no way you would have guessed that this was a 7% beer, it was so easy drinking with no cloyingness at all.  There was chocolate aplenty and the raisins added a wonderful fruity sweetness that made me wish that I hadn’t drank so much already.

So there you have it…quite a spread eh? In truth too much of one really and, perhaps, six courses would have been more manageable but, hey, I’m not complaining.  Pete worked like a Trojan, visiting all the tables with every course to give us a bit of background on each of the beers and that added so much to the afternoon’s events.


Andy, Paul and Pete

Thanks must go to Andy for hosting things, Paul for cooking things and once again Pete for adding depth to the whole proceedings.  So when’s the next one?


Sunday Worship

4 11 2009

I’ve mentioned previously that I will be attending the Bacchus next Sunday for a Beer and Food matching event, well now the beers have been announced.  For a mere thirty five of your English pounds (and Scottish/Irish/Welsh I suspect) you can partake in an 8 course lunch matched to halves of the following beers supplied by The Brew Company.

Slaker Pale Ale 3.8%
A fantastic pale session ale!
This award winning light refreshing pale ale drinks far beyond its strength.
It slakes your thirst! Made with the finest pale malt and a touch of wheat
malt which gives it a biscuity flavour. Light lager hops produce fruity
overtones coupled with a delicate hoppy aroma – Delicious!

Hop Ripper IPA 4.3%
An American inspired IPA, pale in colour and bursting with hop resin
flavours. The hops used are Chinook from the United States give this beer a
strong grapefruit character

Hop Manifesto 4.8%
The first test brew for a new brewery currently being brewed at The Brew Co.
This is a pale ale where hops are at the forefront.  Made with Centenial,
Chinook, Cascade, Magnum hops.  Hopped from 1st worts and then at regular
intervals for layering of flavours and bitterness it was eventually dry
hopped in the cask with Amarillo.

Abyss Best Bitter 4.2%
This award winning Best Bitter is a great example of dark coloured ale.
Dark walnut brown in colour with a slight burnt toffee flavour and
background roast this beer is packed with sharp dry bitter flavours. Made
with Boadicea hops which are naturally aphid resistant meaning no pesticides
are used in the cultivation.  Better for the environment and your beer!

Autumnus Porter 4.7%
A traditional dark porter made with a combination of pale, brown, crystal &
chocolate malts for a complex malt flavour, hopped lightly with Aurora and
spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg for that Autumnal flavour.

St Petrus Stout 5%
The five malts make this a dry stout, dark with a roasted malt character and
fruit, some coffee & liquorice flavours underscored by a balanced
bitterness. Thick in mouth feel this is a great traditional stout.

Raisin to Live – Black chocolate raisin imperial stout 7%
A black stout made with 7 different malts, including pale, crystal,
chocolate, black, roast, brown and wheat. Hopped with Pilot and adjuncts
include Belgian Black Chocolate and kilos of raisins. A rich dark malty
choclatey stout.

Tantalus Belgian Dubbel 6.5%
Brewed in the style of dark Belgian Dubbels this ale is made with copious
quantities of dark crystal malts and dark demerera sugar for a dry high
alcohol malty ale.  Fermented with a Belgian Ale yeast this beer exudes
typical Belgian flavours and the dark crystal gives the beer dark prune

This will be a tutoured tasting and Pete from The Brew Company will be on hand to talk us through each half.  My sources tell me there is still 1 table left unsold which could sit 3 people so contact the Bacchus now because you really won’t want to miss out on this.

Sunday Munchies

26 10 2009


For the first time since they introduced it last month, my wife and I popped into the Bacchus yesterday for Sunday lunch.  Nothing strange there you may think but trust me, getting a lunch in Newcastle on a Sunday has been one of life’s onerous tasks.  For such a reasonably sized city, with an apparently thriving Sunday shopping scene, the choice has been sparse to say the least.  Sure, you could pop into one of several chain restaurants, Wagamama’s, Nando’s etc, but try and get a Pub meal? Not a chance.  So given that we’d spent years bemoaning this fact we thought we should support the one pub that was making an effort.

The Bacchus is currently the local CAMRA pub of the year and has been serving food in the evenings since it reopened a couple of years ago, often preparing beer/food matching menus*.  When we got there things looked to be ticking over but not exactly busy which was just as well considering there was only one barman present.  Still, the beer and cider lists were scoured, orders placed and a table secured within a couple of minutes.  Food wise it was a choice of roasts, beef (her), chicken (me), lamb or pork complete with mash, roasties, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, Yorkshire pud and a lovely rich gravy all for the very reasonable sum of £6:50 each.  When washed down with a very nice pint of Hornbeam’s Black Coral Stout and a half of Cirrus Minor it made for a thoroughly enjoyable repast.

Beer List - Baccus 25 10 2009Cider & Perry List - Bacchus 25 10 2009

I can only wish the Bacchus well in its venture and will certainly be returning to try out the other roasts available.  Given the lack of competition, the timing with the run up to Christmas and the inevitable increase in trade that brings I think they are on to a sustainable winner.  I also think there are enough potential punters out there to allow someone else to run with the idea too.  Whilst further out of town, The Cumberland Arms in Byker has announced it is going to start Sunday Lunches in the coming weeks, so it looks like the message is getting round.  Finally.


* The good lady wife and I have just booked ourselves onto an 8 course ‘meet the brewer’ food/beer matching event with Pete from The Brew Company on the 8th on November, should be fun.