Tuesday, 12 March 2013


When we last went to Canada, we had very low expectations for eating and drinking. We were expecting the bread to be sugary and inedible and the beer to be cold and fizzy and bland. But then we discovered artisan bakeries and the world of micro breweries and craft beers. Chris took great pleasure in buying different bottles of crazily strong local beers and we tasted so many of them I can't remember half of their names. We visited a couple of brewery bars where there was a tasting menu and discovered all sorts of extremely palatable beers.

So when the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale started to become available in the UK we were pretty pleased. It wasn't the most exciting of the west coast beers that we had tried, but it was rather nice, and not at all lager-y. Then the other week I noticed that a local pub (I imagine it has a trendier name for itself - a tap maybe. Something that indicates that it stocks a colossal number of proper beers), was hosting a Sierra Nevada tasting evening. So for Ian's birthday outing, we went.

Mmmmmmm, beers. (Ian didn't pull this face all evening.) They were very tasty. 10 different beers from the brewery ranging from a light, open fermented Kellerweis to the crazily thick and birch syrupy Life and Limb (10%!).

Most entertaining were the beer camp beers - beers formulated at a week-long beer festival where the brewery invite the best to come and invent recipes together. It turns out, unsurprisingly, that I am still not the biggest stout drinker, but that a red ale will always be the way forward. Hooray for Imperial Red Ale (and not forgetting the wonderful, albeit much closer to home, Red Cuillin).

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