10 June 2009

On Wednesday the 10th June 2009, I had the pleasure of being invited to a beer appreciation evening at Over Hulton Conservative Club.

The evening was hosted by Frank Molloy of the Manchester Brewing School Society, with the guest speaker being Stuart Thompson formerly of the Mayflower Brewery, Higsons, Boddingtons and now Robinsons.

The evening started with a brief history of beer by Frank and then the art of brewing by Stuart.  I have been in the industry for 10 years but I’m still a great believer in that you are never too old too learn and was pleasantly surprised by some of the facts and figures that were quoted.

  • After water, beer is the oldest know drink, dating back to 4,000+ BC
  • The worldwide beer consumption for 2007/2008 stands at 147,160,000,000 Litres/year
  • 1 square meter of barely makes 1 pint of beer
  • It takes approx 2000 grains of barley to make 1 pint of beer.
  • In Babylon, 3,000+ years ago, it was custom for a bride’s father to give his new son-in-law a month’s supply of mead or honey beer; calendars were lunar based, so evolved the word “Honeymoon”.
  • In “Olde England” some ceramic drinking cups had built-in whistles; when someone wanted another drink they blew through the whistle in the cup – hence “wet your whistle”.
  • In bygone days when beer duty came into force the tax collectors also checked the weights & measures; so a landlord would send a runner to other local taverns to be careful with their “pints & quarts” –hence “watch your P’s & Q’s”.

After the presentations the beer appreciation took on a much more direct approach – samples!

Our hosts had kindly organised a beer and food matching table where we were able to sample an international selection of beers with complimenting food.

Amongst others, a German Weiss Beer was served with German Salami & Austrian Smoked Cheese, our own Flat cap was served with a Strong Cheddar and water biscuits and Robinsons Chocolate Tom was served with organic chocolates.

It was a most enjoyable evening and I would like to pass my thanks onto Frank, Stuart and all at the Club.  It’s a great concept that I think could and should be repeated – it’s a great way to introduce non beer drinkers to the wonderful and varied world of beer.

CONTRIBUTOR – Dave Sweeney, Bank Top Brewery

Beer Appreciation Evening