Food Journey: Pied Bull Brewery Tour
So here’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time on my #FoodAdventure: a micro-brewery tour!
The pub trade has taken a battering since the global recession re-shaped the landscape and, for a pub to survive, diversification is the key. So what a position to be in for a real ale pub with its own micro brewery.
Now, I made my feelings on real ale clear in a previous post: I’m a born again beer drinker and I’m not a hipster nor do I want to surround by hipsters – there’s a reason I don’t live in Shoreditch! So you can imagine my delight when Mrs Munkee and I walked down the cobbled Chester streets and across the threshold of the Pied Bull and it wasn’t a haven for the bearded and tattooed.
The pub was exactly what I wanted it to be with painted wooden beams and old fashioned bar and ornate pumps. Prior to the tour we invited to enjoy a couple of drinks and some brilliant honey and chilli nuts.
The tour itself was lead by the Brewer: a passionate man sporting wellies, basketball shorts and the standard cellar man’s fleece. He led the group down a rickety staircase beneath the pub and into his lair. The brewery at the Pied Bull is the epitome of a micro-brewery it was tiny but the magic that this man managed to produce in such little space is incredible.
The Brewer proceeded to explain the brewing process with gusto, here was a man that loved his job – who wouldn’t?! The most interesting part of the tour was the introduction of the hops and the different varietals to incite the subtle flavour notes in the various Pied Bull beers. This was also, clearly, the brewer’s favourite part of the tour as he became more animated and enthusiastic: hops can be strong, they can be weak, they can be a citrus, they can be floral, they can be a coffee, they can be a chocolate, they can be earthy, they can be light, they can be bold, they can be unashamed, they can be bright, they can be dull, they can be heavy, they can be uncanny and they can be familiar. Hops can be all things to all people. Brilliant!
The tour concluded with the only natural way to end a micro-brewery tour: a tasting!
Dark and intense. This beer evokes a creamy dark coffee with chocolate notes. This quickly develops into a creamy caramel with a Mocha lasting finish.
Pale and full of life. Cold crisp, light and citrussy with lighter floral hops. The deep hop flavours linger on the tongue.
Very very hoppy but full of flavour. Light and frothy. Orange notes finish the symphony of flavours.