Monday, 7 February 2011

A house warming party.

Finally we got round to it. After the delays, decorating, trips to Cuba and various other things we finally managed to pull off the much anticipated house warming party featuring a few select guests including Daleside brewery's number 1 dray man Dave. But no, this wasn't just any house warming party, this event was the ideal stage for me to finally get stuck into my first brew of 2011, an amber session beer I have named 451803 Amber. A slightly experimental number at 4.3% made with Pale, Munich, Crystal, Cara and special B malts and hopped up to around 35IBU with Amarillo, Centennial, Riwaka, Chinook Cascade and Bobek hops. I then dry hopped with more Centennial and Riwakas in the keg. Well recieved by most but some thought it was a tad complex and heavy for a 4.3% beer. For me I would say it was a good start to the brewing year tho it could have done with a tad more condition.

Welcome to the Panda & Frog home brewery bar.

Apart from staging my beer, quite a lot of bottled beers were opened and shared round. Cantillon Grand Cru Bruosella 2006 was a good appetizer. As my first ever neat lambic I was expecting something way more sour, but it would be more accurate to call it rather cider like with an elegant balanced acidity than viciously sour. Great stuff from Cantillon. At about this point we tucked into some pork buns and an awesome cheeseboard featuring some of my favourite Northumberland Cheeses and this was an obvious cue to open and share round some more beers. Chimay Tripel is another instantly cheese compatible beer and Number 1 Dray Dave got his first try of some Trappistes Rochefort 8. The highlight for me was the classic St Bernardus Abt 12, which we tried before opening some of my own Panda & Frog 2010 Vintage,  my take on a Belgian Quad. Only 6 months old now and still syrupy and rich on the palate, but pleasant enough.

As the night got moved towards it's conclusion some rather large looking Cigars that Dave had brought over were smoked whilst guests were introduced to my precious whisky range. For the moment I stuck mostly with the rather impressive sherry cask influenced Suntory Yamazaki 18 year (a great Christmas present) and the highly complex and very potent Ardbeg Uigeadail vatted malt.

After that more beer was drunk but not much else happened. We watched a couple of Iron Maiden video's on the net and talked a lot about beer. Or at least I did. All in all a rather splendid evening, and I would have stayed up later, but in the the words of Rowley Birkin; I'm afraid I was very very drunk.


Ed said...

Brutal \m/

arn said...

your description of your first lambic is exactly what i thought and tried to say. not the extreme sourness i expected either.