Tag Archive | "Beer"

Spanish Craft Beer Showcase

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Spanish Craft Beer Showcase

Posted on 02 July 2018 by Chris Ford

Every one can name a Spanish beer. Lager brands like Estrella and San Miguel are the perfect thirst-quenching bevvy for scorching days, whether you’re in the Costa Del Sol, or Croydon.  I’ve just got back from a week in the Spanish sun myself and had more than my fair share of refreshing Mahous as I lounged by the pool. But while I was there, I got to thinking that I really don’t know what craft beers Spain has to offer. So I decided to find out! Here are my favourites.

La Pirata – Viakrucis IPA

ABV 6%

Style – IPA

La Pirata started off as a home brew (like many craft breweries seems to) and now with their own brewery based just outside Barcelona. Viakrucis IPA was their first beer made for sale to the public was born in 2012. A Golden orange colour with aromas of citrus and grapefruit I instantly loved this, al slight bitterness finishes off a very tasty IPA from LA Pirata.

Ceriux Rubia

ABV 5.4%

Style – Blonde

A blonde top fermented ale made from Perle, East Kent Golding and Cascade hops. Concentrated white grape juice is then added before secondary fermentation in bottle.  Very fruity I can definitely taste the grape here but it’s almost candy like, very nice and like nothing I’ve really had from a beer before. This is a must to check out.

Mala Gissona – Red Bay Rye Red Ale

ABV 5.2%

Style – Red Ale

The Mala Gissona brewery is based in Gipuzkoa in the Basque country. This red ale was brewed to celebrate the 1st expedition of Basque Whalers in Newfoundland and Labrador. A strong caramel flavour dominates this one for me with a fruity sweet finish, I’m not a massive red ale fan but this is a great example of red ales done right.

Beer Cat – Barcelona Blonde

ABV 5.0% 

Style – Blonde

Another brewery (as the beer name suggest) based in Barcelona. Beer Cat describe this Blonde as a homage to Catalonia and its capital city. This one was to me surprisingly hoppy with a nice underlying fruity aroma and subtle bitter finish. I really liked this beer!

La Pirata – Suria American Pale ale

ABV 5% Style – American Pale Ale

Lastly I tried another beer from La Pirata, this American Pale ale was a little disappointing. Flavours were a tad light for me , quite floral but not much else going on, it was pleasant enough but I don’t think I’d go back again for this one, I much preferred their Viakrucis.


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Goose Island  Announce 312 Day

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Goose Island Announce 312 Day

Posted on 14 February 2017 by Chris Ford

Back for the second year in London, beer lovers get your credit cards at the ready as Chicago based brewers Goose Island have announced details of their 2017 312 Day.

Goose Island 312 Day

Beer lovers will get the chance to try some of Goose Island’s best beers including 312 Urban Wheat Ale, which is inspired by and named after the city of Chicago’s dialing codeOther Goose Island classics like Honkers Ale, Green Line and Goose IPA will also form part of the 312 Day beer line-up. Howard’s Meat Co., whose background is rooted in the smoking pits of Austin Texas, will create a one-of-a-kind BBQ brunch specially crafted to pair with the beers.

312 Day has been held in Goose Island’s native Chicago for five years and is designed to celebrate 312 Urban Wheat Ale – inspired by the city’s dialing code (312) and for the second year running Goose Island bring the event to Londons Shoreditch.

As well as beer and food revelers will be entertained by music from the fantastic Frank Turner as well as support from one-man blues band Son of Dave and Brixton brass 8-piece, Brasstermind.

The event takes place on Sunday 12th March and tickets are priced at £10 and are on sale now from Eventbrite. All ticketholders must be over 18.

Goose Island 312 Day

Each ticket-holder will be granted one complimentary glass of Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale upon entrance. Doors will open at 2pm and will close at 7pm.


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Krušovice Tank Beer has arrived!

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Krušovice Tank Beer has arrived!

Posted on 02 September 2016 by Chris Ford

Ever since my first visit to Prague ten years ago I have been a massive fan of Czech beer, especially the Pilsners.

The pale lager takes its name from the town of Pilsen where the style was first brewed, and today, the world’s most popular lagers take inspiration from that original beer.

Krušovice Tank Beer

In the Czech Republic there are many breweries –  some big, some small – but one that’s never seemed to make it to the UK until now is Krušovice.

In 2014, Krušovice was named the World’s ‘Best Czech Pilsner’, beating 16 other Czech Pilsners, 29 from Germany, in addition to other Pilsners from Asia and the Americas.

So I was excited when I found out the brand is now available in the UK, even more so when I found it is in tank form!


What is tank beer? Good question. Well, as the name suggests, instead of traditional kegs the beer is stored in large tanks above the bar.

Krušovice Tank Beer

The idea is after filtration & pasteurisation at Krušovice Royal Brewery, the beer is pumped directly into a chilled stainless steel tanker and transported to the UK. Once in the UK that chilled fresh beer is pumped from tanker to the bars own tank.  During this process the beer has no contact with sunlight or CO2, guaranteeing the freshest best tasting beer.

Where Can you try Krušovice Tank Beer? There are currently five sites around the country service up the brewery fresh goodness:


In the interest of research we popped along to the Neighbourhood bar in Stratford to see how Krušovice tank beer measured up and quite frankly we were blown away by the results!

Krušovice Tank Beer

Krušovice Tank Beer

The beer taste fresh, and so much more flavoursome than your average Pilsner coming ice cold out the tank it was the perfect antidote to the scorching sunny days we have been having lately. We shall most certainly be back!






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The Moretti Gran Tour 2016

Posted on 25 July 2016 by Chris Ford

Well we had a blast at this years Moretti Gran Tour and I hope you took our advice and headed down too, if you did or are just curious to know what you missed then check out this short video we made of our night at the Gran Tour 2016



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Posted on 23 June 2015 by Chris Ford

Italian food just got even more exciting as the Birra Moretti Gran Tour returns for a second summer of great food, beer and company. You may remember we wrote about the Gran Tour last year (Here) and had a total blast so everyone here in the office is very excited its coming back again.


Kicking off at the Summerhall in Edinburgh on the 9th July, the tour will then move to London and end in Leeds in August.
Arancina, Paste E Basta, Cooking Cooks, The Arencini Bros and Gelupo will be returning as well as 12 new vendors serving specialty cuisine from all over Italy, alongside live music and the opportunity to enjoy Birra Moretti.
Each vendor will showcase authentic cooking methods and share signature regional dishes they are representing, such as a pizza from Naples, arancini balls from Sicily and Panino Teca with famous truffles from Norcia, plus a host of others.

Advanced tickets are priced at £10 plus a £1 booking fee. This allows includes two Birra Moretti, two dishes from any vendor on-site and a gelato. Tickets can be booked at www.designmynight.com.

Moretti Gran Tour
Edinburgh Summer Hall
9th July – 12th July
London Space Studios in Hackney
15th July – 19th July
Leeds Town Hall
30th July – 2nd August


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Where to start when brewing your own beer

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Where to start when brewing your own beer

Posted on 15 June 2015 by Chris Ford


Today we have the pleasure of  featuring a guest post by Andy Hamilton, author of ‘Brewing Britain’ and winner of the Gourmand International Cookbook Award and Beer Reviews ‘Golden Pint’

Where to start when brewing your own beer

Photo courtesy Martin Langford @Flickr

For beginners, brewing your own beer can seem akin to building your own house or designing a space craft. In truth, though, making beer can be ridiculously easy and you can’t beat the feeling of sitting back after (or during) work with a pint of your own hand-crafted beer.
The easiest way to make beer for the first time is to use a kit, but with so many on the market choosing the right one can be a minefield. I’d suggest approaching it in the same way most of us approach anything these days, by reading some online reviews before you buy. Web forums such as jimsbeerkit.co.uk and thehomebrewforum.co.uk are good places to start. My personal favourites include most of the range by Festival, Coopers Stout and Heart of England Black Country Mild. Alternatively, and particularly if you’re a bit of a hop head, you might want to check out the range of kits from BrewDog. Even gluten free beer lovers are catered for with Gone with the Wheat kits, although I can’t say I’ve tried enough of these to give an opinion on their quality.
You will also need a bit of kit from your local homebrew shop. These tend to be better than online stores as the equipment often comes with heaps of advice… even if you didn’t ask for it.

You may already have some of the equipment in your well-stocked kitchen but just in case, here is a check list.

Saucepan or kettle
Fermentation vessel (aka brew bucket or FV)
Hydrometer (optional but useful)
Measuring jug
Bottles or keg
Crown caps and capper (if using bottle)
Large spoon
Measuring spoons
A bottling bucket is also advisable

Now you are ready to get a brew on. Just follow these steps and you’ll be supping your own beer in a few weeks! Most kits will come with one or two cans of malt extract and below is a step by step guide to making these kits.

1. Pour boiling water into a cup, allow it to cool to below 35°C (95°F), then sprinkle in the yeast.

2. Remove the label from the can(s) and submerge them in warm (not boiling) water for 10 minutes. This softens the sticky extract, making it easier to pour.

3. Sanitize your fermentation vessel.

4. Boil 3.5 litres (6 pints) of water and open the can(s).

5. Pour the extract straight into the fermentation vessel.

6. Pour the boiling water over the extract.

7. If a recipe calls for sugar it is an excellent idea to use an equal amount spray malt/ dried malt extract instead as this will add body to your beer.

8. Top up to 19 litres (33½ pints). Adding less water will make for a fuller-bodied beer – it’s up to you if you wish to experiment here.

9. Take a hydrometer reading (ensuring that your hydrometer has been sterilized) and make a note of it. (If you don’t have a hydrometer don’t worry too much, but they are pretty cheap.) Then wait until your beer has cooled down to 19°C–22°C (66.2–72°F) and pitch (add) the yeast.

10. Cover with the lid, add a nip of vodka to the airlock and leave to ferment in a room that keeps a steady temperature of around 19–22°C (66.2–72°F) for an Ale which is around room temp and 7–13°C (45–55°F) for Lager for a week to ten days which is the temp of a larder or cold store.

11. After a week keep checking your hydrometer. For a normal Ale, if it reads around 1.010 (+/- .004) for three days then your beer should be done. It could still be worth moving it to a slightly warmer place for a day, especially during our many colder months, just to see if any extra fermentation occurs. A general rule is that consecutive readings indicate that the beer is has fermented and is now ready for bottling,.

12. For a standard 23-litre (40-pint) kit, boil 500ml (17 fl. oz) of water and stir in 100g (3½oz) of sugar until it has fully dissolved. The amount of priming sugar needed differs according to the type of beer and the temperature, but to save getting too technical at this point 100g (3½oz) should keep you explosion-free and give you just the right amount.

13. Let the sugar and water solution cool down to 21°C (70°F), then pour it into your fermentation vessel.

14. Siphon the beer from your fermentation vessel into bottles (or better still, into a bottling bucket first and then into bottles). Ensure that you don’t disturb the sediment (trub) at the bottom of the vessel.

15. Seal the bottles.

16. Leave for at least two weeks – or even longer if you can manage it. Beers with a high ABV will need up to six weeks.



Andy Hamilton’s book ‘Brewing Britian – A Quest for the perfect pint and how to make it’ is published on the 18th June and to celebrate the release we have three copies to give away, to win a copy either email us at

enterthecomp@gmail.com  or tweet us at @GentlemensGoods  letting us know your favourite British beer.

Three of our favourite answers will be drawn on June 30th and notified of their win, good luck!

or buy direct from Amazon here

For more info on Andy and his beer based insights including some excellent videos head over to his website :


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Gift Guide – Beers of the World

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Gift Guide – Beers of the World

Posted on 15 December 2014 by Chris Ford

There’s a new trend of giving beer boxes as gifts with lots of companies popping up offering international selections but at a premium, why not put something together yourself for that last minute gift?
Below I list some of my international favourites in the beer world :


Beavertown Gamma Ray – There are many London based breweries popping up producing some amazing beer but I keep coming back to Gamma Ray, this big, hoppy and fresh beer is full of juicy American hops giving it a heavy floral aroma full of hibiscus, passion flowers and grapefruit.


Oddbins No. 4 – produced by inventive West London-based brewery, Moncada. A beer reminiscent of a Belgian style wheat beer in body and flavour, complemented by the hoppy notes and bitterness produced as a result of being brewed using traditional IPA techniques.



Brew Dog Punk IPA – this light, golden classic has been subverted with new world hops to create a devastating explosion of flavour. With bursts of caramel, tropical fruit and an all-out riot of grapefruit, pineapple and lychee, before a spiky bitter finish.

Oddbins No  3 (3)

Oddbins No 3 – another Oddbins collaboration, Alechemy Brewery who have teamed up with Oddbins to brew Oddbins No 3). A rich and well-balanced black IPA that combines all the hoppy characteristics of a traditional IPA with a fuller body and a hint of roasted malt.


Estrella Damm – Brewed in Barcelona for 130 years. Balanced & hoppy with a clean, dry finish the number one choice for a sunny day on the beach, refreshing and beautiful ice cold and one of my favourite lager type beers.


Kirin Ichiban – Ichiban Shibori is a process by which beer is made from a single first pressing of the finest ingredients, giving you the sweetest, most flavoursome beer every time.
Only Kirin Ichiban is made with this process resulting in sweet yet refreshing beer.


Anchor Steam – Full of citrus, fruity goodness Anchor Steam gets its name from its uinuqe brewing processing in steam baths over in San Francisco , my go to US beer.

Czech Republic

Pilsner Urquell – The Czech Republics number one export and for good reason, this is the original Pilsner and under the right conditions is the most divine thing in the world, hands down the best Pilsner out there today in my opinion.



Affligem – Winner of numerous awards and international tasting sessions
Brewed in the Flemish village, of Opwijk, this top-fermenting Belgian Blond beer is still brewed according to the original recipe. Well balanced, with a sweetish, refreshing fruity

Stella Artois – Yes its not a typo, your humble Stella Artois, when it’s done right in a good pub or fresh out a ice cold bottle into a equally ice cold glass there is nothing like It.
Talking of Stella for Christmas the classic Stella Artois chalice has gone over a bit of a Christmas makeover, which is rather clever of them, what better way to toast your Christmas day feast?


If you would like your own Christmas Chalice head over to the  Stella Artois Chalice Shop


Soft Drinks….
Ok if you must Ive got you covered, sick of all non-alcoholic beers tasting terrible? Well here’s a tip give Soft Brew a go, its probably the best tasting non-alcoholic beer I’ve tried and I have tried most of them!




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The Moretti Gran Tour

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The Moretti Gran Tour

Posted on 18 November 2014 by Chris Ford

Moretti Gran Tour

Last week I popped down to the Moretti Gran Tour, a Italian food festival organised by Italys favourite beer Morerri.
Each and every vendor at the event was specially selected for their philosophy of using traditional and authentic Italian ingredients, techniques and recipes from different corners of the country.

Birra Moretti is a smooth refreshing lager type beer which doesn’t overwhelm the palte  while still  maintaining a good flavour profile and one of my favourite lagers so an ideal choice really to showcase the foods on offer, here are the foods I enjoyed the most


Cooking Cooks
The Cooking Cooks bring their dream of fresh pasta and Italian home-style cooking to events using traditional recipies whilst giving them a hint of a update, for the Gran Tour they produced a stunning Chocalate flavoured tortalini stuff with venison and beetroot finished in a butter and brandy sauce, this was absolutely amazing! … to top it all off they are lovely people too! Cooking Cooks do not currently have a regular pitch or restaurant but tell me they are looking for opportunities so watch this space.




Pasta E Basta
After 8 years in Londons busiest kitchens Fabrizio started Pasta e Basta to bring authentic Italian food to the streets of London.
Fabrizio made us some gorgous Gnocchi two ways, one with red wine and beef brasato and the other with pumpkin and a crema di taleggio and cavolo nero.





Gelupo produces authentic Italian gelato using ingrediants mainly sourced from Italy, and every batch is churned out in traditional cattabriga machines.
Gelupo served us up fresh Panetone with a choice of 8 flavours of gelato! , it was very hard to pick !




Pizza Pilgrims
Thom and James Elliot gained the knowledge of Italian food by touring different regions of Italy, they now serve what I think are the best pizzas in London and I’m a regular vistor to their soho branch.
The pizza they served up though was new to me, Mushroom and trufle oil … and it was simply divine!




Generations of Giacomo Bias family have been involved in authentic Italian food, with their famous charcuterie being from La Corte dei Neri, a small farm outside Parma.
Gurmetti made us Torta Fritta which I think was the most interesting in terms of something new, they put what seems a regular looking piece of pastry into the fryer and it comes out a fluffy pillow of delight, topped with a fresh shaving of a fatty ( but delicious ) meat… this was was unexpectedly good.





Mortari Brothers, Edoardo and Michelle, moved to the UK in 2005 to create a new way for people to eat and drink by creating a half restaurant half coffee shop environment.
On the evening Arancina served us what I can only describe as like a ball of rice molded around a filling then deep fried, two varieties were on offer Chicken and a Ricotta and spinach both were great Yes I had both :-)




Many thanks to Moretti for inviting us along and I hope some of you took my advise on a earlier post and went along, lets hope the next Grand Tour from Moretti isn’t far off Cheers!


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Moretti Gran Tour- Italian Pop Up Festival

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Moretti Gran Tour- Italian Pop Up Festival

Posted on 27 October 2014 by Chris Ford

Following the successful sell out of the Moretti Gran Tour summer sessions,my favourite Italian beer brand  are back by popular demand and will be hosting The Winter Edition for 3 nights only this November in London.


Join Moretti on a journey across Italy discovering the different regions and tasting their unique speciality cuisine on the Moretti Gran Tour. The tour will guide you through Italian regions including Naples, Lombardy, Puglia and Sicily as you experience their traditional methods and try their signature dishes.


The Lofts, 3-10 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6PC, will be transformed into a celebration of authentic Italian food in the Moretti Street Food Market, where some of the UK’s leading Italian street food vendors will be showcasing their winter themed menus designed especially to complement Birra Moretti. Vendors include Pizza Pilgrims, Roasticini, Forza Win and Gelupo each serving their Italian specialities, along of course with  Birra Moretti  at the bar to perfectly complement each dish, life doesn’t get much better!

For your £10 entry you’ll receive a Birra Moretti along with two plates of food and a Gelato as well as access to all master classes. Plus you’ll be able to purchase additional plates of food and Birra Moretti if you would like a wider taste of Italy.

Also a great atmosphere provided by The Book Club resident DJ Jimmy Plates. Come along and enjoy great beer, great food and great company I will see you there!

Book tickets here

Dates:  Thursday 6th, 7th, & 8th November 2014  at The Lofts, 3-10 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6PC


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Alex James And Kronenbourg Celebrate 350th Anniversary In Traditional Alsace Village

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Posted on 20 October 2014 by Chris Ford

This month, Kronenbourg 1664 is celebrating the 350th Anniversary of its founding brewery and to help celebrate we have a premium hamper package containing a selection of tasty French delicacies and of course some beer to give away to one lucky reader.
Alex James And Kronenbourg Celebrate 350th Anniversary In Traditional Alsace Village
The story began in 1664, when Jérôme Hatt set up a brewery a few steps away from the cathedral in central Strasbourg, capital of the Alsace region of France. By 1850 the brewery was relocated to a village just outside the city, the village of Cronenbourg. This was the beginning of the brewery’s journey to great worldwide status. And a lot of it is down to Alsace – the place where Kronenbourg’s famous Strisselspalt hops are grown – which gets the most summer sun and some of the lowest levels of rainfall in continental Europe.
Alex James And Kronenbourg Celebrate 350th Anniversary In Traditional Alsace Village
Packed full of tasty treats such as Munster cheese, pate, Alsace sausage and Kronenbourg 1664 this Anniversary hamper will help you celebrate in style. So if you have fantastic taste and appreciate a hoppy, aromatic brew then this is for you.

For your chance to win the hamper simply watch the video below about food and beer pairing and tell us who the beer expert is. Email answers to enterthecomp@gmail.com by 26th Oct for a chance to win this amazing hamper. A prize suprême!


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