I’d been wanting to attend an organised bottle share for a while but unfortunately was busy for the two previous Beernomicon events and trying to set a date between myself and Connor (Beerbattered/Manchester Beer Week) was becoming almost farcical with his new baby girl and my own impending due date at the end of March.
Fortunately my hair appointment (for real) was cancelled on 11th February so I decided to email the Beernomicon guys as I’d seen there were some places available and I bagged myself a spot around the table. The date also tied in with a friends birthday so following the bottle share I could grab some food and meet up with them for more beers. A good weekend plan in my eyes…
Deciding what beer to take to a bottle share is tough. You want to impress but you also don’t want to condescend. You want to go big but everyone else could be thinking the same. I ended up taking Prairie Artisan Ale’s Rustic House Ale; a 4% barrel aged golden ale fermented with brettanomyces. A rarity, low ABV to give everyone a breather yet sure to impress some of the bods at the table.
Sat around the table at Beer Nouveau quick introductions were made and faces were finally put to names (and then names put to twitter handles as is the norm). Popcorn was out in bowls as a palate cleanser and the first beer was brought to the group.
Ross poured 9 small glasses of Struise Brewery Sint Amatus. This Belgian quad oozed desert wine like flavours such as dark dried fruits and molasses backed up with with bananary esters from the Belgian yeast. The higher carbonation took me by surprise; expecting a soft smooth texture to this boozy beer but it didn’t detract too much from the enjoyment of it. A simple sticky label identified the beer. Quite kitsch. I should have taken a photo of it.
Next up Steve from Beer Nouveau pulled out a shopping bag full of unlabelled cans. A new batch of Chorlton Brewery Amarillo Sour that Brewer; Mike Marcus, wanted the panel to sample. The beer tasted great but not like the last batch; we all noticed that. Des brought up a slight Lemonade resemblance so Steve got some 7up out to compare. Pretty accurate. The sour beer was definitely sweeter than the last batch; missing that sharp, dry texture. A table full of shiny plain cans looked great. I should have taken a photo of it. Why am I not taking photos?
I grabbed my phone from my coat pocket. Why am I still not taking photos?? 13 missed calls! “What’s happened now?” I’m thinking to myself after all the recent events such as the 2 a.m. burglar alarm malfunction and Laura flooding the house by unscrewing the bath tap, sending jets of cold water across the landing.
The next 24 hours are a bit of a blur, culminating in me being sat with my amazing wife and our little angel Betty Jean; or Bettysaurus as Laura is trying to push. I don’t think my attempts at Bett-anomyces will stick…
I never got to drink the beer I took.
With Betty being 6 weeks early she is staying on the Neonatal ward requiring different treatments and was at higher risk of infections therefore I’m writing this post during our time living in the hospital. I’d like to tribute this post to all those that have helped throughout these events. Pow-lo for getting Laura to the hospital in a speedy fashion and all the staff at Bolton Royal Hospital who have helped us along the way with medical help, positivity and strength. Most of all though, my amazing wife Laura and our little Betty Jean…
… and I’m sure they’ll let me try again at attending another bottle share in the near future.