Beer Tasting at The Jolly Crispin with Marverine Cole

Last night myself and my ever trusty sidekick, Kaz, made our merry way to The Jolly Crispin in Gornal for a beer tasting with Marverine Cole (by the way you should totally check out her website). With the brewery just out the back we tried a selection of ales from Fownes Brewing with some gorgeous accompanying food.

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The whole night was utterly enjoyable from the point of view of myself, beer geek, and Kaz who at the start of the evening claimed to have no idea what to say but was picking up different distinct flavours and sounding like quite the beer taster by the end. Marverine gave a fantastic talk for both beer geeks and newbies alike and we even had a talk from Ali Capper, a British Hop Grower. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and I really hope more brewers and pubs can do evenings like this. It’s a great way of getting into beers. Also thanks to James and Tom Fownes for the awesome beer.

Check out below for my run down of the beer and food combinations we enjoyed throughout the night.

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Ale Cascade
Brewery Fownes Brewing, Gornal
ABV 4.3%
Style Single hop bitter
Description Light beer with a citrus-y taste.
Verdict ★★★☆☆

We tried this beer with smoked salmon with chopped spring onion and orange juice dressing on ciabatta and though I wasn’t overawed with the beer itself (not hoppy enough for me) the combination with the salmon was beautiful. It brought out the tanginess of the beer and was delicious.

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Ale Crispin’s Ommer
Brewery
Fownes Brewing, Gornal 
ABV 4.1% 
Style Bitter 
Description Developed to meet the tastes of the regular patrons of The Jolly Crispin. There they like their beers pale, with a slight citrus flavour and bitter, this is by far the bitterest ale we make. 
Verdict ★★★★☆

This one was my favourite beer, it had a gorgeous bitter first sip and a delightfully warm aftertaste although I didn’t like the food that went with it. We had the beer this time with a tomato-y chicken curry and I couldn’t help but want a much lighter, more refreshing ale, even a lager, with it.

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Ale Frost Hammer
Brewery Fownes Brewing, Gornal
ABV 4.6%
Style Pale Ale
Description A traditional Dwarfen Pale Ale, light in colour with a bitter dryness punctuated by a strong grapefruit aroma imparted by a dwarf variety of hops.
Verdict ★★★☆☆

Now, traditionally I don’t like pale ale too much but this one came with a gorgeous goats cheese tart with roast peppers and balsamic onions. The tart brought out a more …heehee… tart flavour, giving the beer more of a bite. A gorgeous combination.

With the next beer myself, Kaz, Jo and Amanda (some lovely CAMRA ladies who joined our table) nudged each other with excitement as Gunhild was a much anticipated ale. I’ve had Gunhild before and it was gorgeous. This food pairing was some beautiful roast veg and creamed mass. To be fair, we’d have happily just sat and ate the veg though it paired will with the ale, incredibly smooth and moreish.

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Ale Firebeard’s Old Favourite No. 5
Brewery Fownes Brewing, Gornal
ABV 5.0%
Style Ruby mild
Description Firebeard’s Old Favourite No.5 is a rich ruby coloured mild ale full of malty flavour with fruity notes.
Verdict ★★★☆☆

This next beer I was really looking forward to, it was a bit heavier than I expected but a nice dry and deep taste. Quite a coffeeish raisiny taste. It went absolutely beautiful with the beef meatballs and bacon bits in a red wine gravy that came with it. Definitely my favourite combination even though it was so so rich.

At the sight of the final course and beer myself and Jo were awfully excited by the porter whereas Kaz almost jumped out of her seat at the sight of the delicious looking chocolate tarte.

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This combination was another gorgeous one. The porter and chocolate tart together bought out a beautiful dark chocolate taste. Rich and heavenly. Though I don’t think I could drink too much without some kind of chocolate-y accompaniment.

Ale Korvak’s Triumph
Brewery Fownes Brewing, Gornal
Style Porter
Description A dark porter brewed with honey.
Verdict ★★★★☆

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