This past Monday, the always impressive 24 Bar & Grill in Manchester hosted a craft ale and food matching evening with yours truly invited along to sample the home-made delights. Hosted by bar maestro Allan, he would be taking us on a tour of two breweries – Goose Island and Brewdog, with accompanying food to match two ales from each.
Before we come onto the main attraction, here’s a little bit about the two breweries –
Goose Island Brewery is a brewery located in Chicago, Illinois, that began as a single brewpub known as Clybourn. The brewery opened in May 1988 by founder John Hall in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois. Built for the sole purpose of introducing to American’s what the European’s can find in almost every pub and bar, Goose Island has become a staple of the craft beer market in the past 24 years with a portfolio that includes 312, Honker’s Ale and their own IPA.
Brewdog was formed in 2007 and in its second year became Scotland’s largest independently owned brewery. Created by two gentleman named James Watt and Martin Dickie with the vision of creating the best craft beers around, they now have a core range that includes Punk IPA, 5am Saint, Alice Porter and Trashy Blonde and opened their own bars around the UK which itself has been viewed as innovative and award-winning.
So onto the night. Below are tasting notes on the range that we had on offer to us, as well as their accompanying food.
Slight citrus on the nose is only evident after the initial freshness hit. Has a slight malty aroma coming through soon after. Rather light on the palate with a soft malt finish.
Food match – Steak and ale pie braised with 5am Saint with a gravy glaze. Very soft eating and piping hot throughout. Rather light but had hints of coffee as you delve deeper.
Goose Island Honker’s Ale – 4.2%
A good blend of ripe fruit and dark malt on the nose, becoming very soft on the palate with a slight citrus kick. Creates a long finish with no hints of dryness.
Food match – Pork chops soaked in Honker’s Ale. Very light and juicy with a long, lingering flavour. Fresh apple pieces worked well to compliment even more.
Brewdog Punk IPA – 5.6%
A nose of light grapefruit with a rather sharp entry on the tongue with a developing dryness.
Food match – Haddock poached with Punk IPA and cream for over an hour. The dish was soft, creamy and juicy with a long citrus punch and developed a slight smoke edge near the end.
Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat – 4.2%
Rather light on the nose with citrus notes, although a sweetness subtly comes through near the end. Very soft and light on the palate with a long citrus flavour that becomes a little dry near the end.
Food match – Drunken pineapple – a skewered pineapple that is placed in a bucket of Goose Island 312 for 3 hours, 12 minutes and then placed in the fridge. Also came with a shot of the 312 and pineapple mix. Very juicy with a slight toasted flavour that becomes fresh and long.
As the conversation developed with the ever knowledgeable Allan, he offered to show us Brewdog’s Dogma as a comparison to some of the lighter ales we had tried over the course of the night.
Very rich and sweet on the nose with a dark, roasted aroma dominating. Lively on the palate with the sweetness carrying through onto a long, soft finish.
Lasting around two hours, we had a well paced evening with a good combination of the ales and food. Highlights for myself had to be Honker’s Ale, but for the food, the steak and ale pie was fantastic. In all four food offerings, you could get the hints of the ale used, but it never over-powered, more subtly complimented which i think is better than your more traditional infused food dishes you sometimes see on menus.
Hopefully Allan will make this a regular feature to the 24 Bar & Grill scene, whether it’s for the food, the ale or just to learn about drinks in general. A good time will be had by all. Scouts honour.
Check out the rest of the photos of the evening via my Facebook page.
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