“Beer Whisperer, I am your father!”
Not really though.
We know you’ve missed his wealth of beer knowledge, but fear not! The Beer Whisperer was simply communing with the Dark Side of the Beerforce to bring you this informative presentation on…erm…dark beers. Obviously.
I was lucky enough to do a tasting of the next beer in our Rare & Limited Bottles range at the brewery of Triggerfish. The Triggerfish Black Marlin is special amongst the South African beer market in that it achieves what many of the newer local brewers struggle to accomplish: BIG beers. It’s easy enough to jump up the ABV on a stout and call it ‘imperial’ but to make a truly accomplished imperial stout takes making a beer that brings a big presence to your pallet, something the Black Marlin does perfectly. It pours pitch black with a thin, tan head, carrying a strong, fruity aroma that gives away the 10% ABV. The mouthfeel is that of creamy velvet with an initial taste of sweet, dried fruits such as raisins, plums and dates that carries into a mouth-filling sensation of flavour. The finish is slightly tart as the strong alcohol flavours dissipate, leaving your tongue longing for that sweet warmth again, making this a very more-ish beer. The Triggerfish Black Marlin is an absolute stunner of an imperial stout from one of South Africa’s best established breweries.
Check out the Triggerfish Black Marlin on RateBeer here.
This month’s “Meet The Brewer”event was with Chris Spurdens of Apollo Brewing Company on Monday 19th May. A brand new brewer that resists the ordinary. Chris, an ex wine maker who has turned to the dark side, has only been commercially brewing for a few months but is making waves with the quality of his brew.
After a quick intro from the Beer Whisperer, Chris told us how his home brewing adventure has turned into possibly one of the most rewarding vocations. Chris is a brewer and a dam fine one too. His Brewing Company, Apollo, is inspired by the sun, life, it was formed by friends on a mission to produce real, flavourful craft beer of exceptional quality. What started as an enthusiastic hobby turned into a passion. He elaborated on his experience of starting up a brewery, the art of making fine beer and why beer is the world’s greatest beverage.
We paired his four core beers with food that would explore the flavour profile in his beers. This time we really nailed it with a spiced ostrich tartare,onion marmalade, micro greens & coriander oil. This fresh dish was almost a food deconstruction of his Amber Ale with the dryness of the coriander oil and sweetness of the marmalade playing nicely to the sweet malty base and hop profile of his Amber. Chef and Chris did not stop there with pairing his Blonde with a Tamarind Shrimp Orzo Mac & cheese. A classic match up of curry and India Pale Ale was expressed with a Tandoori shoulder of lamb on sweet potato & coconut puree with mint raita. Not finished yet, Chef Roy and Chris brought the curtains down with a Chocolate Stout Cake with Stout Ice cream paired with? You guest it, Apollo Stout. The beer’s bitter hop profile layered on a sweet and malt based made this pairing an absolute triumph. As the curtains came down, Chef Roy threw in an encore, a 12 month aged Gruyère was his final volley.
While our Meet the Brewers fans enjoyed the food and beer treats , Chris and the Beer Whisper spoke briefly about the brewing process and how beer’s four key ingredients can be manipulated in almost unlimited ways to create such diversity in beer styles. Audience interaction created great informative and humorous dialogue between Brewer and the beer lovers.
A big thank you to Chris and Chef Roy for putting an amazing show and really challenging the taste buds and exciting the senses.
Look out for next Meet The Brewers Event with Gallows Hill Brewing Co on Monday 23rd June. Hop heads don’t miss this one – these guys are really making tremendous hop forward beers. As always you can get pre-booked food pairing tickets via Webtickets and the beer tasting is free. Stay Thirsty/ Stay Curious.