Anyone on Twitter who is into craft beer will be aware of the incident last year around the Beavertown Extravaganza when someone tweeted Beavertown asking about wine for his wife. With want of a better way of putting it Twitter went fucking mental! The hashtag #wineforwives was all that was on my timeline along with a lot of anger towards the individual who sent the tweet. Now I don’t know the man and I don’t know if his intention was to provoke such a reaction. It may be that he does have an archaic attitude towards women and beer in which case I’m glad that he was made of aware of the error of his ways and it was pointed out to him that he is wrong. However at the time I said to my husband maybe a better reaction would have been to suggest the beers that his wife, as a wine drinker might like? I haven’t always been a beer lover and it’s only through attending beer festivals, drinking in the likes of Friends of Ham and Cross Keys then being open to suggestions of the style of beers I might like that my love of beer has grown. It’s only in the last six months or so that I have grown to love dark beers after the hard work and efforts of Leanne @leannegirt to persuade me to keep trying different styles.
So in light of the above I decided I would practise what I preach and would take a non-beery friend out on a bar crawl and would introduce her to the magical world of craft beer. So I took out my friend Bianca, who I knew was partial to a lager and liked a pale ale, but in general would usually drink wine on a night out.
To make the evening even more exciting she hadn’t been to the majority of the bars that we were going to visit. We began in North Bar and Bianca arrived a half hour before me. When I arrived she was happily sat drinking Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne which was on as part of their Lowlands Festival. She’d gone in to the pub not knowing where to start and the lovely manager at North Bar had taken her under his wing and made this suggestion. I thought a good place for us to start would be a Saison. This was a gateway beer for me and for a long time was the style of beer I would instantly gravitate towards when faced with a long beer menu. We tried the Burning Sky – Saison Le Printemps and Brouwerij de Glazen Toren – Saison d’Erpe-Mere both of which Bianca loved so the experiment was going well! She loved North Bar and the atmosphere but who doesn’t!
We moved on to Turks Head and again the bar itself was a big hit. Bianca’s exact comments were that she loved the ambiance. I threw sours into the mix this time – we had Ridgeside – Small Times and The Kernel Brewery – London Sour Damson. They didn’t go down as well as the Saison we’d had in North Bar, which she found a smoother easier drink. The barman recommended Ridgeside – Tonquin, an old ale which we both loved. It tastes like Christmas Cake and Bianca felt it was like drinking a hug. We could have stayed in here all night but Tapped was calling. We moved onto Gose with a Magic Rock – Salty Kiss and one of my all time favourite beers To Øl – Gose to Hollywood. I had hoped that Bianca would love them too but I think maybe it was a bit adventurous for a first trip down craft beer lane. This was her first time in Tapped and she thought it was a cool bar for people spotting and loved that they had the fermenting vessels along the wall.
From this point on everything gets a bit blurry and the plan I had set out to stick to certain styles all fell out of the window as we were both having too much fun. We went to Head of Steam for one so I got Bianca to try another of my favourites, Northern Monk – Heathen. Again, this was well received and I can’t wait to introduce her to Northern Monk Refectory in the future.
Lastly we went to Bundobust. We should maybe have started here so I have a clearer memory of the beers we drank but I can assure you seeing the pleasure on someone’s face when they go to Bundo for the first time and try a Vada Pav made the whole experience worthwhile. Bianca stepped up and chose the beer this time, and went for a Magic Rock – Inhaler and Dry & Bitter – Juicy Bhangra – my work here is done!
Of all the beers we tried, perhaps surprisingly based on my experiences, the Tonquin Old Ale was Bianca’s favourite in the Turks Head. She loved the bar crawl and trying all the beers so we will be doing Becky’s Bar Crawl, take 2 sticking to the dark side.
So the next time someone asks for #wineforwives why not suggest #beerforbeginners.