Celebrate:MK editor Jon Boyle thought he knew everything about craft beer, until he tried out a beer tasting masterclass at Brewhouse & Kitchen with beer specialist Jordan Griffin…
They say you learn something new every day, but I learnt about a million things in two hours during a beer masterclass at Brewhouse & Kitchen in Milton Keynes.
The beer masterclass runs twice every Saturday at the 12th Street venue from £25 per person and is designed to open your mind to beer.
Guided by in-house beer specialist Jordan Griffin, my friend Adam and I tasted eight different styles of beer while nibbling on delicious snacks.
I was hugely impressed with how professional the masterclass was from the start, as Jordan sat us down and handed us a beer tasting notes sheet containing the names and details of the eight beers we were going to try.
I say ‘try’, but the portions are very generous so it’s probably a good idea to leave the car at home, as you get a third of a pint of each beer!
We worked our way through a craft lager, a wheat beer, a session bitter, an American pale ale, a Belgian blonde, a traditional IPA, a peanut butter stout and a German smoked beer as Jordan talked us through the appearance, aroma, taste and mouthfeel of each.
His knowledge was incredible – particularly when you consider the fact he is only 19 – and his enthusiasm for beer was so infectious that I now want him to be my best friend!
I’m a huge craft beer fan but I learnt so much that I could never fit it all into this review – but I’ll have a go.
I found out that all the beers brewed in-house at Brewhouse & Kitchen are suitable for vegans – unlike most commercial beers – as the company uses seaweed finings to refine the beer.
I also learnt that cask beers need changing every four days or the beer can start tasting a bit “hairspray-ish,” in Jordan’s words, and that cask beers are served at a warmer temperature of 10-13 degrees celsius so that you can taste the hops and malts a bit more, without shocking your taste buds.
It’s important to have a head on a pint to retain the carbonation and aromas too – Jordan said it’s one of his biggest bugbears when people ask for their pint to be topped up as it ruins the drink.
And do you know why craft beer is served in stemmed glasses?
I do now… it’s so the beer doesn’t get warmed by your hand as you hold the stem rather than the glass. The wide glasses allow aromas out and help to retain carbonation too.
My favourite beer of the day was the Tailgate Peanut Butter Stout (5.1%), Adam’s was the Tongerlo Blonde (6%) and Jordan’s was the Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier (5.4%).
This came as quite a shock to Adam and I as we normally only drink hoppy IPAs. Our minds have been truly opened to what else is out there.
Brewhouse & Kitchen is located at 7 Savoy Crescent, 12th Street, MK9 3PU. To book a beer masterclass call 01908 049032 or visit brewhouseandkitchen.com You can book brewery experience days, beer & food matching, and gin masterclasses too.