Few weeks back I attended the Real Food Festival held at London Earls, an exhibition held annually helping to promoting small artisan producers from around the country. On show to sample and buy was an extensive variety of Cheeses, Jams, Teas, and Chutneys and even to my delight a couple of alcoholic beverages such as Gin, Vodka even Beer. Earls court as you know is also the home to the GBBF coming up later this year so it was only right to get in to shape and head for the Grain Brewery stand.
Grain brewery established in 2006 is based on a farm in the picturesque Waveney Valley in Norfolk and is one of the new breed of cutting edge British breweries making its mark in the industry, run by (very tall) Geoff Wright and Phil Halls couple of top blokes very passionate about beer. I visited the brewery last summer luckily I was in the area as I had to take my son to attend an open day at the University of East Anglia which he was hoping to enroll too but since has ended up in Canterbury.
It was good fun as my son had never been to a brewery and catch up with the guys who were very generous and showed us around and sampled the stock. Last year at GBBF I enjoyed a couple of glasses of Grains Tamarind IPA which was really good stuff but since then they have stopped producing that and instead launched a couple of other exceptional new beers.
Going back to the Real Food Festival I tried Grains new Blonde Ash that is a terrific Belgian style wheat beer, which I shall talk about another day but this time I must tell you about the Blackwood Stout. Pours a dark brown colour with a good beige head. Aroma is dark roasted coffee, chocolate with floral hop notes. Flavour I found had light sweetness, the roast coffee and chocolate stayed around leading to hints of burnt wood oak (maybe even burnt toast) ending with classic malty bitter notes.
It’s very pleasant and very enjoyable to drink, if I had another bottle I may have frozen some and made ice-lollies…yep its that good.
Grain Brewery – Blackwood Stout (5.0%) 8/10
Grain have also now opened a pub in St Benedicts St Norwich called The Plough and you can catch the lads on Twitter @ploughnorwich @GrainBrewery