Rue de Brouckère 1
The formula of the beer tasting at the Beer Market is very simple – beers are poured o 0.2 tasting glasses by the owner of the shop (see Photo #1). Everybody gets a glass and have enough time to try and gets his/her own opinion (approx. 15 min). Then there is a short discussion (in French!) about this beer. Finally – the revelation – the owner tells us what did we get. That way we have managed to try 7 beers in almost 2 hours.
Very interesting formula.
Below are the photos and short description of the beers.
My result? Out of 7 beers: two cases I knew exactly the beer in other two I recognized the style. Much to learnJ
Samuel Smith Winter Welcome Ale
Samuels smith beers are British classics and we got the lion share of them in the evening. Winter Ale is rather average member of the family, bit blunt in taste, with a bit of metallic component. On positives – it is not over-spiced and sugary, on negatives - rather boring.
Samuel Adams Chocolate Stout
Obviously, when Samuel Adams says chocolate - they mean it. This one is chocolate in aroma and taste. In fact, I probably never had chocolate beer taken so literally, it was so close to drinking chocolate as the beer could be. And yes, after some effort there was a coffee aroma as well. Really nice.
Shepherd Neame IPA
With all respect to the traditional British brewing - I just do not like original IPAs. I respect them for being ancestors of the aromatic, new world IPAs. Nothing more. This one is no different – almost no aroma, very heavy hopped in taste. Just bitter. Still, every beer geek should try, just to see what a striking difference hops can do to a beer.
Anspach & Hobday The IPA
Exactly the opposite of the previous beer. Here nobody was savvy on using aroma hops. Fresh, grassy hops in aroma and taste. In fact, it was so grassy, that at some point I have suspected artificial flavoring. It may not be the best IPA I know, but it was a blast after Shepherd Neame.
Tranquair Jacobite Ale
This one was new for me and for a while I was thinking that this is a milk stout. Very interesting traditional dark beer. Rich malt sweetness, caramel and coriander. Low carbonation and dry finish. Really nice. For me one of the highlights of the evening!
Fullers Vintage Ale 2015
Another surprise. Relatively blunt in aroma and taste in the beginning, but the moment we have kept the glasses in our hands to warm up the beer it happened to be very aromatic (mostly sweet malt). Tastes also malts with some bitter finish. Great beer, just served too cold.
Samuel Smith Imperial Stout
Another very classic beer. Great imperial stout with a typical roasted chocolate and roasted caramel aroma. Same in taste, definite roast and a bit sour with a very light bitter finish. Overall, perfectly balanced beer. Great end of the evening!
Positives: owner is a professional and has broad knowledge about the beer; all beers were interesting selection of classical British styles; price; atmosphere/people
Negatives: I do not understand why this event was planned in the middle of the week - we have gotten between 1.4-1.6 liters of beer per person, waking up to work in the morning was much less than funny; smoking should be clearly prohibited in the close proximity of the shop (aroma of smoke clearly kills all other tastes); add more bread to neutralize the taste in between