A tasty masterclass at The Botanist.
The Botanist on Temple Street in Birmingham fast created a name for itself when it comes to great cocktails and food. Now they have added an Ale tasting masterclass and we were invited to go and give it a try. Our own Lilith Hunt-Sheppard went along and had an Ale of a time.
When you mention Ale to me, I always had the image of the older regulars at my local pub supping on their pints. But in the last few years, the steady increase of craft beers around has had me thinking that maybe I should give it a try. So when I was invited down to the Botanist for some Ale tasting, I thought, why not.
I must admit I have tried a few craft beers but I am by no means an expert. Luckily for us their traditionally authentic Ale menu, The Anthology Of Ales was at hand. Not only does it look incredible, it describes each Ale fully to you. We were also guided through the tasting session by Keiran Hartley from New World Trading Company, who’s knowledge of all things Ale was quite impressive.
As we got started, the different grains were passed around for us to smell and try, each one quite unique in smell and taste. One thing to remember with Ale tasting, it’s not just the flavour you are focusing on but also after taste and finish.
There was a great selection on offer to try including the Camden Town Brewery’s Gentlmens Wit. A Belgian style white beer which is made with slow roasted lemons that gives you a distinctive taste. One of my favourites was the Goose Island Honkers Ale as it has a sweeter caramel and uses a British recipe but is made using American hops. Another I found easy to drink was the Vedett IPA, again as it was slightly sweeter. While trying the IPA Kieran was telling us how it gets it’s unique taste due to the extra hops it’s brewed with. One drink I could not have expected was from The Wild Beer Company. Millionaire is a salted caramel, chocolate and milk stout and is designed to taste like Millionaire Shortbread, and to be fair, it does. It was completely different to anything I have ever tasted, although I am not sure I could drink a whole bottle. There was talk on the table of a couple that had used it during cooking with great effect.
I must admit I really enjoyed the evening. I am a bit of a geek so found learning about all the history and hearing the facts associated with Ale all very interesting, some of them were quite humorous too. If you’re not sure if Ale is your thing, this is a great way to find out. For more information on The Botanist Ale masterclasses check out the website for more information.
14-16 Temple Street Birmingham
0121 600 7430