Friday, 7 September 2012

Brew Dog/Trof Mash Up, Deaf Institute - Manchester

Ok so I'm a little late posting this one, but I've had heart/brain/job/house stress so you'll have to forgive me.

Week before last the crazy craft beer creators, Brew Dog joined forces with Trof for an epic night of beer tasting, good food and great times. The idea of the night was a bit of beer and food matching at The Deaf Institute (Trof's beautiful music/food/beer place) - showing off Brew Dog's DIY crafts ales and the great cooking from Trof's chefs. Seated at trestle tables with glasses and plates passed down, the atmosphere was friendly and convivial - all helped by super friendly staff and the boundless energy of the brew doggers.

We kicked off the night with 5am Saint - a 5 x hopped beer; creamy, piny and very sessiony. Paired with a mini yorkie pub, chipolatas and sage, the beer's pine notes coupled with the herby sage brilliantly. We then moved on to my favourite beer, Punk IPA - this has fruity note with mango and papaya, softened by caramel hints - this was matched with haddock goujons - the citrus in the beer cutting through the batter without overpowering the delicate fish.

So far, so easy - very generous half pints of 5.3% or so beer - now it was time for the big guns. Out came a Hardcore IPA, pretty hardcore at 9.5%. This is a double dry hopped, aggressive beer with a big hit of resinous pine, softened out by the sweet caramel, toffee from the higher alcohol content. A big shouty beer like this needs a big shouty dish, so The Deaf institute whacked us out some cheesy Welsh rarebit with some beer cooked onions. The cheese and sweetness paired perfectly with the cheese, which softened out some of those piny resin flavours.

Then we moved on to the Dogma - hardly any hops in this one, it's all about the malts; 10 different types to be exact. This was really smoky, full of chocolate and rich salty flavours (can't say I liked it that much), which complimented the red meat of a soft Lancashire hot pot (which I liked a lot). This was served with a hand pickled red cabbage; the astringency cutting through the heavy beer and meat perfectly.

Next along were two porters - I took some sips, but they were way too heavy for me. Alice Porter was had some creamy exotic flavours (but not the ones you buy from Thailand), some chocolate and vanilla - this was paired against cheese. I loved the cheese. And last was the 12% behemoth that is Lost Dog; a collaboration with Lost Abbey Brewery in California. Pretty special this one - once brewed it's shoved in to rum casks with rum soaked raisins, so it basically tastes like a big piece of fruit cake - continuing with the cakey theme, this was paired with a brownie, double richness that my mouth loved.

From reports from other folks who stayed on (damn you Northern Rail and your early last trains) there was more tasting after we left of the super special, very high percentage beers (think 30%) - might have been a good thing that I was constrained by those trains after all.

This one off night was a great way to get to know the beers of Brew Dog and consider that it's not just wine that can be matched with food - it was also a great night to get to see the variety of food that The Deaf Institute can produce. Let's hope it's not a one off - more Dog Trof mash ups please!

Please note I was given my tickets for this for free, but I didn't have to say nice things, I just had a really good time and enjoyed the food and beer matching.

Ps sorry for no pictures, I did take some but it was so dark in there and my phone camera is so rubbish that there’s no point putting them up – even after a good old photoshop, they’re still pants. Anyone thinking about upgrading their Iphone? Donations of a 4S greatly welcomed – I’ll even cook for you to say thanks!

The Deaf Institute, 135 Grovesernor Street, Manchester M1 7HE - a great venue for food, drinks and especially gigs/music - goo check it out.

The Deaf Institute on Urbanspoon