Before we bring you Rosemary’s report on the live cooking at Island Expo, she popped along to the Ventnor Brewery stand … and was pretty impressed. Ed
It would not be fair not to mention the wonderful guys from Ventnor Brewery who were at the Expo.
A very special mention to Irwin who took a good half an hour of his time to explain the brewing process to us, as well as get us to sample the different ales hailing from Ventnor, with some ingredients grown and harvested at the Botanic Gardens!
Irwin explained the subtle differences between different types of malts used for the many ales the brewery produces.
To an unskilled palate, the ales and bitters might not taste very different, but talking to someone like Irwin who is so passionate about the product really helps. For instance, we’d tried the ale that they’d had on tap when we first arrived at the stand, but after some chatting and a good lesson in ale-making, we got the opportunity to test the theory. The theory being that the subtle differences in the ales and beers means that they can compliment all sorts of different foods in a manner far superior to wine.
As an example, Irwin challenged us to try the Sand Rock Smoked bottle beer after having had a small bite of some soft blue cheese, which we wittingly half-inched from a stand nearby, before trying the beer. I’d expected the beer to taste bitter, but instead, my taste buds felt as though they’d been awakened in a similar way to the way my back felt after the holistic massage! There was nothing else to say but “oh my god!”. The taste combination was so creamy, it really brought out the flavour of the cheese.
So next time you’re thinking of holding a wine and cheese party, think again! Do something different and go and see the Xavier and Irwin at Ventnor Brewery and they’ll help you pick out (and sample) some of their fantastic ranges! And that’s before we even begin to mention their ciders and mead!
Island Ales also had a stand promoting their ales, wines and spirits, but I wasn’t able to catch one of them at a convenient time!