Anyone with even a modicum of common sense would know, quite instinctively, that attending a beer tasting on a Wednesday night would be a bad idea. Sadly, I am prone to illogical decisions, and a combination of said beer tasting being for charity, and the constant haunting of a pleadingly hopeful husband, conspired to force my attendance.
At the time of course, it seemed a great decision. We took a taxi up to Burton Road (I was actually considering driving at one point - I can't even begin to think about the potential consequences of that) and bagged a prime table at the charming but small Silver Apples, an independent bar which seems to specialise mostly in cupcakes and Belgian beer.
The beers being showcased this time were from America, a country not known for its beer, and indeed there were some weird and wonderful concoctions served. To give a flavour of the delicacies on offer, my favourite was the pumpkin beer, a Christmassy treat that tasted of cinnamon, ginger and, erm, pumpkin. Opinion was divided on this one, but I loved it, and surreptitiously voted it for it twice at the end of the evening.
I can't really comment on the quality of the later beers; they progressed steadily in strength, and once they got up past the 6% mark I dropped out of the running. Suffice to say that my husband wended a merry way home with pockets full of half-drunk beer bottles (yes I know - classy; that's why I married him).
The evening was extraordinarily good value at £10 per head - for that, nine beers were available to taste, and many of these were provided as a whole bottle for each person. A cheese board was also supplied to each table, causing great shame to greedy girls (ahem) unable to wait to eat it - nothing more humiliating than being told to taste the brie with a particular beer when you'd pretty much polished it all off before 8pm.
The venue also seems to attract remarkably nice people - we made six new friends, as well as meeting the lovely Helen from Didsbury Life; she knows EVERYTHING about Didsbury - www.didsburylife.com. And just when you think a venue can't be any more perfect, an innocent trip to the ladies reveals a poster advertising....a cheese night! This is set to take place on Tuesday 23rd March, and promises cheese, crackers, bread, wine, and - no doubt the piece de resistance - a cheesy quiz. I'm off to start revising my cheese knowledge post-haste.
- Silver Apples is at 200 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 2LW, tel 0161 4453130. But don't be trying to win my cheese quiz.