Like many others, on Thursday evenings we have been watching The Hairy Dieters, looking on as a couple of gentlemen who are both overweight and impressively hirsute attempt to correct their excessive lifestyle and lose a bit of weight (which, one can't help thinking, could surely be at least partially achieved with a stricter haircut). Anyway, their new regime, in which they eschew alcohol and deliciously fatty, creamy, cheesy, sugary foods, has surely been an inspiration to us all, no doubt prompting many viewers to take a long, hard, critical look at their own lifestyles and make appropriate adjustments.
Mind you, I missed it last Thursday, what with going to The Deaf Institute to eat six deliciously fatty, creamy, cheesy, sugary foods individually matched with ales from the BrewDog stable of craft beers. When I previewed this event last week, I'd already pretty much identified it as Mr Liz's dream event - and arriving at the venue appeared to confirm that not only did approximately half of Manchester share the same dream, but they were also living it; the beautiful Victorian music hall was filled to capacity with excitably thirsty Mancunians thrilled with the prospect of quaffing large quantities of decent beer, on a school night.
With so many people in attendance, the event did take a little while to get going, but once underway, the peerlessly knowledgeable Josie talked us through each of the BrewDog offerings (a measure of how good she was can be seen in the fact that everyone listened to her, rather than simply banging on the table and shouting BEER! BEER! BEER! as I suspect may happen at less well-run gatherings) as trays of food and beer magically appeared before us. I don't have photographs of everything I'm afraid, as whichever particular Victorian designed and built the venue paid scant regard to the low-quality flash offered by the iPhone camera, and you should also not understimate the speed with which a table full of hungry boys can fall upon a tray of food that you are currently trying to photograph.
You can read the full line-up of what we ate on my original blog post here, and I can offer you photographs of the tasty but dainty mini Yorkshire pudding paired with 5 A.M. ale and the splendidly chunky fish goujon partnered by Punk IPA (which was by far my favourite beer of the evening, but I already knew that before I went). I can also confirm that the brownie was excellent, despite being eaten whilst running down Grosvenor Street after my bus in a comedic, Penelope Pitstop type manner. N.B. Some people have claimed, uncharitably and unjustly, that the food looks RUDEY in these photos, but I'm confident that such misconceptions lie in the mind of the beholder and not in the skill of the photographer or the innocent intentions of the chef.
As well as the six billed ales, there were also a couple of extras at the end - we didn't have time to stay for the 32% Tactical Nuclear Penguin, but Mr Liz did manage to snaffle a quick taste of the Paradox Jura Beer, aged in whisky casks and thereby combining two of his keenest interests; unsurprisingly, this was his favourite drink of the night. Overall, the night offered excellent value for money at £20 a head, and the service and the quality of the food were both very good considering the popularity of the event (the quality of the beer goes without saying). If there's another one, I shall certainly be in attendance...and if it involves missing a TV show about dieting, then so much the better...
- The Deaf Institute (part of the same group as Trof, who also had a hand in this lovely event) is at 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE; the BrewDog Manchester bar can be found at 35 Peter St, Manchester M2 5BG. I will leave you with an image of the wallpaper in the ladies toilet at The Deaf Institute (where, you will note, the lighting is EXCELLENT) - if you know of better decorated bogs in Manchester, I'd like to hear about them please.