If you are interested in coming along to any of the following events, you would be most welcome. We spend the day putting together kits for Festivals so practical people enjoy the days. For more information contact Rob: ten.nigriv@hcirtefcm.bor and see 'Get involved' page.

  • Aged Beer Tasting Saturday 14th October 2017 1:30 pm Pineapple

    Some breweries insist that a beer, is best drunk fresh – take Budwesier’s Bud, who created an advertising campaign around the idea- but Is this right? Well it depends on what the brewer is trying to achieve, and of course, there is also the matter of science. Both hops and alcohol are preservatives so the stronger and hoppier a beer is, the longer it is likely to last and still be drinkable. Usually, beers with alcohol contents of less than 6% are not really designed to be laid down. You will often pick up oxidised notes, making the beer taste stale, maybe cardboardy. Also, avoid old beers (anything over 6 months) in clear glass, rather than brown or green. The clear glass lets in light and you'll get unpleasant skunky notes.

    But history shows us that we have often aged beers before drinking them. Sometimes, this was out of necessity. The absence of cooling meant that, at one time, brewers could not brew in the summer. Instead they would brew a stronger beer to be kept and drunk when there was no brewing possible. And there was a tradition in London of mixing aged porter with fresh and latterly, some London brewers have been experimenting with keeping beer in different wooden barrels for a year or more - drinking old beer is not new!

    Flavours do change as beer ages but provided it is well brewed, strong, filled so that there is little oxygen left in the bottle and is kept somewhere cool, aged beers can be a true delight. The beer becomes more complex. The hop character softens, bitterness reduces and the malty character develops, sometimes honey and sometimes, with darker beers, rich black treacle and fruit. The fruitiness can be of raisins and sultanas but marmalade notes are not unknown. Long term ageing, and a beer can develop tart notes, becoming more wine like.

    So for how long should you store a beer? Well, it really does depend on the beer. It can go through stages of being drinkable, then undrinkable and then drinkable again. If this intrigues you, courtesy of CAMRA's Games & Collectables, there will be an aged beer tasting at the Pineapple, Kentish Town, on the afternoon of Saturday 14th October. The tasting will feature beers up to 44 years old and everyone will get a chance to try around 10 beers from a selection of almost 40. They could be great, or they could be less than great; it will be a one off voyage of discovery! But we will begin the tasting with a modern day stored beer, Truman's Keeper, which will be 3 years old.

    The cost per person will be £25 for member, £26 for non members. Please note that we cannot guarantee the quality of any of the beers presented so the price includes two halves from the real ales on sale at the Pineapple - just in case! Book at: but don't leave it too late, with only twenty places, this fun, once in a lifetime tasting will sell out quickly.