Beer and cheese evening wows at the Ned Ludd
When I was invited along with my colleagues to partake in a beer and cheese tasting session at the Ned Ludd I was thrilled. Combining two of my favourite things – beer and cheese – this looked set to be a great experience! On a cold November evening the Ned Ludd provided the perfect location for an event like this – warm, relaxed and a real emporium for beer!
John from Duvel Moortgat Breweries was our host for the evening, a charming chap with great passion and knowledge for the Belgian beer, he was showcasing to our group of tasters. Duvel Moortgat is one of the largest independent brewing groups in Belgium, its focus being on speciality beers and premium brands.As we took our seats my thoughts turned to the table filled with an array of glasses all in
different styles and shapes. We were informed that each beer requires a very different vessel and that the Belgians would shudder if we were to serve all beer in the same pint glass as we invariably do in this country. We sampled four beers accompanied by four different cheeses (along with the all important Navigation ale chutney, which we had to pin the chef down upon exit for to get his secret recipe!) So what was the verdict?
1. Our first beer was the Vedett Blonde, served straight out of a tin! According to Adam, who is general manager at the Ned Ludd, stocking tins instead of bottles is getting more and more common across the country which came as a real surprise. This beer, served in a tall glass was refreshing , very crisp, dry and hoppy. With the snapping open of the tins also came the arrival of our first cheese: a hard applewood smoked variety which complemented the beer fantastically.
2. Our second beer was Vedett White. This came in a short bottle and was served in a regular tall tumbler glass. It was refreshing , very crisp and to my untrained pallet had a hint of fruitiness. This was served with brie and again the two worked perfectly together.
After two beers, everyone on our table now began to bond through mutual respect for the beer and cheese in equal measure!
3. Onto our third beer of the evening…Leifmans Fruitesse. This was a really juicy cherry beer which we were told takes 12-18 months to mature. However it didn’t take very long to drink as it was delicious! The cheese which accompanied this beer made for the shock of the evening. Who’d of thought if you mixed this cherry beer with cranberry wensleydale you would get a cherry cheesecake taste!
4. The table was rocking with laughter as the fourth and final beer of the night was unveiled – Duvel Single Fermented. A golden draught beer with a crisp light taste that doesn’t sit heavily at all. This beer is always served in its own tulip shaped half pint glass. We enjoyed this with tangy blue Stilton, and the two combined certainly made the tabs laugh as we say in Nottingham!
So what was the verdict? For me personally my favourite had to be Vedett White, although all the beers we tasted were amazing and so very different to each other! I will certainly be looking out for beers in the future from the Duvel Moortgat brewery when I am out an about – I am even considering ordering some cases for Christmas! The evening was great fun and an education all rolled into one.
Make sure you pop down to the Ned Ludd soon and try one (or all) of the above. I guarantee you will enjoy!