The lunch was to be put on by Mr Foley's Ale House, and the ever impressive chef - Tyler Kiley, who had the daunting task of preparing a 3 course meal menu to go with Garrett's beers... a menu which he slaved over for the best part of 3 days.
For starters we indulged in some spicy chicken wings which were absolutely coated in a deliciously fruity but hot sauce, which I think I remember Tyler telling us he wanted to see our fingers and faces covered in by the end of it. It was to be paired with Brooklyn BLAST - an 8.2% IPA - a really nice beer to start with; fruity, balanced and poured from bottle conditioned "ghost bottles" (loved that part). I think I remember they were called ghost bottles because the beers served were from the breweries private stash, and most of the beers we had don't normally go into the bottle.
By this time there was quite a bit of a buzz around the room as we all became a little more relaxed and as the beer flowed. This was all to come to a abrupt silence though, as the desert course was served. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and Vanilla Ice cream floats was the order of the day. At this point you can forget everything you think you know about beer. I took an inhale and I was lost for words, all I could produce was a laugh as if to say 'that's one of the best things I think I've ever smelt!' Leigh gave it a bit of a better write up than I managed.
|"If you've tried this beer you've|
almost certainly met me."
The festivities didn't just end at Mr Foleys though. We got the blogger troop together, and after a few cheeky halves in Veritas and the Vic, we made our way up to North Bar. This was where Garrett and the head brewer from Nogne O would be hosting a bit of a Meet the Brewer Q+A. More people turned up for this and we all had a fantastic time. It was really nice to get to have a good chat with Eric Ottaway who's the General Manager of Brooklyn Brewery, particularly about the business side of things and what the future might hold for them and craft beer in general.
I think I've rattled on for long enough now, but I will say that not even the following morning's hangover could take my smile away.
I will give a shout out to all the Blogging Massive who came along, it was really cool to see everyone again. Nick and David have already written on the same subject, and I'm sure they won't be the last. I give my many thanks to Dean, Ben and the James Clay team for inviting me along and setting the whole thing up, and props go out to Tyler for the fantastic meal. My final thanks go to Garrett and Eric for providing such an epic day, and one which I'll remember for quite some time.