They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Thursday 17 November 2016

Saying Goodbye

I have never been a fan of change, but sometimes change is necessary to move on in life.

I've been working at Beer Ritz for over a decade now. I started when I was 19, and in just under a week I'll be turning the big 3-0.

Saturday the 26th of November will be my last official shift at the shop. Now while some people might think of me as a bit of a dick, I'm not, so I will be working a couple of weeks mid December so I'm not leaving them at the worst possible time. For arguments sake though, the 26th will be my last 'official' shift. Do come by if you can spare the time, I'd love to see everyone one last time.

Looking back on my time with the Ritz I can only bring to mind truly wonderful experiences. The shop really feels to me like my second home, I know every nook and cranny of the place! I've probably shed enough blood, sweat and tears in the place to fill a swimming pool - and every second was worth it.

Beer Ritz has allowed me to grow massively. Not just in my knowledge of beer, but as a person - it's been a place hugely influential on my life and I'm without doubt grateful for everything I've been taught, learned and experienced. The business links I've acquired will never come close to compare to the friendships I've gained and will treasure as I move forward.

I've watched the industry completely change over the past ten years, but throughout all the change one thing has always remained the same. The alcohol industry is the best, and always will be the best industry to work for! I won't be going into something different, I'll be sticking in it. The blogging will increase too.. I don't personally know of another industry that's as kind, as loyal and as generous as the one I'm in and the one I'm gonna stay in!

For a long time I wondered how I could ever leave Beer Ritz. It's a place I love. BEER RITZ IS A PLACE I LOVE. I've already had to bear the anguish of closure once before, so people close to me will know my true feelings about the shop. Once Zak bought out the company though, I was the first man back through the doors. I opened the shop back up and got the word out there that we were not closed, but starting a new and exciting chapter. I can leave feeling very proud of that..

Some people go their entire lives in jobs they hate. That's definitely not something I can say. I've worked at the best job in the world for over a decade, and while I was very happy to get paid I never did it for the money. Once again, I couldn't be more grateful, proud, emboldened and ready for the next chapter of my life. I'll never forget my time in such a small little off-license corner shop. I'll never forget the people I've met, the places it's allowed me to go, and bonds I've managed to forge.

I could write a million words in this blog post, but sometimes things must come to an end.

Beer Ritz will live forever, It'll be a part of me always. I will miss it every day.



Monday 14 November 2016

Strength to Strength - NMBC IBNT

The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind, but it actually feels really good to get behind this keyboard (for the evening at least) to tell the truth!

I don't think there's anyone out there at the moment who would disagree that Northern Monk Brew Co has had a bit of an explosion in the last couple of years. Their improved product quality has certainly not gone unnoticed to us!

So time to put them to a classic Ghosty test! Can you make a good Imperial Black N Tan out of their beer?!

Turns out you can....

Speaking of cans though, Double Heathen and Black Forest Strannik are a force to be reckoned with on their own, let alone blended together! A 10% DIPA meets a 10% Russian Imperial Stout. Good combo!

Now this is the second time I've done this in two days, and for a good reason. The first day I just blended them straight together to make one beer. Tonight I've layered them to create a whole different drinking experience. The first night was great, but this night has been really cool..

When you layer a latte most people will just mix them straight together, which is fine, but tonight I didn't mix the two beers together.. I just drank them layered. This meant that for the start I was just getting great DIPA. Around the middle however, you can't really tell where the DIPA ends and the Impy Stout begins, so you get a fantastic blend of the two without even knowing it. By the end of the glass I knew I was drinking Imperial Stout sure, but that middle part.. I really need to do that again!

I've always found when making black and tans that one beer will always over power the other, but when drinking them layered without mixing I found an amazing transition from one to the other without one beer ever out shining its kin. You get the best qualities of one beer and the best qualities of the other, but the middle ground is a fascinating experience. Less than more of one overpowering the other, but more of two meeting in the middle.

I want to see a Black N Tan like this as a regular occurrence in the Northern Monk Refectory!