• Beer of the Week #105: Kriek Boon

    Lucky us. We’ve been invited to the launch of a new beer-and-food menu at the swanky Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park’s ‘Rosebury Lounge’. They’ve given the traditional afternoon tea a twist by matching dainty finger sandwiches, hand-made pastries, scones and cakes with beer.

    Not only were we impressed with their choice of beers – Thornbridge Chiron, Kriek Boon and Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar – but the posh nosh looked impressive too, with ‘Cotswold egg and black truffle’ among the sarnie options to have caught our eyes and a ‘Maple Snow Ball’ sounding like an intriguing pastry (see full menu below).

    Annoyingly, my dodgy back and Rich’s dodgy day-job meant that neither of us could make it, but such was my salivating at the prospect of a tasty tea with a drop of Kriek Boon – one of my favourite beers – that I delved into my beer collection and pulled a bottle out for immediate consumption.

    On the Rosebury Lounge’s menu, Kriek Boon was up second, accompanying the pastries.

    Unable to muster anything quite as tasty as the Lounge’s ace chef Paul Thieblemont, I hopped down to Gregg’s Bakery and snaffled a jammy biscuit instead.*

    Kriek Boon is a Belgian Lambic beer that has been flavoured with cherries. Lambics are produced by a natural fermentation using the wild yeasts unique to the Pajottenland region which create deliciously crisp and sour beers, of which the Boon brewers are masters. It has Champagne-esque bubbles, kept under control with a cork, and is a sweet and sour, sparkling fruity wonder. The tasting notes on the Lounge’s menu describes it perfectly: “Spontaneously fermented with 400g of whole cherries added to each litre of beer, giving a slight tartness with lovely cherry and almond flavours. Chocolate and cherries are a match made in heaven so this beer is the perfect companion for the hits of chocolate, vanilla, caramel and hazelnut.” It also goes well with a jammy biscuit.

    Maybe we’ll take a visit to the Mandarin Oriental sometime next year, pull up a plush chair and enjoy their Beer Afternoon Tea because, as much as I enjoy a home poured bottle of Kriek Boon, I’m certain it’ll taste even better with a menu designed to match it’s fruity charms.


    The lowdown

    Brewery: Brewery Brouwerij Boon, Lambeek, Belgium
    Beer name: Kriek Boon
    Strength: 4%

    Available from Beer Merchants


    Beer Afternoon Tea at the Rosebery Lounge


    Slow roasted turkey with cranberries and sage butter
    Cotswold egg and black truffle
    Smoked salmon tartare, tarragon and compressed Granny Smith apple
    Slow braised beef short rib, horseradish and watercress
    Mediterranean sandwich, confit tuna with sweet piquillo peppers, black olives and oregano
    Goat’s cheese, caramelised onions and butternut squash

    Beer match
    Thornbridge Chiron – 5.0% abv

    Mandarin mont blanc
    Maple snow ball
    Chocolate and caramel yule log
    Santa’s hat
    Passion fruit and hazelnut finger

    Beer match
    Kriek Boon – 4.0% abv

    Freshly baked plain and cranberry scones accompanied by Devonshire clotted cream, strawberry jam and rose petal jam
    Battenburg Cake
    Cinnamon and Plum Cake
    Beer match – Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar – 5.6% abv

    The Rosebury Lounge Beer Afternoon Tea costs £65 per person plus service charge and can be booked by calling reservations on 020 7201 3828 or emailing molon-rosebery@mohg.com.

    *Yes, I know it’s not a pastry. It was that or a ‘Yum Yum’ and I refuse to ever order anything with such a ridiculous name as ‘Yum Yum’


    Kriek Boon Beer Review Bottle

    The post Beer of the Week #105: Kriek Boon appeared first on Two Thirsty Gardeners.

    Source: Two Thirsty Gardeners

  • Beer of the week #104: Birra del Borgo, KeTo Reporter

    It has been a while since we last published a Beer of the Week. It’s not that we’ve stopped stinking beer, rather that we’ve been too busy reviewing beer for other people. So to help fill the void left by our own neglect we’ve asked another beer blogger to provide us with a guest review. Step forward Katie Wiles, communications manager for CAMRA and author of the excellent blog Wiles About Beer. Here are her thoughts on a tasty Italian porter – take it away, Katie…


    “This week I had the opportunity to attend a seminar on how beer amplifies the fine-dining experience – a relatively new concept here in the UK. Beer is so firmly associated with Britain’s pub culture that it is often overlooked in restaurants, with many gravitating to the more well-established wine options instead.

    “Yet it seems that we are missing a trick. Beer boasts a huge (and ever-growing) range of flavours and styles and – most excitingly – there are relatively few rules on how to pair them. A stout doesn’t necessarily have to go with chocolate, and a wheat beer doesn’t need to be paired with a salad. In fact, Christina Perozzi, founder of The Beer Chicks, claims her favourite pairing is a double IPA with a carrot cake. Beers can even make a great base for cocktails – in the seminar, Mixologist Jack Wareing recommended combining a double IPA with a stout for a great vermouth base.

    “At the event, I had the chance to sample some beers recommended to amplify the fine-dining experience. The one that screamed “luxury” to me was the KeTo Reporter by Birra del Borgo. Well-presented in a stylish 33-cl bottle and served in a wine glass, it is a classic porter with the addition of Kentucky Tuscan tobacco leaves. The tobacco taste brings out a fantastic spicy smokiness that makes you immediately envision yourself seated in a leather chair next to a log fire in a posh cigar room.

    “I chose this dark beer as my “beer of the week” because it is complex and interesting – with hints of whisky, chocolate, coffee and nutmeg. As with any other luxury, I wouldn’t recommend indulging in it to excess, but rather savouring it as a treat after a decadent meal. The suggested accompaniment is a Tuscan cigar – but I would probably opt for a nice dark chocolate instead.

    “The founder of Birra del Borgo, Leonardo di Vincenzo, explained that the Italian craft beer movement originated in the fine dining scene. He strives to create beers around the entire experience of an evening out – and I must admit, this has been masterfully achieved with the KeTo Reporter.

    “Luckily, you don’t have to travel all the way to Italy to try this beer or any other in the Birra del Borgo range. They’re all available on Beerhawk if you want to stock up for your next dinner party.

    “Who knows? Perhaps, if you are lucky, the Birra del Borgo will be on the menu on your next meal out, carefully recommended with a dish. I certainly hope so. There is an entire world of food and beer pairings out there that we have only just begun to tap into here in the UK. Not only do pairings present us beer-lovers with a new exciting way of enjoying our favourite brews, but it also gives us an opportunity to introduce even more people to the fantastic art of craft beer through the medium of food. Until then – cin cin!”


    The lowdown

    Brewery: Birra del Borgo, Borgorose, Lazio, Italy
    Beer name: KeTo Reporter
    Strength: 6.5%

    Available from Beer Hawk

    Birra del Borgo Beer Bottle

    The post Beer of the week #104: Birra del Borgo, KeTo Reporter appeared first on Two Thirsty Gardeners.

    Source: Two Thirsty Gardeners

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