Spontanscran

Given that we’ve been pairing food and beer for hundreds, if not thousands, of years it’s extremely challenging to come up with a new take on the topic. I first met Ben and Sashana shortly after they opened Edinburgh Food Studio, while I was still at The Hanging Bat, to discuss a really wacky idea I’d had for a beer dinner. The idea ended up being a bit too wacky to properly pull off (although it’s still on the back burner), but we had some really interesting discussions on the topic. I continued to follow them and was always fascinated by the events and produce I’d see coming out of their kitchen.

In my new guise in a sales role for beer importer James Clay, I’m constantly trying to build events and work with our products in novel ways. I’m completely transfixed by the lambic and ‘sour’ beer category, and have recently been doing research into the way developments and flavours in this scene are being mirrored in the fermented food movement. With Ben and Sashana’s rich collective experience, and the EFS motto “Keep Food Interesting” it made perfect sense to approach them to host a dinner looking at how ‘sour’ beer and food can work together. After some initial discussions they invited their friend and previous collaborator Craig Grozier of Fallachan Dining to get involved and share the experience. Continue reading

Being Human

This is the first in a series of fortnightly posts to fashion designer This Greedy Pig’s blog.

In the first of a series of articles considering the wonderful ways of all things wet and intoxicating I’d like to begin by establishing some basic ground rules for obtaining and serving said elixirs in a public environment.

Too long have simple errors been committed. Too hot burn the fires of contempt for the weekend warrior in the breasts of the world’s bartenders. I’d like to turn these uncontrolled infernos back into flames of passionate service and rectify the simple errors committed by the uninformed. We all need to learn how to be human.

Click here for the rest

 

Boutique Bar Show Report

This is a report I wrote after visiting the Boutique Bar Show in Glasgow. The piece is hosted at Edinburgh Whisky Blog

This year’s Scottish edition of the Boutique Bar Show was held at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow’s Merchant City, arguably the city’s cultural epicentre. I hitched a lift on the bus organised by the Scottish Bar Network, which at a fiver including a bloody Mary and a bacon roll kicks Scotrail’s ass. Continue reading

Scottish Real Ale Festival – Opinion Piece

This is a brief OPINION piece I wrote in reaction to my visit to the CAMRA Scottish Real Ale Festival yesterday.

Picture the scene, a huge gathering of the best drinkers, drinking the best beers, brewed by the best breweries, in a country endowed with an incredible brewing scene. All of these passionate people under one roof, tittering at Tennent’s drinkers, hating Heineken fanboys, and frowning upon Foster’s fanatics. Continue reading

Bruichladdich Whisky Tasting at The Place Hotel

An invite to a Bruichladdich tasting with matching food set in the supremely decadent surroundings of ‘The Place Hotel’ on York Place is not one that can ever be declined. The bar is a dazzling array of colour, solid black granite set underneath an intense display of Swarovski crystals strung around LED bars currently set on pink. This crystalline crapulence (a fancy word for over indulgence, Ed) is taken to the next level with the addition of wallpaper detailed with shapes made from the dust left over from the polishing process at Swarovski.

The key feature of the hotel bar’s finesse is noted Edinburgh bartender Alan Fisher, previously of the Point Hotel. Given free reign of the bar Alan has built up a superb gantry with a hefty focus on non-chill filtered single malts. With these tools and an unsurpassable knowledge at his disposal Alan is able to concoct some truly stellar beverages and proves this as he starts our night with a sublime Botanist Gin Sour.

To read the rest click here

La Tomatina

I’m pretty sure I only own eight pairs of socks and they were all in my bag. It may have just been paranoia but I don’t think anyone wants to play Travel Scrabble with a big ginger guy wearing one pink sock and one luminous green one. I left my flat in Marchmont at 2pm on the Sunday and by the time my flight left I had done 296 miles in just under 17 hours, giving me and average speed of just over 17 miles per hour. These are the perils of a 7am flight from East Midlands Airport when you live in Edinburgh. Continue reading

I’m the Fucking Bar Supervisor

The brief for this piece was arrogance and the workplace. This isn’t actually how i view myself.

Always handy to turn up fifteen minutes early, have a coffee and check out the scene. Lucky I have because it’s just gone 4:45pm on a Friday and the bar is already rammed. Just enough time to bolt downstairs get changed and steady the ship. As standard Mhairi is stressing, Sara is flapping about like an idiot, empty fridges, glasses piled up all over the shop, and my pristinely ironed shirt in the middle. Continue reading