'Tis the Season
August 22 2015
You need a little something to cheer you up this time of year. It may not be mid winter but it feels like it. It’s no accident that Christmas in the Northern hemisphere is a time of feasting. In the bleakest heart of winter a little bit of raucous fun, some good food and a drink can go a good way to dispelling seasonal gloom.
This year, for Wellington on a Plate, The Bresolin have asked us to join them in a celebration of the more ancient and pagan aspects of mid Winter revelry in Tis the Season - a five course feast, each course matched with a special Garage Project brew.
Now, back in the days before science unravelled the mysteries of fermentation, the transformation of sweet liquid into alcohol was seen as a religious or magical experience. I know the science behind fermentation, but I still think there’s a little magic at work. A pagan mid-winter feast is the perfect opportunity to finally have a go at recreating and reinterpreting some of the brews that would have helped to dispel the cares of festive revelers hundreds, maybe even thousands of years ago.
We’ve gone all out for this event with a top shelf favourite, two unique event brews, a new release beer and a very special pimped up Garage classic.
The evening will begin with a glass of our Hellbender barley wine. It’s a pretty modern interpretation of a very old style, a beer which is intentionally brewed out of balance only to come into its own as it ages and its flavours mellow and fuse. It’s a powerful little number and should kindle a little merry glow to get things off to a festive start.
We then have a very interesting brew and not a beer at all. Brewed especially for this event Pernicious Mead is a first for the Garage Project, a true mead brewed entirely with Beechwood Honey, and seasoned with black tea, Jasmine flowers and lemon. Perhaps one of the most ancient and a surprisingly bright and effervescent drop.
This is followed by a beer that I’ve wanted to brew since I first read about it many years ago - Gruit, an ancient beer brewed with a concoction of bitter herbs, roots and flavourings. This is how beer was brewed before hops took their hegemonic hold on the brewing world. This is Gruit is bittered with Wormwood (one of dominant the flavouring herbs in Absinthe), Yarrow and Horehound, flavoured with Licorice, Dandelion and Burdock root and finished with Meadow Sweet and Manuka Tips. This is a truly unique brew, and will only be available at this event.
And then a new Garage release. Artful Dodger - a nice juicy English Pale Ale with a ‘twist’, brewed with new wave English hops Jester and Archer, and hand pumped straight from the firkin - the perfect pint to accompany spit roast pig.
And finally, to top off, a very special little something we’ve had tucked away for a while, some of the very last of our Cockswain’s Courage porter that has been barrel aged on figs and prunes. It’s a pretty decadent ale, almost like a liquid booze soaked Christmas pudding, guaranteed to put you in the mood for carol singing - or perhaps something a little more pagan.
'Tis the Season runs over 3 nights - Sunday 23rd, Monday 24th, Tuesday 25th August from 6pm at the Brezolin. Grab your tickets from the Wellington On A Plate website.
Wrap up warm with your favourite Christmas Jumper, grab a sprig of mistletoe & come prepared for some festive fun.
Merry Welly winter one and all.