After dragging friends (willing or otherwise) to the Purecraft in Birmingham every time we visit, we were thrilled when a Purecraft popped up on St Peter’s gate in Nottingham. We have been enjoying the beers of sister company Purity brewery for a long while, so knew we were in for a beery treat.
Stuck for date night ideas, I saw a post on their Facebook page for a beer tasting event, paired with food and tutelage for £15 a head. Deciding this would suitably keep the magic alive, we booked and turned up at seven. We ordered half a Longhorn IPA and waited for everyone else to arrive… Which they did not. Unfortunately, it was just the two of us who turned up to partake (secretly we were thrilled – no awkward small talk with other punters and the undivided attention of the beer experts). Along with general manager Marcin, the tasting was led by accomplished beer sommelier and part-owner of the Purecraft venture, Martin Hilton.
The whole evening was absolutely brilliant – Martin and Marcin were incredibly knowledgable, funny and generous. The atmosphere was lovely and you really felt like you were just having a beer with some friends. They talked us through different types of beers, how they paired with food and other interesting facts about the brewing process and flavour notes. In all, we had 6 beers (third measures) ranging from light and hoppy to dark and intense.
We also had some awesome wild cards thrown in, namely a cherry Baccus (fruit beer) and a non-aloholic wheat beer! Neither of us are a fan of wheat beer, especially the non alcoholic kind, so we were amazed to discover it was actually, well, nice. We loved that we were given beers that we would never normally order to help widen our beer horizons and discover some hidden gems as loved by the experts. You get true insider knowledge with these dudes.
After each beer we tried different foods from our platter and learned to distinguish what went well together, what we liked and what we didn’t.
It was a really interesting and useful twist on a beer tasting – many people will pair wine with food but beer is just as worthy as an accompaniment.
One of our favourite parts of the evening was going into the cellar where they keep the beer. We learned so much about the differences between keg and cask, how you make sure you get the absolute best pint and the extreme lengths that Purecraft seem to go to to ensure you enjoy every sip. We got to sample more beer straight from the cask (rather than pumped through the lines) which was amazing – it tastes so different! This bit really bought out my inner beer dork.
A few things we learned:
- Cherry beer and chocolate is the best combination in the world
- Pork pie goes amazingly with Purity Ubu
- Cheese is great with just about anything (but then you already know that)
- We should be more open minded when trying new beers
- In a pub, you can ask for a beer straight from the cask if you prefer it that way
- You can get rather pissed on 6 thirds
We had actually planned to go to the cinema after we had finished the tasting but we had such a good time that we stuck around all evening just to sample more of the incredible beers and chat with Marcin and the staff.
Although we had our small food platter to share, we didn’t eat here on this occasion, but have done in the past and the food is damn good. We generally have a selection of ‘small plates’ (the scotch egg is not to be missed) and the Sunday roast is worth eating. We will definitely do a full review of the food soon, too.
Overall a fantastic experience and great value. We’ve done a few beer tastings in our time and this was probably the best one. We drank rather a little too much to retain much of what we learned, but that’s ok because it means we can go back! If you have friends that need entertaining, a special occasion, a date or even just a spare Wednesday evening we would definitely recommend a beer tasting at Purecraft Nottingham as something different and super fun.
Emily and Stuart.