Pomeroy’s, the seedy wine bar where Rumpole of the Bailey comforts his woes with a bottle of “Chateau Thames Embankment”…. Christchurch has a Pomeroy’s too, dimly lit but not seedy. It boasts 31 beer taps(Craft Beers), one of which I’m sure offers Chateau Avon Embankment. The Social Club at Beca (Jeremiah’s employer) organized a private beer tasting there this week. One of Jeremiah’s colleagues had designed the earthquake strengthening retrofit, just newly completed, so we could focus on the beer list with minds at ease.
Did you know that you can have a beer that “oozes citrus and passion fruit aromas”? The beer descriptions don’t quite match those invented by the wine industry, but they’re up-and-coming rivals. My vote goes to the Mussel Inn Captain Cooker, with “manuka selectively hand picked on the day of brewing.” The brewer shepherding the group through the list claims that women have a more sensitive palate to bitterness than men, and that explains why many women don’t like beer….though it wouldn’t explain the stereotypical female passion for chocolate. I didn’t buy the theory.
Beer for tasting was served in these wine-style glasses, and I have to admit that the “swirling and sniffing” experience is augmented by this presentation. See those dodgy-looking snaky bits on the plate behind? Pork cracklings. The Brits swear by them. They’re ribbons of pig skin puffed in high heat (possibly deep fried), and they make a horrendous racket when a room full of 30 beer tasters dig in. I tried a piece. It ranks slightly above kina (sea urchin) in my book. Thankfully they brought out some nice bread and dip as well, and we enjoyed a pleasant and even educational evening, if you can count defining a lager versus an ale as education.