One of the most enjoyable things to happen to me in a long time happened a few nights ago.
I was invited to a vegan beer tasting event and talk.
Check it out.
The friendly people from And Union invited me along to a night they were hosting in a West London pub. It was an informal mix of journalists and business acquaintances, but the real focus was the beer and there certainly was a lot of the good stuff to get through.
And Union work with a collection of family-run Bavarian breweries (some dating back hundreds of years) to produce a range of beers and lagers that are amongst some of the most enjoyable I’ve experienced.
Every beer produced under the And Union umbrella is suitable for vegans thanks to adherence of the historic purity law known in Germany as Reinheitsgebot. These guidelines insist on beer being made with limited ingredients and without the aid of fining agents, which often put a lot of beers out of the reach of vegans.
Byron (pictured above) gave us a spirited and informative run through of eight beers and I’m going to give you a super quick recap of what I tasted and what I loved.
The Steph Weiss is tasty light beer, although I didn’t fall in love straight off the mark. It was more the aftertaste that appealed to me so this would be a sipping beer for me, not one to guzzle. It carries 5% ABV on the label and a smoothness that comes with most wheat beers.
Here we have a drink called Friday. If you like a beer that packs a punch, this 6.5% ABV pale ale is perfect for you. This is the higher end of the sharpness scale for my tastes, so I would recommend pairing this with curry or a meal that can hold its own in the flavour department.
The Unfiltered Lager was a favourite for me on the night. I could drink it all night long thanks to its gorgeous citrus palate and sweet aftertaste. People around me were comparing the main flavour of this 5% ABV lager as being honey-like, but of course as a hardcore vegan I would never say such a thing. 😉
I have never consumed an alcohol-free beer that I enjoyed, until now. Der Graf Von Bavaria is a wheat beer that I could easily drink if a doctor told me I had to give up alcohol. Highly recommended for those cutting down on drinking but who still want to enjoy the taste. It truly gives the experiences of drinking a gorgeous, full-bodied wheat beer.
Sunday is a pale ale that tastes like a pale ale. If you love pale ales, you will be in your element with this 5.5% ABV spiced drink. This is not the tangiest ale in the And Union repertoire but it certainly dances on your taste buds.
A step down the IBU scale (Google it, baby) from Friday, Handwerk still lives up to its IPA label with full citrus tang but with a bit of a smoother ride. This is another one I would pick up when I wasn’t in a rush to finish my beer. 5.5% ABV.
When looking over my notes for this drink, I can see I wrote the word ‘malty’ with two big ticks next to it. If you check out the stats, you can see why this was a winner: 6.5% ABV, 9 months in the bottle before I got my lips on it and a malty taste you can almost chew. I could drink this all day. Delicious.
Here is the reason for the beer tasting event. This wheat ale measuring in at 5.5% ABV is one of the most drinkable beers I’ve ever had the thrill of tasting. I might have trouble finding it on tap around the city seeing as it launched just this week, but I’m going to make it my mission to find a pub near me serving Summer up by the pint.
OK. We are done. What a wonderful experience. Many thanks to Byron for having me along.
Look for And Union vegan beers in all good craft beer pubs and retailers, including Whole Foods Market stores.
Follow And Union on Twitter.
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Visit And Union online.