It’s been a busy year!

At last I have managed to sit down with a beer and write another blog.

In the last year I’ve hosted beer and food pairing events with J D Wetherspoons, collaboratively created and brewed a beer with the brilliant Croydon based Clarence and Fredericks Brewery – a rather good Oat Milk Stout which I was very pleased with especially as it was voted beer of the festival at Bromley CAMRA’s 2013 Beer Festival. I have also gained accreditation as a Beer Sommelier from the Beer Academy.

All this whilst keeping down my day job – no wonder I need a beer!

For those of you not familiar with the sommelier accreditation scheme, the Beer Academy, which is an arm of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, have been running this scheme for a few years. I was the 48th person to pass and the first the academy list as coming from Kent- Kent where all the hops grow!! Who’d have thought??

In order to achieve the accreditation I had to pass three courses held by the Beer Academy before sitting an exam. As you can imagine the revision for the exam was truly terrible as I had to spend many a night drinking different beers. To add to this torture my exam was delayed for a fortnight due to the tube strike !

The day finally arrived and one of my tasks was to blind taste approximately fourteen beers which as my exam was at 10.30 in the morning was no mean feat. Having taken the precaution of partaking of a full English breakfast en route however I was ready for the challenge.

As I posed for a photo for the Academy website proudly holding my Sommelier Medal I was however a tad rosy faced and sadly I wasn’t able continue basking in my success for long as I had to shuffle off to the day job hoping the packet of mints I ate on the tube disguised the smell of beer…..

Taking the Beer Academy courses was a joy and I urge all you beer fans to have a look at the Beer Academy website to see if there is a course that takes your fancy.

If you do take a course expect as I have to meet some really great people as I have constantly found beer drinkers, brewers, fellow sommeliers ( so proud I can now say ‘fellow’) and nearly everyone involved in beer on every level are nice people. This leads me to claim that beer is more than simply booze and this is a point I plan to discuss in a later blog and I look forward to hearing your feedback.

But for now, I’m going to pour myself another beer