Staffordshires Food and Drink Scene.

Tag: shop independent

Staffordshire shop named winners in ‘Drink Rioja’ campaign

Indie wine shop Wolseley Wine Loft, which lies between Rugeley and Stafford at Wolseley Bridge, has been named Off-Trade Winners of Wines from Rioja’s ‘Drink Rioja’ campaign. The Loft, as…

Indie wine shop Wolseley Wine Loft, which lies between Rugeley and Stafford at Wolseley Bridge, has been named Off-Trade Winners of Wines from Rioja’s ‘Drink Rioja’ campaign.

The Loft, as it’s affectionately known to regulars, beat stiff competition from independent wine shops across the country in a competition run by Wines from Rioja – the UK marketing arm of The Rioja Regulatory Council or Consejo Regulador de Rioja DOCa.

Shops the length and breadth of the country were challenged to celebrate all things Rioja during the month of October. Wolseley Wine Loft impressed the judges through their sheer enthusiasm for all things Rioja and efforts to spread the word among their customers.

Events run as part of the campaign included a wine tasting and talk from Ruben Quintana of Bodegas Manzanos, with the audience treated to tapas dishes which paired beautifully with the wines. The loft’s Dave Eglington gave a Talk & Tasting session at the 2019 Stone Food & Drink Festival on the topic of ‘A flight through Rioja’; introducing the audience to the huge diversity of wine styles produced in the region – including white and rosé.

The shop’s diverse range of Rioja wines – including organic and vegan wines as well as lesser-known grape varieties like a 100% Graciano grape Rioja – also impressed, with special offers available on Rioja wines sold throughout October 2019.

In addition to being named the winner of the competition, The Loft was invited to attend a ‘Rioja Recognises’ awards evening at the superb Eneko Basque Restaurant in London’s Covent Garden, hosted by Master of Wine Tim Atkin, in recognition its work with Rioja in 2019.

Wolseley Wine Loft
Upper Floor, Willey Barn, Stafford, ST17 0XS
wolseleywineloft.co.uk

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All the Tryanuary inspiration you need

As your enthusiasm for New Year’s resolutions, post-Christmas diets and Dryanuary slowly begin to fizzle away, it could be time for a new approach to get you through January. We’re…

As your enthusiasm for New Year’s resolutions, post-Christmas diets and Dryanuary slowly begin to fizzle away, it could be time for a new approach to get you through January. We’re not saying cutting back on your alcohol intake is a bad idea, but why not try something new and a bit special if you can, rather than (pardon the pun) going completely cold turkey?

Tryanuary is the perfect time to explore unusual flavours and discover your new favourite tipple. We’ve been chatting to the beer and wine experts of Staffordshire – our trusty independent bottle shop owners – to find out their not-to-be-missed favourites for you to try this January…

Torrside Cascadian Dark AleTorrside Brewery – Late to the Party Cascadian Dark Ale (Black IPA), 5.5%
“In the spirit of Tryanuary, I recommend trying this Cascadian Dark Ale (Black IPA) from Torrside Brewery. This oxymoronic style combines the malt-driven colour and dark, roasty flavours of darker beers, with the aromas and flavours expected in an IPA – in this case, citrus and piney notes from the New Zealand Southern Cross hops. #BIPAComeback.”

Phil at Otter’s Tears
24 Queen Street, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 3EG

A Growers Touch – Durif, 14%
“Your favourite wine must’ve been new to you at some point, but there’s a whole world of wines to try, so let’s get adventurous! How about trying a Durif? A great mix of blackberry, blueberry and mulberry, this wine is rich and powerful – perfect for drinking with a slow cooked lamb or beef pie.”

Dave at Wolseley Wine Loft
Upper Floor, Willey Barn, Stafford, ST17 0XS

Big Drop x Fyne Ales Jam Session raspberry gose

Big Drop Brewing Co. x Fyne Ales – Jam Session Raspberry Gose, 0.5%
“Here at Candid, we’re really enjoying this alcohol-free raspberry sour beer from Big Drop Brewing Co. in collaboration with Fyne Ales. It’s super refreshing, with a nicely balanced earthy tartness, and a mouthfeel that masks its 0.5% ABV. The perfect drop for both Dry January and Tryanuary!”

Mark at Candid Beer
Units 4 & 5, Woodings Yard, Bailey Street, Stafford, ST17 4BG

Saucony Creek – The Bronco Double Dry Hopped NEIPA, 7.8%
“A strong double lactose IPA, The Bronco is brewed by Saucony Creek, based in Kutztown, Pennsylvania – a brewery founded by former X-Games competitor Matt Lindenmuth. Rolled oats and heaps of lactose give this strong IPA a luxuriously smooth mouthfeel and creamy sweetness that balances the Mosaic hops.”

Chris and Robin at Brews of the World
159 Station Street, Burton-on-Trent, DE14 1BN

Midnight Frost Vidal Icewine bottle

Pillitteri Estates Winery – Midnight Frost Vidal Icewine, 11%
“Try this delicious ice wine from one of Canada’s top producers. The grapes are harvested at -8 degrees Celsius, leaving a tiny amount of amazingly sweet juice. Mouthcoating lychee, pineapple and peach are underscored by brilliant freshness. A must-try dessert wine for 2020. Cheers!”

Kieran at Three Pillars
6 High Street, Eccleshall, Staffordshire, ST21 6BZ

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September beers with Candid Beer

Mark and Jess Bamping opened the doors to Candid Beer in Stafford’s Woodings Yard on Good Friday 2019 after years of dreaming, planning and hard work. You can find out…

Mark and Jess Bamping opened the doors to Candid Beer in Stafford’s Woodings Yard on Good Friday 2019 after years of dreaming, planning and hard work. You can find out what Candid’s all about in our interview with Mark in the Autumn 2019 issue of Sauce Magazine, but for here are his top beer recommendations for September…

I recently discovered Lab Culture Brewery in Redditch, and instantly loved the ethos and story that underpins their fantastic beers. ‘Waste with Taste’ is probably one of the more unusual beer descriptors out there, but ultimately that’s what makes Lab Culture a truly unique brewery.

Based on a vertical farm, Lab Culture Brewery uses the excess heat created by the farm to heat and power the brewery. So their green credentials are well up there with some of the better known brewers with an environmentally conscious approach to the brewing process, such as Adnams and, more locally, Freedom. We currently have three of Lab Culture’s beers in stock at Candid Beer, and customer feedback has been really positive. Given their innovative and scientific approach to brewing, many of their beers are named after scientists, with a beer-y twist.

Lab Culture Brewery

Gregor Mendale | Pale Ale | 4.2%

This is the first beer that Lab Culture produced and forms part of their core range. It’s an American style pale ale with a hazy appearance and boasts a super smooth mouthfeel. Although the can doesn’t include details of the hop varieties used, it’s safe to assume it features a typical New World hop bill producing notes of citrus fruits, pineapple, and a hint of pine.

Alefred Nobel | Session Rye IPA | 3.6%

Rye beers are not to everyone’s taste, nor are they everyone’s ‘go to’ style. However, I’d encourage everyone to give rye beers a chance, and particularly this cracker from Lab Culture. It has the characteristic nutty and spicy undertones expected in this style of beer, and this is nicely balanced with fresh grapefruit and pine flavours. As a lower strength beer, it’s the sort of drink you could enjoy over and over.

Speciality Brew No. 002 | Lime & Basil Saison | 4%

As the name suggests, this particular beer falls outside Lab Culture’s core range. Personally, I’m a sucker for a saison – a refreshing Belgian-style farmhouse ale. Typically, saisons are characterised by their high carbonation, dry spicy finish and bready sweetness. This saison certainly features those qualities, and the addition of the lime and basil gives this beer an additional tartness and sweetness that is really refreshing. 

Candid Beer
Units 4 & 5, Woodings Yard, Bailey Street, Stafford, ST17 4BG
candidbeer.co.uk

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July beers with Brews of the World

Chris McCormack, co-owner of Brews of the World bottle shop and bar in Burton-on-Trent, is back with some tasty recommendations for July. If you’re stuck for ideas for something new…

Chris McCormack, co-owner of Brews of the World bottle shop and bar in Burton-on-Trent, is back with some tasty recommendations for July. If you’re stuck for ideas for something new to try after a day out on the road or with that last-minute barbecue, head to see Chris and Robin on Station Street and look out for these…

Brouwerij De Brabandere Kwaremont Belgian Pale, 6.6%

Kwaremont Pale Ale

Belgium, where the Tour de France began this year, is regarded by many as the spiritual home of both beer and cycling, especially in Flanders where the two often go hand-in-hand.  And there can be no more appropriate beverage to enjoy while watching la grande boucle this July than the cycling beer par excellence, Kwaremont pale ale.

Deep blond, malty, sweet and refreshing after a long, hot day in the saddle, this beer is perfect for the cycling aficionado in your life. Named after the Oude Kwaremont, the famous cobbled road near Oudenaarde (also known as the ‘calf biter’), its ABV at 6.6% matches the average gradient of this hill which has featured in so many classic bike races in that country over the years.

Ideal food pairings: cheese (if you can find them, Belgian goats’ cheeses such as Chevrin or Cabriolait are perfect) or paté on crackers, casseroles.


Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Wheat Beer Mix, 2.5% 

Schoefferhofer Grapefruit WeissenProbably the most refreshing drink you will enjoy this summer. Schöfferhofer Grapefruit is a half-and-half blend of their wheat beer with a grapefruit-based juice drink. Combining the classic flavours of banana, cloves and spices that you expect from a Bavarian Weiss with the tart, citrusy sweetness of grapefruit, it is incredibly light and gently sparkling.

At just 2.5% ABV it is perfect for a leisurely brunch, a barbecue or just relaxing in the garden on those all too rare hot, sunny days. It can also be incorporated into beer cocktails – anyone for a grapefruit beer bellini? Check out the Schöfferhofer website for further inspiration.

Ideal food pairings: barbecued food, smoked salmon, apple tarts or turnovers.


Tynt Meadow English Trappist Ale, 7.4%

There are only fourteen official Trappist breweries – where the brewing process is entirely undertaken by monks or nuns, within the confines of an abbey – worldwide, and now we have one on the doorstep in neighbouring Leicestershire.

The monks of Mount Saint Bernard Abbey, near Coalville, found that there was no money any more in dairy farming, so they sold their herd and took up brewing instead. Their new offering is in demand and the Abbey, where the monks also make pottery and honey, only produces enough of it to cover their expenses and charitable commitments in accordance with the Trappist ethos.

Tynt Meadow is a strong, dark brown ale, similar to a Belgian Dubbel in appearance and taste, yet unmistakably English. Aromas of liquorice, dark chocolate and rich fruit lead to notes of vine fruit, soft brown sugar, pepper and figs. Finally, smooth, warming alcohol leaves a warm and dry finish on the palate. 

Ideal food pairings: strong cheese, fruit cake, dark chocolate desserts.

Brews of the World
159 Station Street, Burton-on-Trent, DE14 1BN
facebook.com/BOTWBurton/

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June beers with Brews of the World

Chris McCormack and Robin Ludlow opened Brews of the World on Station Street in Burton-on-Trent almost two years ago now. You can find out more about their backstory and the…

Chris McCormack and Robin Ludlow opened Brews of the World on Station Street in Burton-on-Trent almost two years ago now. You can find out more about their backstory and the variety of beers they stock in the latest edition of Sauce magazine.

Here are Chris and Robin’s top picks for June drinking, all available now at Brews of the World.

Rauchbier Weizen, Aecht Schlenkerla, 5.2%

One of the legendary Rauchbier (‘smoked beer’) range from Schlenkerla, who are based in the town of Bamberg in Franconia. Allegedly named after a former brewer whose gangling gait may (or may not) have been due to over-consumption of his own products, Schlenkerla Weizen is brewed with unsmoked wheat malt, barley malt which has been smoked over beech woodchips and top-fermenting yeast (as opposed to lagers which are brewed with bottom-fermenting yeast).

Unfiltered and naturally hazy, this fine beer has spicy notes of cloves and banana – as expected from a Bavarian-style wheat beer – coupled with warm, smoky notes reminiscent of smoked cheese or bacon. At 5.2% ABV, it’s ideal if this is your first foray into German Rauchbier.

Ideal food pairings: seafood, chicken and pork, barbecue food.

Organic Chocolate Stout, Samuel Smith Old Brewery
, 5%

Samuel Smith's Chocolate Stout

Many so-called ‘chocolate’ beers don’t contain any actual cocoa, but make a spurious claim to the name through their use of chocolate malt – barley roasted to a dark colour which can offer similar flavour notes. Always read the label.

Having said that, there are a growing number of chocolate beers that live up to their billing. The cream of the crop is arguably Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout from Tadcaster in North Yorkshire – often referred to in brewing circles as ‘The Burton of the North’ due to the local water (‘liquor’ in brewing parlance) being similar in composition with regards to mineral content, making for great pale ales.

It clearly makes for decent dark beers too, judging by this smooth, rich, chocolatey offering with organic cocoa, sugar, hops and barley. It’s syrupy and sweet with a deep chocolatey finish.

Ideal food pairings: ice cream, cake, anything sweet.  Some of our customers mix this in a glass with Sam Smith’s Organic Cherry Beer (also available from us); and claim it tastes like Black Forest Gateau…

Duchesse de Bourgogne Flemish Red AleDuchesse de Bourgogne Flemish Red Ale, Brouwerij Verhaeghe,
 6.2%

This red ale from Flanders – the Dutch (or Flemish) speaking north of Belgium – is a throwback to an older style of brewing which was once much more widespread and shares its roots with other ales, including British porters. A blend of two ales brewed with Lactobacillus bacteria and wild yeasts such as Brettanomyces, Duchesse de Bourgogne is then aged in oak casks.

Known as the Burgundy of Belgium and named after Mary of Burgundy, who lived between 1457 and 1482 and is depicted on the label, this Belgian classic cannot fail to remind you of balsamic vinegar; you’ll also get cherries, tart sourness and berry sweetness.

Ideal food pairings: white chocolate, caramel, strawberries and blue cheese.

Brews of the World
159 Station Street, Burton-on-Trent, DE14 1BN
facebook.com/BOTWBurton/

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