Sunday, 29 June 2014

Beers of the World Cup - #8 Mexico - Cerveceria Mexicana Dia de Los Muertes, 'Death Rides a Pale Horse', Blonde Ale

Mexico crashed out of the FIFA World Cup Quarter Finals earlier tonight as a result of two late goals from the Netherlands. As I work my way through my #beersoftheworldcup challenge, it seems rather fitting that the Mexican beer that I had selected was 'Death Rides a Pale Horse' Blonde Ale from Cerveceria Mexicana. Was the pale horse in question a certain Arjen Robben?
The Cerveceria Mexicana Brewery the third largest brewery in Mexico is based in the town of Tecate, Mexico just 100 yards from the US Border and produce the Dia de Los Muertes speciality craft beers, as well as the more popular Cerveza Mexicali beer.
For 3000 Years the Aztecs honored the deceased in annual celebration, Day of the Dead Craft beer is produced to celebrate those traditions with care given to its individual flavors and packaging. There are six beers in the range, all carrying imaginative names and distinctive artwork supplied by local artists.

Most Mexican beers are American style ales and 'Death Rides a Pale Horse' is no different. The Blonde Ale pours with a clean golden colour and a tight foamy head. A medium carbonation means that the head sticks around until for the length of the drink. There isn't much aroma from the glass other than a slight sweetness. The sweetness carries into the taste with a little malt flavour pulling through as well giving a clean rounded finish. I imagine that on a hot day, the Blonde Ale would go go down very easily.
As Mexican beers go, the Dia de Los Muertes 'Death Rides a Pale Horse' Blonde Ale is certainly drinkable and in my honest opinion, I actually preferred it to the usual Mexican suspects.
Keep up to date with my progress on Twitter as I try to complete my challenge and you can also let me know which Mexican beers you would pick, using the hashtag #beersoftheworldcup


Friday, 27 June 2014

Beers of the World Cup - #7 Australia - Little Creatures Pale Ale

The second week of the FIFA World Cup is over and The Socceroos  are out of the tournament, heading home quicker than Paul Hogan can say "chuck a couple of shrimp on the barbie".

As I continued with my #beersoftheworldcup challenge I had plenty of Australian beers to choose but in the end I selected a bottle of Pale Ale from Australian brewer, Little Creatures Brewing.

Little Creatures Brewing, named after a song lyric from the Talking Heads Little Creatures album and refers to the live yeast cells that turn the sugars in malt wort into alcohol. Based in Fremantle, Western Australia, and has been brewing Pale Ale since their inception in 2000.
Little Creature Pale Ale is an American Pale Ale and brewed with Cascade and Chinook whole hop flowers and Australian malts.
The Little Creatures Pale Ale pours with a creamy head that rest on top of the ale all the way down the glass. Golden brown in colour, with aromas of citrus and malt easy to identify, I knew that I was going to enjoy this Australian offering. The Pale Ale tastes fantastic, with a clean citrus bite ending with a round hoppy finish. The beer has a high carbonation but despite this it is very easy to drink - definitely one of the beers from the challenge that I would stock in my beer fridge at home.


Product Review - Infusions Salmon Fillets from Harbour Salmon

Last weekend thousands of visits made their way to Edinburgh to visit The Royal Highland Show. Myself and Nicola also made the trip Ingleston Park with Gerry's Kitchen attending the show in a official press capacity. Look out for a more detailed report about the huge range of food and drink producers that we managed to catch up with on the day.
By the end of the day we had purchased lots of bits and pieces including fresh honeycomb, craft beers, steak pies and artisan breads. On top of this, both myself and Nicola had tasted our way through a mixed bag of sweet and savoury samples with the highlight of Nicola's day being a huge mint choc-chip ice cream cone courtesy of the kind people at Rizza's of Huntly.
After introducing myself to the staff at the Harbour Salmon stand, I was offered a few product samples to try out and give and some feedback on.
Working with Freedom Foods (part of the RSPCA), Harbour Salmon run their own salmon farms where they take great care that their fish eat properly and get plenty of exercise. This makes sure that the salmon are grown to the best possible welfare standards, before they become part of the tasty Harbour Salmon range.
With the FIFA World Cup in full swing, it was fitting that we were given a pack of Infusions Salmon Fillets with the new Brazilian Moquaca marinade. Moquaca is a traditional fish stew from Bahia in the northwest of Brazil made using coconut milk, tomatoes, onions, garlic, coriander and palm oil. The Infusions also come in two other flavours - Red Thai, and Ginger, Chilli & Lime.
The pack contains two good sized boneless salmon fillets that are vacuum packed along with a blend of herbs and spices. I'm always on the lookout for easy to cook dinners that Nicola is able to make when I work my late night, and with the Infusions, I think I've definitely found something that can be added to the easy cook list. The salmon can be cooked in the oven or easier still, simply pop into the microwave and after a few minutes the fish will cook perfectly in its own steam.
Just three minutes on the microwave and I had almost perfectly cooked fillets of wonderfully seasoned salmon. I say almost a the calinpbration on my microwave might be a little out as the fish had dried out slightly at either end but that just means that I need to take a few seconds off of the cooking time.
With some buttered Jersey Royals, tender stem broccoli and bream beans, the Brazilian Moqueca marinade salmon fillet made apfor a deliciously light evening meal. The marinade had given the fish a taste that was unlike anything that I'd eaten previously with a nice balance of herbs working with the slightly sweet salmon.
I don't normally buy salmon as Nicola isn't a massive fan of salmon fillets. She loves smoked salmon but after eating more than her share of salmon fillets when it was far too trendy back in the nineties, she wouldn't thank you should you serve up a salmon fillet dish. After sampling the Harbour Salmon Infusions, her opinion on a Salmon fillets has definitely moved to a more favourable place. We both really enjoyed dinner last night and had my microwave not slightly overcooked the fish, in sure that our meal would have been even better.
Harbour Salmon products are available from branches of Co-operative and Aldi across the UK but if your struggle ing to get your hands on your own tasty salmon, get in touch with the team at Harbour Salmon and they will do their best to charm local stockist near you.
I would like to say that although we were given the samples of Harbour Salmon Infusions free of charge, the review above is an honest opinion on how much we enjoyed the product. Rest assured, I would happily add Harbour Salmon products onto my shopping list in the future.

                                                                                                                       Written by Gerry HaughianWritten by Gerry Haughian

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Beers of the World Cup - #6 Iran - Arpanoosh Istak Lemon Non-Alcoholic Malt

As I gave thought to my #beersoftheworldcup challenge, I knew that beer from some countries would be more difficult to source than other. Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, production, possession or distribution of any alcoholic beverages is illegal in Iran and punishable under Islamic law. It seemed that my challenge had just become much more difficult.
The earliest known chemical evidence of beer in Iran dates to circa 3500–3100 BC from the site of Godin Tepe in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran, and there is evidence of beer-drinking over a long period in the Persian Empire. Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, most of the breweries in Iran have switched from producing alcoholic beers to non-alcoholic malt beverages with Istak and Delster being the most popular brands being consumed across the old Persian Empire.
Now that I knew that there was an Iranian option available, I just had to find a bottle. As luck would have it, I work with an Iranian lad who pointed me in the direction of Middle Eastern grocer, Babylon Foods in Glasgow as a likely outlet to help satisfy my non-alcoholic malt beverage needs.
Istak is a non-alcoholic malt beverage brewed in Iran from top-quality Bavarian malt and using the latest German technology. The non-alcoholic brew is available in a variety of natural flavours to suit almost every palate, from lovers of quality malt beverage to those who enjoy fruit-flavored beverage. After a little advise from the friendly Babylonian, I decided to take home a bottle of the lemon flavour Istak and scored Iran from my list.

The Istak pours with a very thin head that disappears very quickly. With a deep copper colour, the beverage was lively in the glass with good carbonation, whilst faint aromas of malt and molasses are easy to identify. The Istak actually tasted ok, although more like ice tea rather than a proper beer - in fact, I believe that on a hot day, the Istak would be great served over ice as a refreshing cooler.
As a non-alcoholic drink, Istak is one of the better tasting alcohol free brews that I have tasted but just not something that I would buy in the future as an alternative to beer.
Keep up to date with my progress on Twitter as I try to complete my challenge and you can also let me know which Iranian beers you would pick, using the hashtag #beersoftheworldcup


5 Questions - Cocoa Ooze

Back in January I visited The Scottish Speciality Food Show on a quest to discover new and wonderful independent food producers with the hope of recruiting a few that would answer '5 Questions' for me. One of the producers that I managed to catch up with was Jamie Hutcheon, the Director Chocolatier of Aberdeen based Cocoa Ooze, and creator of the most amazing luxury handmade chocolates. As it turned out, running a successful business got in the way of Jamie and my '5 Questions', but after a more recent visit to The Ideal Home Show Scotland I managed to catch up with the team from Cocoa Ooze once again.

So at the second time of asking, here's Jamie's story;

How did you get started?

Cocoa Ooze first started in my mum and dad’s kitchen. At the time I was working as a pastry chef at The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa in Aberdeen and received some fantastic training on the art of chocolate making. I was given great opportunities to work with some really talented chefs as well as receive training at The UK Chocolate Academy in Banbury, Oxfordshire.
I used all the skills I’d learned to experiment with different ingredients and techniques, using old family recipes as a guide, and soon word grew of my new venture.
I developed a business plan with help from Business Gateway and PTYBS to get things off the ground. The initial plan was to run the business part-time with the view of going full-time 2 years later. However, within 18 months, I was ready to leave the security of full-time employment and focus solely on the business.
The business soon outgrew my mother’s kitchen and in 2011, I opened my first Chocolate/Coffee Shop in Peterculter. Less than two years later, in July 2013, following the success of our first premises, my team and I transformed an empty building within the centre of Aberdeen into two storeys of chocolate heaven.

What’s the best piece of business advice you could give?

The best piece of advice I have received and what I regularly tell my staff is to ask questions. I have always been advised to always stay curious. This attitude has allowed me to constantly identify opportunities for by business. When it comes to owning a business, there is no time to be idle and I am always on the lookout for ways to keep my company one step ahead.

Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?

Cocoa Ooze has grown so rapidly in the past 5 years and surpassed my expectations in so many ways that it is impossible to really tell where we will be in 5 years. However my aim is to continue to develop and improve our products and services and increase the number of premises we have across the UK.
My passion for making chocolates for customers to enjoy has never faltered and I look forward to continue trialling different recipes over the years to come.

If you could only cook one of your own products/recipes, what would it be & why?

I think it would have to be milk chocolate honeycomb bars, purely because it is still my absolute favourite! People think I would get bored of chocolate, but I’m still a chocaholic!

You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?

My family – there is no way I could narrow it down to one of them and I would definitely be in charge of the cooking! I have a sweet tooth so the main event would be dessert! I would make homemade chocolate ice cream with our milk chocolate buttons swirled through it and topped with our white chocolate and raspberry popping candy because I’m a big kid at heart!

So whether it be a little sweet treat for yourself, a gift for someone special, or maybe a unique corporate gift, you can be sure that Jamie and his team will have something that suits everyone. Or how about trying your hand at creating your own chocolate works of art by enrolling on one of the 'Chocolate Making Workshops' that are held regularly at the Peterculter branch?
All Cocoa Ooze chocolates are produced and packaged by hand to ensure the best possible quality. To treat yourself to some Cocoa Ooze goodies, check out their online shop or visit one of their stockists throughout the UK. Even better, They also serve a delicious chocolate afternoon tea on Friday - Sunday between 1.30 - 4.30pm. The price is £11.50 per person and includes a hot drink, sandwiches, cakes, scones and truffles. Bookings can be made on 01224 467212.
Pop in for your own piece of chocolate heaven.Keep up to date with Cocoa Ooze on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Beers of the World Cup - #5 Germany - Schneider Weisse Tap 7

As the first of the competing teams begin playing their final game in their FIFA World Cup group, I have realised that my Beers of the World Cup challenge is going to be more difficult that I originally envisaged. It's proving to be almost impossible sourcing beers from some of the competing countries whilst some are very easy. Tonight I moved onto to one of the favourites for the tournament with a chilled bottle of Schneider Weisse Tap 7 from Germany.
G.Schneider & Sohn is a Bavarian brewery company founded in 1872 when Georg Schneider and his son (also Georg) acquired the Weisses Brauhaus in Munich, the oldest wheat beer brewery in the city. In 1927, descendants of Georg Schneider extended their brewing operations to Straubing and Kelheim. After the brewery in Munich was destroyed during air raids in 1944, the entire brewing production was moved permenantly to Kelheim.
The brewery produce a mixed range of differing wheat beers with Schneider Weisse Tap 7 being a nod to the past. Georg Schneider I bought the right to brew wheat beer from King Ludwig II and started brewing his delicious wheat beers in 1872. The current brew master still makes Schneider Weisse Tap 7 from the original recipe of the brewery founder.
Schneider Weisse Tap 7 pours with a foamy head that stays with the drink all the way to the bottom of the glass. The beer was darker in colour than I had expected, with a deep mahogany brown finish. Strong scents of clove and nutmeg are easy to identify with the faint aroma of banana bread also easy to spot. To taste, the beer has a similar taste to the Belgian Leffe with clove being the easiest taste to identify although there is a noticeable sweetness that help add some balance to the palate.
As far as German wheat bears go, it was certainly a beer that I would drink again. However, given the choice I would reach for my favoured Erdinger Hefe-Weizen if I was looking for a refreshing pick-me-up. The complex flavours of the Schneider Weisse Tap 7 are probably a better match or drink with strong tasting foods like roast pork, Bavarian sausage, marinated prawns, camembert, peperoni and olives - which is how I will try my next bottle.

Keep up to date with my progress on Twitter as I try to complete my challenge and you can also let me know which German beers you would pick, using the hashtag #beersoftheworldcup




Thursday, 19 June 2014

Beers of the World Cup - #4 Spain - Alhambra Reserva 1925

After two defeats from their first two group matches, current World Cup holders Spain have already been knocked out of the FIFA World Cup 2014. As I sat watching the horror unfold, I tried to give my support to the Spanish team by cracking open a bottle of Reserva 1925 from one of the leading craft breweries in Spain, Alhambra.
Reserva 1925 is named with a nod to the year that Alhambra started brewing their beers. The brewery takes it name from the magnificent Alhambra Palace in the Spanish situ of Granada where they have been based for almost 100 year. The brewery was at that time situated on the outskirts of Granada, not far from the foot of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains - the source of Spain's finest water.
Despite the arrival of modern equipment little has changed in the overall brewing process since 1925. There is a great deal of difference between the Alhambra brands and other beers produced by the modern continuous brewing processes. In the case of the latter, fermentation is often accelerated and batches take approximately one week to produce. The traditional method employed by Alhambra involves slow, natural fermentation over periods of up to 39 days, depending on the brand and the desired characteristics. All the Alhambra brand beers are made with no additives. Furthermore, the water used is still drawn from the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The Reserva 1925 is an ultra premium beer that comes in a unique embossed bottle (all of the ingredients are stamped into the glass) this award winning lager and is brewed over a longer 57 day period, producing a rich caramel coloured brew with a 6.4% alcohol hit. Alhambra Reserva 1925 was voted 'Best Premium Lager' at the 2009 World Beer Awards.
Alhambra's brewing process means that their beers and lagers have a lower carbonation level than standard beers, that said - the Reserva 1925 poured with a clean white head and had a lot of life in the glass. Strong aromas of honey and yeasty bread are present, resulting in a lager that carries a noticeable sweetness that is quickly replaced with a hoppy bitterness. The Reserva 1925 has an initial syrupy sweet malty taste before the hops give a bitter finish. Alhambra categorise the Reserva 1925 as an ultra premium lager but the complex flavours in the bottle do a great job in masking the higher than normal 6.4% ABV. This is a very easy beer to drink however it isn't a beer that I could drink a lot of. This is partly down to the high alcohol content but also due to the fact that it just doesn't feel right drinking it as a session beer - it's too good for that! In fact I could easily see me enjoying the Reserva 1925 as an accompaniment to a good medium-rare steak I nstead of a glass of red wine.
Keep up to date with my progress on Twitter as I try to complete my challenge and you can also let me know which Spanish beers you would pick, using the hashtag #beersoftheworldcup


5 Questions - Thistly Cross Cider

A couple of years ago I attended a fantastic food event 'feastRen' that had been organised by East Renfrewshire Council. The showpiece of the event was a 'Meet the Producers' market that was sponsored by Whole Foods Market Giffnock. The market was attended by a host of independent producers from across Scotland who already sold their products within the nearby branch of Whole Foods Market, including Thistly Cross Cider - an East Lothian based cider producer who make traditional and cleverly flavoured ciders.
Thistly Cross Cider is produced on South Belton Farm by Peter Stuart and Ian Rennie who have seen their business grow from selling their cider at farmers markets to a business that now has bottles of their wonderful ciders stocked on supermarket shelves across the country. In addition to a growing UK market, Thistly Cross Cider is also being enjoyed all over the world thanks to distribution agents doing their bit to make sure that cider drinkers in the four corners of the world can get their hands on a bottle or two of delicious Thistly Cross Cider.
Here's Thistly Cross Cider's story;
How did you get started?
I first became interested in cider-making living in the Scottish Borders. At the time, there was a strong community of artists, small-holders and established Farming folk dedicated to working hard and putting to good use everything they could get their hands on including local apples! That interest led to meeting up with farmer, Ian Rennie and establishing Thistly Cross in 2008. We started selling our ciders and learning our craft through farmers markets and that early work paid off as word-of-mouth spread and we honed the Thistly Cross selection. This all helped us to establish Thistly’s reputation throughout Scotland and, I am now proud to say, to make a range of ciders that people genuinely rave about.
What’s the best piece of business advice you could give?
Risk everything with every step.
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?
I’d love to see Thistly Cross achieve its full potential within an exciting and dynamic UK Drinks Industry.
If you could only use one of your products, what would it be & why?
I would drink Whisky Cask Cider all day and every day. Each batch is unique, depending on the provenance of the cask so the flavour possibilities are endless. And at the end of the day, nothing is wasted - the empties are put to good use around the Farm!
You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?
If I had to sit down to my last meal, it would be a bit of a long drawn out affair with lots of food and drink. I’d love to be able to share it with my wife, family and friends, from Thistly and elsewhere, but we would definitely be in need of some good music to accompany the feasting: on that basis, Jimi Hendrix would be an excellent dinner companion.
As the centre piece, I’d like to prepare and eat a whole heather and honey fed Highland cow, slowly hot smoked with apple wood in an American style BBQ. And once the feast was over, we could all kick back with a few whiskies and discuss with Jimi what was next, beyond the stars.
Myself and Nicola both huge fans of the ciders that Thistly Cross are producing, with the Real Ginger Cider being both our favourites. That said, I really enjoy the Whisky Cask Cider which packs a bit of a punch and is also great as a recipe ingredient with pork. With Summer now making a little appearance, why not pick a bottle or two up from your local supermarket or easier still - place your order online and have it send direct to your door!
Keep up to date with Thistly Cross Cider on Facebook and Twitter.


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Beers of the World Cup - #3 Brazil, Amazon Beers Cerveja Forest Fruit Bacuri

Tonight the FIFA World Cup 2014 host nations, Brazil, are playing Mexico in the second of their three group games. In anticipation for tonight's match, I had craft beers for both nations chilling in the fridge although I was undecided on which nation's beer I would sample when I arrived home.
I decided to throw my support behind Brazil and cracked open a chilled bottle of Cerveja Forest Bacuri from Amazon Beer, a microbrewery based in the Docks Station complex in Belém do Pará in the north of the country.
If truth be known, the only Brazilian beer that I could think of was Brahma which is a beer that I really do not like. Resigned to the fact that I might need to force myself to guzzle a bottle for the sake of the #beersoftheworldcup challenge! I was overjoyed when the helpful staff at The Cave on Glasgow's Great Western Road recommended that I try a Brazilian lager that they had recently begun to stock.
Amazon Beer produce a number of lagers, stouts and wheat beers from their microbrewery in northern Brazil. In addition to these recognised beer styles, they also produce a pilsner style beer that is infused with the bacuri fruit which is a fruit native to the Amazon Rainforest. Bacuri fruit is a pulpy fruit with a very sweet yet slightly acidic taste and is in high demands around the markets of Belém where it is used in the preparation of jams, sweets and cakes.
This pilsner style lager pours with a very thin head that disappears rather quickly but has good carbonation so the drink still shows signs of life in the glass. The bacuri fruit gives the beer a very definite citrusy aroma, more lime scents than lemon. As for the taste, I found Forest Fruit Bacuri to be very pleasant, with similarities to a good old fashioned glass of lager and lime - a perfect session beer for a hot Summer's day. On its own it is very fresh with a strong bitters finish, but when drank alongside the pesto pasta that I had for dinner last night, the beer worked wonderfully with the malty flavours of the beer shouting for my attention.
It's safe to say that I have now found my new favourite Brazilian beer and look forward to enjoying a few more bottles of Cerveja Forest Fruit Bacuri before the FIFA World Cup comes to a close in the coming weeks.
Keep up to date with my progress on Twitter as I try to complete my challenge and you can also let me know which Brazilian beers you would pick, using the hashtag #beersoftheworldcup


Beers of the World Cup - #2 USA, Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale

When it comes to selecting an American beers for my Beers of the World Cup challenge, there's no shortage of contenders. Of course, lots of the 'usual suspects' like Budweiser, Coor's Light and Miller Genuine Draft are now brewed under licence in the UK and have lost their identity and in my honest opinion, all taste very alike. Having said that, there is a huge revival of craft beers coming out of America right now so I knew that I would have no problem in finding something that I hadn't tasted before.

My trip to The Cave in Glasgow's Great Western Road last Friday had allowed me to come home with a third of the beers ticked off of my list of thirty-two competing nations at the FIFA World Cup 2014, with one of my buys being a bottle of 312 Urban Wheat Ale from Chicago craft brewery, Goose Island Brewery.
Goose Island Brewery started life in 1988 as a single brewpub, serving food and drinks including some of their home brewed beers, before opening their larger brewery in 1995. Since then, Goose Island Brewery has produced a wide range of ales and lagers that are sold across the USA and the UK. As the popularity of Goose Island Brewery grew, it was only a matter of time before the brewery big boys turned up and in 2011 it was announced that the majority share of the business was to be sold to Anheuser-Busch. Currently, the majority of the beers produced by Goose Island Brewery are still manufactured at the home site in Chigago although some of the beer range is manufactured under licence elsewhere in the USA in order to keep up with demands. Hopefully Goose Island Brewery doesn't lose it's own identity now that it is part of the Budweiser stable of beers.
From the moment that the cap is prized from the top of the bottle, there is a noticeable citrusy aroma although this doesn't last too long. The 312 Urban Wheat Ale pours with a thin head that quickly disappears and is not as cloudy in appearance as some of the big hitting Belgian wheat beers, looking more like a scrumptious cider as it settles in the glass. The citrus scents are also noticeable when tasting with a slight lemony tang making the ale a little acidic to taste. The 312 is an easy enough beer to drink but probably not one that I would go back to in a hurry. With memories of the fantastic Blanche de Namur from Belgium still fresh in my mind, maybe it was a little unfortunate that the next beer to step up to the plate in the #beersoftheworld campaign was another wheat beer, it was always going to be a hard task to beat the Belgians at their own game.
That said, don't be fooled into thinking that the 312 Urban Wheat Ale from Goose Island Brewery is one to avoid, 312 Wheat Ale delivers a clean and crisp, easy drinking beer that would be great on a hot Summer day but it's probably not going to be the first American bottle that I'd pull from the shelf.
Keep up to date with my progress on Twitter as I try to complete my challenge and you can also let me know which American beers you would pick, using the hashtag #beersoftheworldcup


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Beers of the World Cup - #1 Belgium, Bocq Brewery Blanche de Namur

As you may be aware, I have given myself a challenge to try to drink a beer from each of the thirty-two competing nations. Some of the countries will be very difficult to source whilst some will be very easy. For the countries where I am able to find beers without too much trouble, I have decided to select a beer that I have not tried before now.
Last Friday afternoon I took a trip to Glasgow's West End with the hope that I could make a big dent into my list. As it turned out, I managed to come home with beer from eleven countries, with seven of them being picked up in specialist beer retailer, The Cave on Great Western Road.
There are no shortage of quality beers from Belgium, but in the end I opted for a bottle of Blanche de Namur from the Bocq Brewery in the Condroz region of Begium.
The Bocq Brewery was set up in 1858 by Martin Belot and is still 100% family owned and one of the last traditional breweries in Belgium.
This award winning wheat beer is named in memory of the beauty, sweetness and delicacy of Blanche de Namur, a former Queen of Norway, Sweden & Scania.
Blond in colour with a cloudy appearance, the beer pours with a tight head that sits happily atop the drink as you work your way down the glass. There is a noticeable aroma of coriander and bitter orange, scents that are familiar in other Belgian wheat beers, giving the Blanche de Namur a fresh fruity nose. It is recommended that this beer is drunk alongside red meats or highly seasoned white meat dishes but I found it a very easy drinking beer on its own. I'm a big fan of Belgian wheat beers and really enjoyed my first offering from the Bocq Brewery, this will definitely be a beer that I will be drinking more of after the World Cup has finished.
So there you have it, one down with thirty-one to go. Keep up to date with my progress on Twitter as I try to complete my challenge and you can also let me know which Belgian beers you would pick, using the hashtag #beersoftheworldcup

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