Greene King Hop (formerly The Beer To Dine For)

22 11 2010

 So we meet again Mr Bland….

 I was working at Greene King when The Beer to Dine For officially launched, unofficially it was the launch of butt plug beer but we wont go into that here…

Whatever it was called one thing is for certain it is still kicking around today, now under the interesting name “Greene King Hop”. The premise behind beer to dine for was that it would be the perfect accompaniment to food and would help win people over to real beer, particularly women.

The reality was a little different:

It looks fairly good, both in the bottle and when poured, having a nice clear honey gold colour with a fairly small head that quickly dissipates to nothing; I can well imagine it being poured into fancy glasses at some dinner party in suburbia and  fitting in well amongst the Blossom Hill and Jacob’s Creek.

The worry started to set in when I realised that there is no aroma, not just that it is faint but that there is quite literally nothing at all, not good.

The worrying lack of anything continues when you take a sip the best thing I can say about GK Hop/Beer to Dine for is that it is bland.  There isn’t really anything about it that jumps out and grabs your attention. There is some sweetness there and a slight amount of bitterness but being brutally honest there isn’t really much more flavour then you would find in Carlsberg or any other mass-produced lager.

Now correct me if I am wrong but isn’t the whole point of proper beer to steer people away from tasteless crap and onto something with a bit more going for it? Well you will never achieve that goal if the alternative is just as bland and unassuming.

The finish isn’t really anything you would be impressed by either it is thin and just helps contribute to the fact that this might as well be a bottle of fizzy syrup that has been allowed to go a bit skunky.

Oh yes did I mention the fact that due to the naff clear glass bottle 4 out of the 7 I tried had a nice skunky essence to them, just what I would want with my coq au vin!

I don’t go in for the idea of slagging off Greene King because they keep buying up smaller brewers but at the same time they really should know better than to put their name to this muck. It is marginally better with food but that is only because it is bland and inoffensive and doesn’t detract from what you are eating.

1/5

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How to make your own Hummus

1 11 2010

Sometimes I  struggle here in Ireland, I really do. One of the things that I struggle with is that some ethnic foods here just aren’t very good and by not very good I mean downright awful!

Take hummus for example, I have always eaten hummus and to me it is a common thing to have in the fridge or to see in the shops, over here you would think we were dealing some far more rarefied beast all together.

A lot of shops just don’t stock it at all and those that do sell this bland flavourless muck that seems to have taken hummus hostage someplace and is masquerading in its place. You do come across some pretty good homemade, organic hummus at farmers markets etc but you had better popped to the bank first as you will need deep pockets to afford any.

So it is a good thing that I make my own, here is what you will need:

400g tin of chickpeas

4 cloves of garlic

juice of 1 lemon

2tbsp of Tahini (sesame seed paste)

1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

 

Drain the chickpeas and place into a blender along with all of the other ingredients, blitz them all together until you have a nice smooth paste.

And there we have it, hummus,  I fail to see why some people think that this quick, easy and cheap dip should carry a price tag of €4/5 for 150g.

This hummus will keep for about 3 days in the fridge but I would be surprised if it ever lasted that long!








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