ISLANDERS are being offered the opportunity to sample some of Yorkshire’s finest craft ales – while raising money for the NHS Endowment Fund – at a beer day later this month.
After a visit to the north of England to tour various beer makers, ranging in scale from the well established Great Yorkshire Brewery to the one-man operation Bricknell Brewery, Lewis Grant and Stephen Lamming filled up a car with a selection of beers to bring back to Shetland.
Islanders will get the chance to have a taste at a Beer Day held in Scalloway Boating Club on Saturday 12 May, with a family-friendly afternoon session followed by an evening event with music from local band Odessa.
Stephen said he and others had previously run a beer-tasting evening at Beervana when the Commercial Street shop was open, and were keen to “organise something and get more people involved”.
“Lewis is always keen for anything beer-related, and the idea of it being a fun experience going down visiting the breweries, chatting to the people who make it, seeing how the process is done, where they started from,” he said.
Bricknell Brewery is a one-man operation run by a retired university lecturer “literally just out of his garage”, and a wide selection of its beers – including IPAs, stouts, porters and bitters – will feature prominently.
Also on the menu will be beers from Hull-based brewery Atom and Moonstone IPA, a collaboration between the Great Yorkshire Brewery and Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley.
“I travel back to Yorkshire quite a bit,” said Stephen, who is originally from Hull. “I took Lewis down because I’m always keen to show off where I’m from.
“There’s been a revolution and an evolution in drinking. I’m not saying it’s completely changed but people are more going for the taste and variety, local breweries, they’re more interested in where it’s coming from. People have particular tastes, rather than just lager or whatever you can get that’s being served at the pub.”
Lewis said the trip happened to coincide with the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA)’s beer festival in Hull, so they were able to take down Valhalla Brewery’s Simmer Dim and White Wife ales for attendees to sample.
“We just wanted to take back some of what we’d experienced, have a nice afternoon and evening rather than just going out drinking for the sake of it,” Lewis said.
The family-friendly afternoon session will include face-painting, games, a tuck shop and a children’s film: “We’ve both got kids and are aware of the complications in trying to have a beer when you’ve got children!” Lewis said.
In addition to a taste of Yorkshire, beer day attendees will be able to try Alastair Morgan’s Viking Mead, while Jonny Sandison of the Lerwick Brewery will be offering beer cocktails.
Stephen added that any funds raised from donations on the day would go to the NHS Endowment Fund, a health service-related charity which buys medical equipment and amenities for patients, as well as funding research.
His employer’s public health department has also come on board and will be offering information on “promoting drinking as an enjoyable experience for the taste, as opposed to drinking to get drunk”.