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Monday, June 2, 2008

Gordon Ramsay Promoting Beer and Food

I have been extremely busy for the last couple of weeks and I'm finding it hard to keep pounding out daily posts. I am working on it though. In the meantime, here is an article I found this during my daily google searches. Fun read and hopefully we'll hear something like this regarding a brewery of our own one day.

AN Edinburgh brewer behind the world's first oak-aged beer is preparing for major growth after winning the backing of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

Dougal Sharp, founder of the Innis & Gunn Brewing Company, was invited by the fiery chef to help him brew a version of the beer at his London home on his TV programme The F Word.

After the brewing process was featured on this week's episode, the beer is currently being allowed to mature for 30 days in whisky barrels that provide its distinctive oak flavour. It is then to be served up with a veal main course on the final episode of the series.

Ramsay is using the Innis & Gunn product to show how well quality beer can be matched with fine cuisine.

The chef already sells the beer in his east London gastro pub The Narrow, and it is understood he is to stock it across his burgeoning pub and restaurant empire.

Mr Sharp, whose father Russell bought the Caledonian Brewery in 1987 and helped make Deuchars IPA a household name, said: "It is great that Gordon has chosen to do something like this and it shows how far beer has come from its beer bellies and sandals image.

"The fact that you can match Innis & Gunn with food is what won out for us with Gordon. The character of the beer makes it suitable and Gordon picked up on that. He's a hell of a nice bloke and he's very passionate about the things he's interested in.

He's very interested in the brewing process and how to do that, and it's been a lot of fun working with him. It's been a real learning experience for me as well."

Innis & Gunn filled 10,000 barrels of beer in 2007 – double its 2006 levels – as its popularity took off in the UK, United States, Canada and Scandinavia.

Celebrity chef and Great British Menu star Mark Hix has already helped introduce the beer to "beer dinners" attended by celebrities and food and drink critics, which has helped to make the name known and grown its reputation for being food-friendly.

The "base" beer is provided by the Belhaven Brewery, then left to mature in William Grant & Sons barrels to produce the oak flavour.

The product, which is only sold in bottles, is already stocked in many of the UK's leading supermarkets, bars and restaurants, and a stockpile has been built up to allow for the growing demand.

Graham Bell, a spokesman for the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said the success of the brand could inspire other small businesses.

He said: "What Innis & Gunn have shown is that brewing is far from dead in Edinburgh.

"They have a quality product that is retailing at twice the price of other beers and people are lapping it up.

"It shows that whatever you're doing, if you are innovative then you can be a big success nationally and internationally."


Ralph said...

Pretty cool article. It would be nice to see a big Toronto chef endorse a small Ontario brewery.

Greg Clow said...

We downloaded and watched the episode (as we do with every episode of The F-Word), and while it's great to see Ramsay supporting good beer, it was pretty amusing to see how little he knows about it. He did a tasting of a number of beers including Anchor Steam, Meantime IPA, Innis & Gunn, Brooklyn Chocolate Stout and a couple of others, and didn't seem to care for a lot of them. He even spit out the Brooklyn Chocolate. Whatta pussy! ;)

Troy Burtch said...

Haha. Really!! I gotta download the episode and watch that. At least he appreciates Innis and Gunn.

Thanks for posting that Greg.

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