An Introduction To The Griffin MALTS (Monthly Ale Lovers Tasting Session)

An Exclusive Insight By ‘The Man With The Jugs,’


Virgins. Yes I know. It’s an odd word to start an article about beer drinking, dear reader, but that’s what those attending the first monthly soiree of the Griffin MALTS must have felt like. Trembling with anticipation, possibly, but also slightly apprehensive about what might soon follow.

So what are the Griffin MALTS? Simply, it’s a group of Griffin regulars who get together on the third Tuesday evening of each month to taste, savour and discuss a range of five or six beers selected by Gilly for our appreciation.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea. We are not a bunch of beer obsessed geeks raving about the merits of various strains of wild hops grown in the Andes. Neither will you get comments about how the taste of the beer is ‘bombarding one’s taste buds with hints of freshly mown grass with a lingering taste of Marmite enveloping the tongue.’ We are a friendly bunch of people who enjoy trying new beers and all are welcome whether you are young, old or somewhere in the middle.

The last get together in April saw twenty of us trying five different ales. Each month will see a different theme. April’s was beers brewed using a single variety of hop (more about this in a moment).

Gilly provides a sheet that lists details of all the beers, such as the brewer, the name of the beer, and its strength, as well as other titbits such as information on the hops and malt used and an idea of what to expect from the taste of the beer. Everybody is invited to mark their beers giving a score of between one and five, in three different areas. How attractive the beer looks, how tempting it smells and how good it tastes. This is not to be taken too seriously. It is, after all, just a bit of fun and everyone will have their own favourite; It would be a boring world if we all liked the same one all of the time.

As mentioned above, single hop beers formed the theme for April. It is fair to say that some were hopped subtly, with one even having a coffee base to it, whilst other were more hoppy than a warren full of rabbits who have just discovered that a cure for Myxomatosis has been discovered and have decided to mark the occasion with an all night party.

The beer voted best that evening was ‘Golden Boar’ from Farmers Brewery in Maldon; a strong golden ale weighing at 5%. Made with luscious, fruity, Cascade hops it is a beer that has won many awards to which the soon-to-be coveted Griffin MALTS Beer of the Month can now be added.

But don’t take my word for it. Why not come along to our next tasting evening which is on Tuesday 20th May at 7.30pm? The theme for May is Belgian beers, and at just £5 per head it isn’t just the ale that is tasty.

Come along and bring a friend. See you there