Some people think writing these articles means I get a few perks or to pull a few strings, but it doesn’t work like that, and trying to blag a table at the Bell & Bear’s (Emberton) fabulous sounding beer menu evening got me nowhere. However luck was on our side. The heavy snow that fell on Saturday, deterred all but the hardiest walkers and locals. So we donned our walking boots and trudged over to Emberton to take a cancellation.
It was well worth battling through the snow. The menu is reprinted below. Imaginative use of beer weaved into each course, and also served with a half a pint of complementing beer, lager or stout. They use local ingredients wherever possible including vegetables grown in the village and bread made by a local. This care and attention to detail achieves great results. I loved it all, but would say the Belly Pork and the Vanilla Stout ice cream were my stars of the evening.
Gareth’s Homemade Breads: Guinness & Pernod / Brewers Yeast “Extract”
Cod Cheeks cut “Goujon” in Ale Batter with Ham Stock Pea Puree
Beer: Wheat Beer: Hoegaarden Blanche 4.9%
Colchester Oysters Grilled with Buntingford Ale, Mustard Grain & Vintage Cheddar Rarebit Topping
Beer: White Park Kelly’s Stout 4.5%
White Park “NightJar” Porter Braised Free Range Local Pork Belly with
Smoked Ham Leek & Mustard Wellington, Porter Steamed Spinach Leaves & Roasted Mushroom Veloute.
Beer: Warsteiner Premium Verum – German Pilsner 4.7%
Pave of Local Beef Featherblade, Concrete Cow Fennypopper Jus, Bay & Onion Crouton, Puree of Salsify, Chipped Parsnips & Confit Cherry Tomato
Brand New Local Brewery: Hopping Mad Brewery “Test Brew”– Olney. 4.3%
Tastings of Cheese with Biscuits, Concrete Cow Pail Ale & Red Onion
Isle of Wight Blue, Brie D’Isgny, Barbers 1833
Beer: Concrete Cow Pail Ale 3.7%
Raspberry Beer Granita made from Puree Rasberries & Kaltenburg “Hell” (Helles Light Beer)
Beer: Liefmans Lambik Cherry Kriek, Cuvee Brut 6.0% abv
Chocolate Mousse on Cocoa Sponge, “Crispies”, Concrete Cow Vanilla Stout Ice Cream
Beer: Concrete Cow Cloven Hoof Vanilla Stout 4.5%