Day 3 was a perfect example of how the European breweries supported this conference as well as how dedicated the European bloggers were.
The day was really an optional day, with a visit planned to Fuller’s brewery in a suburb of London. We didn’t start until 11:00 but it had already been a full weekend, so we didn’t expect many industry attendees to participate and were discussing on the Tube during our journey to the brewery how many people would actually show up. Our guesses ranged from 20 to 28. We were pleasantly surprised to have 35 hearty souls in attendance.
And those 35 were not disappointed! Fuller’s is closed on Sunday but that did not stop them from opening up for us, bringing in a staff of at least 12, and treating us like royalty.
We first broke into small groups for tours of the 350-year old brewery. We then sat down to a talk given by Brewing Manager Derek Prentice who talked about the effects of ingredients on beer flavor and quality. He then led us into a guided tasting of the effects of aging on beer, the highlight of which was to taste a year 2000 reserve ale that has spent 11 years in bottle and then comparing it to the same beer from 2010. Fascinating and delicious!
All this time Fuller’s was running open taps in their cellar. They outdid themselves by providing us with a full, traditional Sunday dinner complete with roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, and strawberries and cream.