As someone who is more partial to a G&T than an ale; I was slightly apprehensive about heading off to an Ale Tasting class. However, with the rise in popularity of craft beer and real ale I was eager to learn more about the hoppier side of drinking, so I headed down to The Oast House for one of their ale tasting masterclasses with the rest of the team.
Once inside The Oast House; we were greeted with the usual crowd of office workers, young professionals and shoppers - relaxing after a long day in the city. We met our Beer Guru Warren (his actual job title - ace!) and made our way through the crowds to our table.
The Oast House is a great place to get a fantastic selection of real ales in Manchester
Ale Tasting classes at The Oast House come in three different ways. The first is a 90 minute tasting of eight different ales and beers, the second adds deli platters to the equation, and the third option includes a choice of one of their trademark Hanging Kebabs or Burgers. We opted for the third option of course, and nestled ourselves around a long table filled with jars of various hops which we then learnt were how the ales and beers get their different colours and flavours.
On the menu were four draught and four bottled beers, ranging from a drinkable 4.1% to a hearty 8.2%, with a belly-busting plate of food waiting for us when we finished. Most of the ales we tried - from 'Arizona' from Phoenix Brewery in Heywood, Gtr Manchester to Jaipur from Thornbridge Brewery in Bakewell, Derbyshire - were relatively locally brewed and you could tell that this was important to the ethos of The Oast House which prides itself on locally sourced produce.
Step inside The Oast House for an ale tasting masterclass sampling the some of the best real ale in Manchester
With sumptuous food included, the ale tasting at The Oast House is definitely one to check out with a collection of the best in local ales as well as beers from further afield with some great variations of German Weiss beer. The Beer Guru certainly earned his job title, sharing his fascinating ale knowledge which gave me a new found respect and admiration for the drink. The class definitely turned my ale opinion on its head, and I'm eager to head back to The Oast House as their collection is replenished with plenty more ales and beers to enjoy.
Ale tasting classes at The Oast House start at £15 per person. 6 people minimum. Call 0161 829 3830 to book.