I was sad to have to pass this invite on. A collab between Wild Beer Co and Not Another Pop Up for Manchester Beer Week at Unit 101! But as Dr C is a fellow beer lover so I knew it would not go to waste…
Over to Dr C…
The premise of the event? A 6 course tasting menu put together by Not Another Pop Up, with matched beers by Wild Beer Co. Loving both delicious food and beer I immediately said yes. (And roped my non beer loving friend into coming along with me).
We arrived a little early, so we popped into Alphabet Brewing Company for a quick half pint. We got a shout from the folks at Unit 101 and headed two doors down for the event. What an evening we were in store for. We started off with Bibble, one of Wild Beer Co’s core range of beers whilst we got an introduction to everyone and our first course was being prepared. And so to the main event…
Our first course was Mackerel tartare served on crispy sourdough with apple. This was so so good I might’ve pinched another! This was expertly paired with the Zintuki Beer, a delicious sour beer served to us in champagne flutes.
Next was something I was very excited about after seeing Not Another Pop Ups twitter feed – smoked duck. This was served with cherries and smoked mushrooms. What a combination, I could happily eat this every single day. This was paired with the Beyond Modus III Beer. Initially we were both a little hesitant as his beer was dark in the extreme. Andy from Wild Beer Co said to give it three tastes and I’m glad we did, it was incredibly delicious and suited the smoky duck to perfection.
The menu for the event was quite vague, but we knew we were having seabass Asian style next. We weren’t expecting the delicious broth with big chunks of seabass. It was packed full of flavour, and like everything else on the menu I would happily eat this again. This time we had the Yadokai Beer – a sake inspired beer with sea notes. At a whopping 13% it was by far our strongest beer of the evening. This beer could not have been more perfect at picking out the subtle sweetness of the seabass and the umami flavours of the broth. Really guys – well done on this pairing!
I was so excited by the next dish as I adore beef. Having watched this be prepared I knew it was going to be cooked to perfection. The best way I can describe this dish it a combination of the best Sunday roast and evoking memories of a Reuben sandwich. We were both in agreement that the beef was divine and the onion puree! I have no idea how they managed to get that much flavour in there, but I could have eaten it with a spoon. Add to that the sharpness of the gherkin and it was exactly perfect. Admittedly I wasn’t that excited about having beer with such expertly cooked beef (I’m normally a red wine and beef kind of girl), but Andy at Wild Beer Co. proved me wrong with Breakfast of Champignons. An earthy, mushroomy beer that worked incredibly well with the beef and the onion elements of the dish.
Next up we moved into dessert territory and a palate cleanser of sorts. A really delicious little bowl of mango with coriander and notes of jasmine. I could have easily have eaten every portion of this little fruit salad! With the delicious mango we had the Tepache Beer – a sour beer take on a traditional Mexican soft drink made with pineapples. All of the fruit and sour flavours blended so beautifully with the food – we were definitely in a happy place!
Finally to our last course of the evening which was billed as Basil-Strawberry-Pistachio. What we received was one of the finest desserts I’ve ever eaten. I have no idea what magic the Not Another Pop Up guys worked on the pistachios, but my goodness they were a flavour revelation and seriously addictive. So much so that we were kindly given a pint glass full of them to keep munching on! After showing MissPond the menu for the evening, obviously I was messaging her the whole time making her horribly jealous, she told me that the beer paired with our final course was her favourite. I can see why, the Sleeping Lemons Export was delicious. Its preserved lemon notes and salty sour notes worked so well with the sweetness of the strawberries and definitely made the dessert/beer combo one of the best of the evening.
We had an absolutely fantastic night at Unit 101 eating and drinking our way some amazing food and drinks. I’ve already found where I can buy Wild Beer Co. beers in Leeds. Have you checked out Not Another Pop Up? Do you like Wild Beer Co? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. We were invited to check out the night by Unit 101 and Not Another Pop Up. All words, photos and opinions are my own.
P.P.S. Unit 101 is located at 101 North Western Street, Manchester M12 6JL.