Beauty and the Beer

femALE Appreciation SocietySo what is it about beer and its flavours that makes it so much fun with food? TV journalist and broadcaster Marverine Cole, is swapping her  news anchor chair to join forces with craft brewer Purity and Birmingham's Malmaison to share some ale-related secrets on 29 March at the femALE Appreciation Society.

With 20 years in broadcasting, Marverine’s alter ego, the Beer Beauty, arrived on the scene last Autumn. Her most recent hook-up with Warwickshire-based Purity was somewhat disrupted when arch-imbibers Oz Clarke and Hugh Dennis gatecrashed a tasting she was running at its brewery while researching their Raise the Bar BBC series – you may have seen Marverine sharing her thoughts when it aired back in January.

Based on the interest generated, in particular via social media according to Purity’s Kirsten Smith – nice one Twitter, facebook et al – Marverine and Purity MD Paul Halsey decided to go large, hence the event at Malmaison in Birmingham, with space for 100.

Once again aimed at women – although “everyone is welcome” Kirsten assures me – Marverine reckons those who attend “are in for an elegant evening”. That’s because not only will there be some classy beers on display, but Malmaison’s head chef Brian Neath has got involved to create some tapas-type dishes designed to match the beers on offer. So, think dishes like vegetable ceviche with Veltins Pilsner, and salmon aronchini (risotto rice cake) with UBU’s Pure Gold for starters.

Taste & flavour

Former chef and ex-publican, Paul Halsey founded Purity five years ago with his friend Jim Minkin. Environmental pioneers as well as brewers – they were among the first to install their own bespoke water filtration system – quality ingredients are vital and food matches are never far from Paul’s mind. For those interested in key flavour components, Paul Corbett from pre-eminent hop specialists Charles Faram will be making his second Beer Beauty appearance.

Marverine Cole“This event is exciting both for girls who are new to beer, and for those who already like beer,” Marverine tells ‘We’ll be showing off a set of beers which range in flavour and strength so I hope everyone will discover at least one favourite. And then we’ll be matching each to an individual dish. After all that, I reckon you’d be hard-pressed to leave without your tastebuds and your imagination being set alight.”

Might seem like a tall order. Methinks not so with Marverine at the helm. See you there.

  • £20 ticket, beers, tapas, goody bag; Malmaison, 6-9pm, One Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RD. 
  • Tickets must be purchased in advance, Steph Simpson, 0121 246 5000; see web for more details.