March – Mashtun and Meow

March –  Mashtun and Meow
Twitter : @MashtunandMeow – blog site is here
Meet the team around their name here
My 2nd beer bloggers for my Monthly Specials and these two people (Jim and Laura) are also beer and food bloggers, and lovers of cats. On their blog site there are 165 blogs posted and started in 2013.
I am not sure where I met them, my memory isn’t as good as it was, I do occasionally bump into them in pubs round Sheffield and also saw them at Beer Alive at Ice Sheffield, I was planning to do an interview on the Friday but had too much to drink on Thursday and couldn’t make it, did see them on Saturday but sat with friends and just didn’t manage to get the interview so doing it the old fashion way of sending this on email for them to answer the questions.
So lets get down to the questions.
  1. How did you start your blog site ? what was the moment where you said “let’s do a blog”.
We’d always had an interest in beer, food and spirits, and Jim was a writer for a music magazine with Laura being proof reader and editor. Four years ago, we rescued our cat, Tosin, and he quickly developed a habit of sitting near bottles of beer and spirits and frankly looking adorable… turns out the internet loves cats, who knew?! So really we just expanded from tweeting short reviews to writing full blog posts about things we have enjoyed, and we’ve kept it that way ever since.
This is their first ever post on their blog site
  1. Can you remember what your first ale pub was and what the drink was as well, what year did you start on the ale trail ?
Laura – Pretty much every Sunday in my childhood meant Sunday dinner at the Fat Cat, so it was the first place I tried beer too! I can’t remember exactly what it was but my first ever favourite beer was Titanic’s Plum Porter. I’ve been passionate about real ale as long as I have been able to drink the stuff!
Jim – The East House on Spital Hill, which is sadly no longer there. We used to get jugs of Abbeydale’s Moonshine to take across the road to the Kashmir curry house!
  1. What is your favourite brewery ? in UK and outside ?
We’re both huge fans of Buxton Brewery – both consistent and innovative, and they nail every style. Their Tap House is fantastic, too.
Abroad – we spent two weeks in Colorado last year and the beer scene there is just incredible. Jim’s favourite was Crooked Stave for their impeccable sours which take a modern American twist on Belgian tradition. Laura loved the tiny Black Bottle Brewery (look them up, you won’t regret it!) who were simply outrageous in both character and beer.
  1. What do you think to ale in a can ?, can you see it being the next big thing or just a fad ?
Whilst we don’t think it will replace bottled beer, for certain beers and breweries it seems a positive step forward – it’s arguably easier to maintain good quality across a longer shelf life (when done properly), has less environmental impact and looks bloody good on a shelf too! We think it’s here to stay.
  1. Keg vs Cask – which do you prefer ? can you see keg taking off in Sheffield ?
It completely depends on the beer, there’s no definitive answer to this for us. We do know for sure we will never turn our back on cask ale – you can’t beat a well kept pint! We hope keg does take off more than it has in Sheffield as more choice for the consumer can never be a bad thing. Sheffield already has tons of amazing pubs and bars serving great cask, and great keg, and we’d love to see both sectors grow.
Good beer for all, no matter what the format, sums up our answer to the past 2 questions. As long as you’re enjoying what you drink, does the dispense method really matter?
  1. What is your best city/town to drink in ? do you have a favourite country ?
Ooo that’s a tough one. In the UK, we were blown away by Aberdeen! Casc and 6 Degrees North were both brilliant and made the ridiculously long drive worth it. We also love Leeds, Bristol, Liverpool and of course our hometown, Sheffield.
Favourite country – as we mentioned above, America is so far ahead of us in terms of beer, although we’re catching up fast!
  1. What do you think will be “big” in 2017 in the beer industry ?
More fruit additions in beer to compensate for hop shortages, particularly for recently established breweries, and a continuing upsurge in the popularity of sours. Also more beers based on food, following on from the “dessert beer” theme that’s sprung up over the past year or so.
We hope the “murk” craze that’s new this year will die a quick death – breweries adding things such as pectin and flour to beer just so it looks “on trend” is frankly ridiculous and a sign of misguided brewing as far as we’re concerned.
  1. Which part of Sheffield beer week did you like the most ?
The sheer range of events was phenomenal, hats off to Jules for organising such a brilliant week. If we had to pick a favourite, it’d be the North vs South Fierce and Fourpure beer and food pairing at the Beer Engine. The drinks and food were absolutely spot on, and it was great to spend some time with the brewers as well.
You can find their beer blog about Sheffield beer week here
  1. What has been the best beer festival you have been to ?
The Good Beer Feast hosted by Brussels Beer Project last year – whilst the range wasn’t enormous (2 beers at once from 12 different breweries from around Europe), every single one was so carefully chosen, with knowledgeable brewers on hand, and what could be better than a glorious sunny afternoon in Belgium?! One of those moments that makes you realise the time and the place is absolutely integral to the experience of enjoying beer.
  1. I notice you like food pairing so which is your best food/ale pairing and why ?
Laura – I LOVE baking with beer, particularly stout infused chocolate brownies! The best ones I’ve ever made were with Abbeydale’s coconut edition of Salvation Stout, the richness of the beer just oozed from every crumb!
Jim – I’m going to cheat a bit and direct you to this post of ours – – we were invited by Tempest, one of our favourite breweries, to take over their social media for a week via different food and beer pairings every day, and we had an absolute hoot coming up with ideas and obviously eating and drinking ridiculously well for a week!


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