Food and Drink Survey 2014: Food and Drink Shop: Beermoth

The 'year of beer' continued to be Very Much a Thing in the Best Food and Drink Shop category – we got one of your favourites, Beermoth, to proffer some bottles

Feature by Jamie Faulkner | 08 Jan 2014

If Beermoth had a message for you, it’d read: don’t be deterred by the label ‘specialist’. They say: "It's not something to be feared. We're not specialist like exclusive, more that we only stock beer and it's all good." We asked owners Jeremy Stull and Scott Davies to pick some of the weird and wonderful beers from their annals:

Noel de Calabaza (Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales) 

"These guys are one of our favourite breweries, so 'drink it' is our advice! Or, you can hold onto it, as it'll only get better with age. It's a funky, wintery one; sharp, spicy and complex. It's suitable for wine drinkers. All their stuff is brewed with wild yeast – the whole brewery's infected!"

Iris (Cantillon Brewery)

"A lot of people said you couldn't mix sour and hops but by a process of cold-hopping Cantillon managed to make it work. While the beer's fermenting they suspend a bag of hops in it for two weeks. It's kind of minty, peppery, and hoppy, but not particularly bitter. It's worth noting their beers are always very dry."

Saison Citra (Brew By Numbers)

"This one was brewed at Kernel [London microbrewery]. It felt like last summer was the age of the Saison and this is probably the best we've had of the style. Nice clean fermentation, fruity from the Citra hops, and not overly spiced. Lager drinkers would be happy with this."

Imperial Russian Stout 'Wild Turkey' (Gadds)

"This is a big one at 12%! Aged in Wild Turkey [Bourbon] barrels so it's picked up the vanilla, oaky notes. It's similar to Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout but a little weaker. It's good to see barrel-aging going on; in fact three of our four beer choices have been barrel-aged."

For those who either abstain from alcohol or detest beer, we should really point out the other picks in the category, which were, perhaps predictably, all delicatessens:

Chorlton-based stalwarts Barbakan cater for most needs with their breads, cheese, cold cuts, salad-bar and store-cupboard items, but we reckon it's the weekend sausage grill that got you voting. FYG deli in the Northern Quarter impressed too – awesome sharing platters, ManCoCo coffee, an impressive chutney and cracker selection as well as an alcohol license all, doubtless, went in their favour. In Merseyside, Delifonseca, whose Dockside eatery won the Waitrose Good Food Guide's Reader's Restaurant of the Year award last summer, might have downsized their Stanley Street deli counter in favour of the wine bar, but their food hall has enough treats for the both of them. Lunya, which deals primarily in Catalunyan staples, offers things like Serrano ham carved fresh off the bone, an inimitable wine selection, and hard-to-find cheese, making it unsurprisingly popular.