Last weekend Cardiff Street Food Circus was handed over to the British Street Food Festival for the Cardiff heats of their annual awards. I was invited along to Sharp's secret bar for a food and drink pairing session.
The bar was hidden so well that we couldn't find it, everyone who we asked kept up the excitement (and frustration!) by simply telling us that it was a secret, we eventually found the area and were pointed in the right direction.
Sharp's Brewery had very cleverly set up the secret bar in a van, it was all very dramatic with flickering lights in a dark room and then all of a sudden this guy popped up from no where.
The session was run by a friendly beer expert from Sharp's Brewery. Sharp's Brewery are based in Cornwall but are sold in several pubs and some supermarkets throughout the country, I've had a look at the 'find my pint' section of their website and am actually quite shocked at just how many of my local pubs sell their beer. The company are doing very well, so well that I was shocked to discover that the man behind the company is only thirty, the same age as me!
The session itself was very interesting. I like lager and I like Guinness, I don't tend to like any other beers. Clearly I've been drinking the wrong beers because I liked pretty much every beer in this session, We started by trying their award winning lager which was delicious, think lager with champagne bubbles. We then tried several of their beers ranging from pale to dark and the vintage blends, these are only up to four years old as beer doesn't have a very long shelf life.
Each beer was paired with a food to compliment it, we were all shocked by just how well the beer and food worked together, I never really knew that beer and food pairing was 'a thing', but it is!
If you are looking to host a dinner party with a difference I strongly suggest sending the friendly people at Sharp's Brewery a tweet and asking for their recommendations for beer based on the food that you are serving, I'm sure they would be willing to help and you may be pleasantly surprised at just how well it works together.
The Street Food Circus itself is usually free to attend and is in John Street, Cardiff every weekend in May and June 2015. As it played host to the British Street Food Awards on the weekend that we attended there was an entrance fee of £5, we did however receive a beer token each once we had paid so it was almost free.
There is a fantastic atmosphere at the festival, very laid back and relaxed, everyone is there to eat good food, drink good beer and chill out. The Circus is the Summer home of the much raved about Depot which was very popular last year.
The area is decorated beautifully, there are lots of lights and colourful signs, I imagine that it would look real pretty when it is all lit up in the evenings.
Halloumi bites from DFC.
A sample pot from the Brulee bar, ice cream, strawberries and salted caramel sauce.
Patagonia Cheese Steak from Patagonia.
Argentina Steak Sandwich from Patagonia.
The silver van in the background is the secret bar!
Have you/will you be going to any of the British Street Food heats? Are you planning on visiting the Street Food Circus this Summer? I'm hoping to go again but there are only three more weekends left in June so may struggle!