Published on March 10, 2017 | by Alastair Gilmour


Doctors do it by appointment

A highlight of the regular Beamish Hall beer festivals is the research into different aspects of beer drinking by Stables Brewery head brewer John Taylor (based at Beamish Hall) and a team of doctors.

Although it’s primarily a bit of fun with the Beer Doctors (one of them a real one) sporting lab coats and clipboards, it has some serious merit.

John Taylor says: “The idea is to conduct various taste tests on a number of subjects to try find answers and possibly dispel a few myths. At the Beamish Hall winter beer and gin festival – a hectic and hugely successful event – the question was, can we tell how strong a beer is by taste only? So, we selected four beers of similar colour ranging in strength from 3.8% abv to 5.4% abv. Only three people out of 46 managed to place all the beers in the correct order – Angus Randall, Martin Henderson and Edd Goundy. If they get in touch with the brewery I have a prize waiting.”

Other findings from the Beer Doctors concluded that 48% of respondents correctly identified the strongest beer but only 28% got the weakest one right. Interestingly, 44% of women but only 11% of men correctly identified the second-strongest beer, demonstrating that the female of the species is indeed deadlier than the male.

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Alastair Gilmour

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