Over 350 brew fans from around the globe joined us on Friday night as we opened the doors to the ‘Eagle Arms’, making it quite possibly the largest ‘virtual bar’ in the UK! The event was hosted by Peter Wells (Managing Director of Wells & Co) and his team of expert brewers at Brewpoint Brewery, the new home of Wells and Co, located in the heart of Bedford.
The evening kicked off with a brief background of the iconic Bedford institution, taking us back to 1876 when Charles Wells bought his first brewery in Bedford (as well as 35 pubs across the town). We discovered how by 1900, Charles had built up the company to become the leading brewery in the area. Over the years, the team have continued to create an impressive portfolio of beers – adapting and changing with the times. Today, Brewpoint brews over 6 million pints of beer a year! It was great to see how the culmination of generations of brewing experience combined with the latest technology have enabled them to produce some exceptional craft beers.
After a bit of history, the team of brewers took us on a fascinating, interactive tasting tour of six of their specially selected craft beers. Starting with the more subtle flavours of the Midpoint Pilsner through to Viennese Charm, On Point, Hop & Heart, Wit a Minute and, finally, Inkwell. As we sampled each of the beers, the brewers walked us through the brewery enabling us to get a real look and feel of the whole process. We were taught that there is a specific way to taste beer, using all the senses. Of course, there were many fantastic questions along the way (not all beer related!), including an interesting one from Darren’s mum asking James, one of the lead brewers, “What do you use in your hair James to make it so luscious?!”.
Once our tour was over, the night was still young and, with nobody having to drive home, we held several virtual lock-ins, giving everyone the chance to get together, with both new and old friends, on their own virtual tables. Some of our guests, including the 1985 1st VIII and a group of walkers from 1975, even used this as an opportunity to have a virtual reunion.
“The chat room afterwards with our group was a great addition – a first reunion of a group of us OBs who’d walked the Pennine Way together way back in 1975! Suffice to say, we stayed online chatting until midnight, or late afternoon in the case of one team member living in Maine, New England.” Peter Ganczakowski (72-82)
The conversation in these rooms must have flowed as the last person to leave their ‘virtual table’ didn’t do so until 4am!
“The virtual ‘Eagle Arms’ enabled us to bring together the whole school community, including OBs, parents and staff, in a way that would not have been possible 12 months ago. Comradeship was in abundance as we focussed for one night only on beer and friendship rather than the pandemic. I’d like to thank Brewpoint for their excellent guided tour, which added to the fun of the evening.” Hugh Maltby – Director BSA
We’d like to extend our thanks to all those who joined us to make the evening such a hit. We have a host of virtual events coming up to suit all tastes, please do keep a lookout on our events calendar for details and to book.