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Just back from a fantastic trip to Bolton's very own German Twin town, Paderborn. Stunning place, the most genuinely friendly people and topped off with some of the most fantastic beers. I won't lie, the beers were probably too good, one of my biggest achievements to date is that I've nearly made it through today following 2 taxi rides, 2 bus journeys, 2 flights and a train journey. I can't imagine sitting next to me on the plane was a pleasant experience for anyone so big shout out to Patrick for that one ;)

A little bit of background re: the trip..... So the Anglo German club headed up by Angie over in Paderborn arranged for a group of us from Bolton to go over and take part in work shops to help strengthen the ties between our two great towns (City). Visit their website at http://www.dec-paderborn.de/ Their hospitality throughout the weekend literally had no bounds, so on a personal note, thank you all for such a great stay.

On arrival and following a meet and greet, with a game of Boules and a little bit of archery, we sat down for our meal. Every time I turned round there was a fresh tray of Warsteiner waiting! It was probably a sensible idea to have an early night on Day 1, but thanks to Iby at Bolton CVS, we went in search of culture of the liquid variety! Iby who doesn't drink alcohol but was more than happy to watch mine and Daves steady decline throughout the evening!

Day two and I was introduced to Lutz from Hops Bierbar, a beer Sommelier with a range of ales that would be the envy of any bar in the UK. Following the workshops and meeting The Burgermeister (Mayor of Paderborn), who lists our very own popcorn stout amongst some of the best drinks he's ever tried. A group went to the theatre and another went on to Hops Bierbar, needless to say I wasn't much up for the theatre.

Speaking the Lutz was a real eye opener, discussing German Purity Laws and how they heat hot pokers up to 650 degrees C to insert into some of the beers for 5 seconds prior to drinking them. This makes for a more rounded flavour and adds some sweetness, and I can honestly say having tasted one with the hot poker and one without, it works! So keep your eyes peeled for these down at Northern Monkey!! Now, Lutz certainly knows how to organise a piss up in a brewery. He paced up and down behind the bar, each time returning with something stronger, stickier and ultimately not very good for you (see below). From a 10% Gin Barrel aged imperial stout, to a bretted IPA, a tripel secondary fermented in the bottle with champagne yeast, a 16% beer liquor, a marzen, and some of the best New England IPA's I've ever had from Sudden Death Brewing, gypsy brewers who a putting beers out that don't just rival the likes of Verdant, Cloudwater etc... but the Wolfman Ate My Homework truly is the best one I've ever had.

It was a fantastic day, and we've certainly made a lasting connection between ourselves and Hops Bierbar, so hopefully we can get some events in the pipeline where we can work together.

As for the City of Paderborn, I will be back and look forward to taking the family over!!

Thanks again for a great trip! #Paderbolton