I’m not an ale drinker but the husband is and I have often bought him Hobgoblin because I like the cans. That and the fact he really likes the Hobgoblin Ruby. This Halloween, in keeping with the fact Hobgoblin is best sipped in the dark, they have launched a special Beer & Bugs Snack Pack and we got sent a mini version to try.
Now I had to pass this one over to the husband, mainly because he wasn’t letting go of the Hobgoblin once it arrived but also because I am vegetarian and bugs are not.
In our mini pack we were sent 4 beers, Hobgoblin IPA, Hobgoblin Gold, Hobgoblin Ruby and King Goblin. We also got 4 packs of flavoured crickets and some packs of bugs that were ready to cook with all from Eat Grub. The pack was topped off with a recipe card, beer & bug pairing card, a Hobgoblin Eye Mask and Bar Blade. Everything we need to have a mini home tasting session.
Working with James Ramsden and his restaurant Pidgin they have created some fabulous beer and bug pairings and during Halloween week there will be a special, insect rich menu on offer.
With offerings like Grasshopper Gougeres, Spiced Raw Beef ‘larb’ with Spicy Crispy Crickets and a sweet treat of Buffalo Worm Truffles the menu sounds really exciting. I got sent a recipe to try at home as well.
When it came to cooking with the bugs I found the Cricket Protein we were sent the easiest to use, it’s a fine powder that can basically be added to anything from smoothies to baking. I’ll be honest and say I messed up with the crickets, despite having a lovely recipe for the Cricket Flour Blinis and Smoked Salmon to follow. I couldn’t quite fry the crickets to get them crispy enough and I’m still honestly not sure where I went wrong! The blinis, however, worked very well, I just couldn’t get that topping quite right.
So for our in the dark tasting session at home I stuck with the flavoured crickets. It all went surprisingly well. The crickets all had a great flavour and are very crunchy so I’m told, the texture is different but not unpleasant, just something to get used to eating because it’s quite new to us and you are expected to not eat bugs. Lots of places do just as normal, and with them being low in sugar and carbs but really high in protein they are actually very good for us.
I really think this is a great offering, it’s different and exciting and it’s always nice to see new things happening. The pairings of the beers and bugs worked really well and it’s something I’ve been talking about with my friends and people have been asking to try. Some out of a bushtucker trial curiosity and others because they just like to try new foods.
The full sized Beer & Bugs Snack pack that is available to buy online for a very good value £32 contains the 4 packs of flavoured crickets, Peri Peri, Smokey BBQ, Sweet Chilli and Lime and Salted Toffee. 16 cans of Hobgoblin, 4 of each variety I had in my mini box. The eye mask, a Wychwood Brewery 2/3 pint glass and a Beer & Bug matching card.
Disclosure – we were gifted our taster box in return for this review. All thoughts, opinions and images are my own.