[This post harks back to the halcyon days of April, when we were so young and naïve, and our Prime Minister couldn’t even imagine it would last long enough that saying “it’ll be over by
Summer Autumn Christmas Easter” could possibly be to leaving himself hostage to fortune. Anyhow, I’ve now got some of the 2020 calling out to me, so best to get the series up and running.]
I sometimes felt that I was fated not to have any of Fuller’s Vintage Ale. At various points over the last twenty years, bottles have swum into view, only to be cruelly taken from me. The pub quiz prize THAT WE WERE DEFINITELY GOING TO SHARE that slipped down a team-mate’s gullet when I wasn’t looking. The one time I’ve been asked for ID in a supermarket in the last decade. That other time, where I fancied picking one up, but I’d gone in for eggs and flour, so it seemed a touch undisciplined.
You know, soul-scarring episodes that mark you and your future. Not just a few unimportant incidents, oh no.
Fate finally determined to right this world-historical wrong a while back, when I was very kindly given a bottle of the 2015 release by a friend. So, taking events by the scruff of the neck, I built on that foundation and boldly picked up a couple of 2019’s crop from a local supermarket (when they were still about – the 2020 has taken their place on the shelves). (more…)
[NB: This is a embarrassingly late write-up – the launch was in early September. Never let it be said that I have my finger on the pulse]
After a steady refurbishment of the original site, London Fields Brewery decided it was ready to show itself off to the wider world and held a big do in the done-up taproom and brewery. I was rather curious about this relaunch, as the brewery was barely five hundred yards from my now-wife’s flat when we first started dating, and in those early days I dragged her there to see if I could persuade her of beer’s merits. So, with a mix of curiosity and nostalgia, off we trooped. (more…)
Apparently the fruits of a visit from Brooklyn Brewery‘s brewmaster Garrett Oliver taking a trip West, when he was in the UK a few months ago, this is a 5.2% dry-hopped sour brewed at Lost And Grounded. My experience of the main Brooklyn range tends more to technical solidity rather than jaw-dropping virtuosity, but Oliver is always interesting and their Bel-Air sour was an unexpected stand-out when I was in New York a year or two back. Lost and Grounded have a similar focus on process, unsurprising given the Little Creatures and Camden pedigree of co-founder Alex Troncoso, albeit aimed slightly more at German and Belgian styles. With the Bel-Air in mind, and both parties’ history of putting out dialled-in beers, I was very happy that a can fell into my lap.*
Having been to Belgium the last two Novembers and being a greedy person, I’ve a few (not enough) beers stashed away that I thought would benefit, or at least cope, with aging. Amongst them are some Bourgogne Des Flandres, a Flemish red brewed (at least in part) in a magnificent building in the heart of Bruges. It doesn’t seem to be as storied as Duchesse de Bourgogne or Rodenbach and I’ve never seen it around in the UK, but I’ve found it an approachable, enjoyable example of the style.
Lee at The Beer Shop London organised an informal bottle share last week, which was an excellent excuse to try some fine, fine beers, contributed by those who attended. While I’m sure you’d like to listen to me go on about how wonderful a load of beers we had that you couldn’t possibly obtain were, I’ll try to keep that to a minimum.