Rob's Beer Quest makes it to post 200!
First of all I would like to thank the fans, followers worldwide, and not least my wife Helen for all the support. All the staff at Daleside and Mordue breweries. Friends and family. All the great bloggers out there. Kerry King (feel free to visit the brewhouse any time mate). Jeff the milkman. My West Highland terrier Troy and Chewbacca.
Thanks for all the support and inspiration over the last 3 years of Rob's Beer Quest. It's been a long and eventful quest so far even though most beer bloggers I know, unless they started recently have already passed the 200 post mark. But it's not a big deal, I take my time. Beer blogging has taught me a fair deal about many of the new beers and emerging beer scenes around the world. I realise that if I had just kept my beer geekery to myself and not got into blogging, it wouldn't have been nearly as exciting.
Like I mentioned in post 100, the beer blogosphere is like a soap opera, constantly evolving and changing. New blogs start up while others hand in their badge. New subjects, new controversies, new product launches. They all get the attention as many beer blogs provide an insight to the opinions and perspectives that are constantly developing within the world of beer. But amongst all this it is important not to lose track of the here and now, the real world as some may call it.
As some have heard, recently my time at Mordue brewery has taken an unexpected turn. My co-brewer Mark has taken his bearded self to work at the up and coming Tynebank brewery and has left me as the sole brewer at Mordue. A few posts back Ed mentioned that now I'm the only brewer, I must be (by default) the head brewer. Technically being the only brewer makes me the sole brewer, but does it make me the head brewer? My duties are the same, but I do have more responsibilities and obviously I have more work to do. But it's not always so lonely, boss man Matt Fawson watches over me and keeps a check on how things are going a bit like the old Darth Vader - Darth Sidious relationship. He helps out when he can.
"Rob, did you remember to put up those two nines for the Woodman's Arms next thursday!?",
But as many of you know I am a collector of head brewer, brewery owner and beer writer autographs (as long as they work for and support the right kind of brewery) so if I am the head brewer that technically means I need to get my own autograph. After a long time pondering, and confirmation from Matt (he even said I could have a special 'head brewer' tea mug) I have came to the conclusion that I am in fact the brewing being of Mordue brewery.
Here goes, my own autograph.
I should get a badge or something
I never thought I'd see the day. But anyway as it's post 200 I thought it would be the done thing to celebrate with another beer just like I did with post 100. Where last year's beer was a straightforward well crafted session ale, this year's has new world limited release written all over it.
Goose Island's Pepe Nero is an American take on the Belgian beer style Saison. The twist is that they've made it black and thrown black peppercorns into the mix. An intriguing concept and in fact not long ago Rob Derbyshire did some good coverage of this on HopZine. He sure is right, it does have a lot of that Belgian yeast influence, a bit representative of a dubbel but without the body. To me it seems a little dry with a medium to light body and plenty of complex spice, funky banana and subtle black pepper notes going on. As you go through it the banana and Belgian yeast influence builds and so does the melody of black pepper, spice, plump malt and subtle hints of vanilla and cardamon.
An intriguingly deep, complex, balanced and interesting beer with plenty of subtle twists and turns to keep one interested. It's the kind of beer you would want to ponder over when contemplating a thesis, engaging in poetry or eating peppered steak. Not in your face but full of hidden depth. Nice. It's a good job I know where to pick up another one.