Sunday, 18 March 2018

What is your favourite beer?

As a beer enthusiast I have been asked the question many times. What is my favourite beer? I always gauge that the person asking me the question think that I rate beer on a fixed set of parameters. This would be true if it was a different question like what are your favourite brand of crisps? The obvious answer is Kettle chips. The same with Sainsbury’s own tomato ketchup, in my opinion the best one going. Leeks are the best vegetable, but asparagus and mushrooms are close contenders. Samsung do better phones than Apple, Branston make better baked beans than Heinz but Shortbread are the finest form of biscuits without question.

Then again with beer a similar deduction process to select one all superior brew isn’t possible. It maybe could be if I only ever drank a narrow range of beers like say cask blonde ales or mega brand lagers but no. By this point in Rob’s Beer Quest I have turned more to rating a beer experience as a moment or experience as much as it is a beer.

Take for example the first time I tried Rochefort 10. For Rochefort 10 to be my favourite beer I have to compare it to other inspirational moments like discovering Pliny the Elder. But Rochefort and Pliny can’t really be compared. That’s like steak vs pizza, both are very different. What I also notice about these occasional perfect beer moments is that they are rarely the same second time round. Sometimes the beer has changed or you are just in a different moment but other times a beer can be better on second tasting. But inevitably the answer to the question ends with a no, there is no favourite beer or greatest beer in the world. Often I may attempt to brew the greatest beer in the world at work but I know it won’t be, it would just be a tribute. Like the greatest song in the world, a matter of opinion.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

The Snow Interval

As many of you are probably aware, it’s been snowing a lot lately. With Northumberland being one of the worse hit areas this means no work for me. Lots of work for the journalist other half and lots of time with the children. With it being March now it’s like spring is having some problems loading.

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My final journey back from work on Tuesday afternoon seemed to follow a clear gradient from the moderately snowy Wallsend to the grim, dark, desolate isolation of Siberian themed Alnwick. Our friends the yeast don’t like it too cold I explained to the bairns, it slows them down. Luckily the blokes at work have been re-heating those fermenters. But no work means no free beer, and supplies are getting short on that front.

I bring you the co-ops finest. McEwan’s Champion is another one of those supermarket strong beers that no one noticed it was 7.3% before pricing it. It’s decent stuff, all fruit cake and burnt caramel. After this I got to the end of the Flavourly box.

Beatnikz Republic Beach Bumpstead is a US, NZ and Australian hopped pale ale that's tastes of pure nectar from the gods compared to some heavily filtered/pasteurised supermarket equivalents. Tropical zesty but clean. According to the can meant to be drank in the sun or reminiscing about drinking in the sun. Sadly will have to settle for the latter.