Friday 14 August 2009

If you had to...

I thought I was done with the beer festival stuff for a while but there’s one more thing to ask and it only feels right to do it in my own favourite way: An If you had to…

Imagine the most recent beer festival you went to, whether it was the GBBF or a small local one. If you are like me you probably checked the beer list online before turning up. There are familiar names and unfamiliar ones. Some make you shout ‘I gotta get some of that’, others don’t even register. You plot out a little route through the beers you want, starting there, then that one, then that or one. You get there. You see the lines of silver casks, see the printed cards telling you the brewery, the beer name and the ABV. There are as many casks as you’d want or expect depending on the size of the place. But at the far end is a new bar, one not advertised online. This is a special bar with three last-minute additions. But, and this is the question, If you had to choose, which three beers would you want to see on cask sitting behind that bar?

Any three beers from any where. These are the three dream beers that you’d want to see right now. This is total fantasy stuff but it doesn’t have to be super-rare or one-off, it can simply be a favourite beer that you’d love to see at every beer festival you go to. What do they have? And, for a little extra fun, if this Friday begins to drag, who would be the person serving the beer to you? Anyone, male or female, dead or alive, a hero or just someone really fit.


  1. For me I’d take Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger. I’m a sucker for reputation and for big hops. The third choice is more challenging, but, right now, it would be another huge US IPA because I’m having serious double IPA cravings! I don’t have a specific name but something along the lines of Three Floyds Dreadnaught or Bell’s Hopslam or something previously unknown to me, like how I’d never heard of Captain Lawrence Captain’s Reserve before the GBBF but LOVED it.

    As for the server, I’d take Marilyn Monroe, Sienna Miller or Stephen King. Whoever’s available.

    The interesting thing is that my beer list would’ve been totally different six months ago and six months before that it would’ve been massively different again. How my taste changes… And the beauty of this blog is that I can actually track how my tastes develop and change. I wonder what my answer would be this time next year?

  2. Carlsberg, Jack & Coke and liquidised Marlboro served by Lemmy :D

    Ahh, those were the days...

  3. I didn't know you fancied Stephen King.

    I suppose mine would be:
    1. The new Thornbridge/Dark Star collaboration (a must-scoop!)
    2. Marble's new 12% Christmas IPA (currently in development)
    3. Fullers 1845 (an absolute classic)
    ...served in generous measures by someone who has washed that morning.

  4. Dominic from t'Marble Brewery14 August 2009 at 10:18

    I didn't know we were making a 12% Christmas IPA, but it sounds like a good idea! Possibly something with the 3 C's, touch of dark Crystal malt and a quintuple hop addition of at least 8g/litre after boil? Not this year though. We're trying to open a new brewery.

    Maybe you mean our(around)10.44%abv Barley wine that may get called "Marble Special Brew" after an epiphany in the Coach and Horses Thornbridge pub last night...

  5. Barry, you are too rock and roll!

    Brad, Stephen King is HOT!

    Hey Dominic, good to have you commenting, especially as we love your beers down here in Kent!! And a 12% Christmas IPA does sound good - the 12 hops of Christmas, increasing in volumes (On the first hop day of christmas my brewer gave to me, 1 bag of cascades, 2 bags of goldings... 12 bags of ...)?!

    Marble Special Brew sounds good (do you have canning facilities?!) and I'm sure many people have had epiphanys in the Coach and Horses!

  6. Whoops! I'm dealing in hearsay - a suped-up Dobber was what I had picked up on the hopvine following your Meet the Brewer session last week. Is this the Special Brew?

    I do think a 12% Christmas IIPA would hit the spot too though!

    Keep up the amazingly good work and please keep sending your stuff down South.

  7. I've been completely epiphanied in the Coach a few times ;-)

    Three beers: Thornbridge Jaipur, Rochefort 10 and an unlabelled US IPA.

    Served by: me. When I want, how I want, with no fuss and no queue.

  8. It's fair to say it'll be in more of the American barley wine style, but I wouldn't say it was a really big dobber. We're gonna mess about with it a bit first, throw a bit more Krausen in, that sort of thing.

    And thank the mighty Garrett for bringing our beers down that way, Not us. WHAT. A. PUB. You lucky bastards!
    Hard choice, and you're right, it would change daily, but

    1. Russian River Temptation
    2. Firestone Walker Pale Ale
    3. Good old St. Petersburg Imperial Stout.

    Serving - Stephen Fry.

  9. Haddonsman, top shout with that. Jaipur is already at my beer festival so I didn't need it at my fantasy bar ;)

    Dominic, The Bull is a great pub, Dubbel and I are heading up tonight. I've heard that the Marble Arch is pretty good too!

    Good call on the beers. I had a Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA this week - awesome! And I need to find more Russian River beers.

  10. In my current phase of beer exploring:

    1. Any Geueze I'd never tried.
    2. Any Belgian Dubbel I'd never tried, if there are any left that I haven't tried, to check if I like anything better than Westmalle.
    3. The most ridiculously hopped beer in the world, just to see where my limits are, if there are any.

    I wouldn't really care who served them, but it'd be nice to be in the company of sociable people. Like at GBBF.

  11. Mine would be from the past. Beers that have gone, never to return:

    1. Higsons Bitter. A classic that I miss so very much.

    2. Cask version of Diamond Heavy to remind me of my plooky youth.

    3. Ind Coope Burton Ale in its Burton hayday. What a great beer.

    Served by? Me of course. I'm the best barman I've ever seen. If I'm not available, a beaming bow fronted, chatty barmaid, preferably German, will do just nicely.

  12. Dave, I'm with you on finding a hop threshold. BrewDog's How To Disappear Completely is great for that!

    Tandleman, nice choices, not sure about the barman though... ;)

  13. 1. Brooklyn Black Ops Stout.

    2. J. W. Lee's Harvest Ale. I don't have any particular year in mind, I just want to settle in with a glass of this gorgeous stuff.

    3. The last one would be an IPA or Double IPA, though I'm not feeling super picky. Something from this list: Smuttynose, Nectar, Green Flash, Heavy Seas Loose Cannon, or Avery Maharaja.

    The bartender would be a guy named Tom, who I used to talk about beer and other things online. He died a little over a month ago and I never had the chance to meet him in person.

  14. Samuel Smiths Museum, which is no longer brewed. Apparently Herr 'man has not had that one. Because if he did, he would have picked it. Hey, I'm just Wurst, CEO, APRK, drinking cask conditioned ales since 1985. What do I know?

  15. No he wouldn't Sausage. Museum is better as a memory. It was nothing special in my opinion, but of course that was your choice and you have two to go.

  16. 2. Bass Country Chase
    3. Eldridge Pope Royal Oak
    3. Tolly Cobbold Original
    4. Boddingtons when it was still brewed at Strangeways.
    5. M&B Brew XI
    6.Carne's Falmouth Bitter
    7. Morland Old Masters
    8. Devenish Cornish Best Bitter
    9. King & Barnes Festive Ale
    10. Ushers Best

    That's my trip down memory lane. Each one an absolute jewel in the arts.

    I'd appreciate not being disqualified due to my list being a little longer than was was originally requested. TTBC.

  17. I'd have

    1. A Belgian Saison, a really good one. I've had Fantome and if there is better I want a pint of it.

    2. An aged Orval, drunk from a skull shaped mug.

    3. Any new Irish craft brew on cask, I hear Carlow's Goods Store IPA is good.

    As for the server, I think Richard P Feynman would have been a man who would have appreciated a few craft brews.

  18. Beers:

    Samurai IPA from Kocour
    Timothy Taylor Landlord
    Uerige Alt


    Klara from Pivovarsky klub in Prague - simply the bestest barmaid what ever lived!

  19. After last night, BrewDog Zeitgeist would be on, it slid down! Goacher's Shipwrecked and Hopdaemon Skrimshander IPA.

    I'd like to be served by either John Peel or if we are going on looks, Anne Hathaway.

  20. doug, great beer choices and a touching and excellent choice of person.

    Wurst, you can choose 10 if that's what you want - it's your fantasy festival! I will confess to not knowing many of the beers you'd choose so I'd like to join you for a few beers at that one!

    Laura, I was tempted to say Orval too, love the stuff!

    Velky Al, Landlord?! I don't get the love for this beer... And I don't know this Klara but in many ways I wish I did!

    Pete, you can't choose Skrimshander as you brew it!! And Anne Hathaway?! Give me Rachel McAdams over her any day! We can discuss your choices at the pub next week :)