Walkers, to coincide with the 2010 World Cup, have released 15 new flavours, asking eaters to buy them, supporting their favourite and potentially winning ‘a packet’ in the process. It’s a mix of national pride for the eater along with the curiosity of trying new flavour and in the Walkers Flavour Cup, the flavours are going ‘bag to bag’ to find the Walkers Flavour Champion. Obviously I wasn’t content with just hearing what the winner was, I wanted to find out for myself, so I bought the packets, opened a beer (Marble Manchester Bitter, of course) and had my own little tournament.
Sunday, 30 May 2010
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Tomorrow I’m going to Belgium. We’re staying in Brussels on Friday and going to the Weekend of Spontaneous Fermentation on the Saturday. Hopefully we’ll be stopping at a couple of breweries over the weekend too – Westvleteren, De Struise would be cool, Cantillon for breakfast... Tell me though, because I won’t be able to drink just sour beer and quads for two days, what new Belgian beers are there that are worth looking out for? I’m thinking along the lines of Chouffe Houblon, modern twists on traditional Belgian styles, something a bit different (but preferably not spicy Belgian blondes or anything similar to Duvel - I have no idea why people like Duvel - as they aren't my thing).
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Monday, 24 May 2010
If you give me a US IPA, and you tell me exactly what style it is, then my brain triggers an expectation of taste. If you give me a beer, but don’t tell me what it is, and I see that it’s chestnut brown with a thin head, then I can almost taste it before I actually raise the glass to my lips – it’ll be bready, a little toffee, maybe some earthy, English hops, right? If you give me a bottle and don’t tell me the style but the tasting note says ‘rich chocolate flavour, roasted fruit and a bitter finish’ then I know what to expect when I drink it. And if you gave me a bottle of Dark Lord/Westvleteren 12/Pliny the Younger then I can guess roughly what it’ll taste like flavour-wise and I also expect it to be incredible, thanks to its stellar reputation. But how much do these – knowing the style, colour, tasting notes and reputation – affect the actual perception of taste?
Friday, 21 May 2010
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Perhaps I was too hasty in my wild praise of Thornbridge Halcyon. It’s not that it doesn’t deserve it – of course it does, it’s bloody fantastic – it’s just that maybe I’ve found something even better.
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
There are terrible rumours going around that I am not a proper, hardcore beer geek and they are malicious because, despite what some are saying, I am a proper, hardcore beer geek.
Monday, 17 May 2010
A chance meeting: the National Brewery Centre, a buffet with strawberries and thick clotted cream for dessert, cask P2 on at the bar. The thinking: strawberries covered in dark chocolate with a dollop of rich cream. The beer: smooth, roasty cocoa, silky, a hint of blackberries, a cakey sweetness, an incredible thing. The combination: tongue-covering creamy richness, a burst of strawberry juice; the beer swathes through, becomes more chocolatey, blends with the cream, feels totally luscious and a little bit sexy. A perfect chance combination, a brilliant FABPOW!
(The picture looks a little sorry for itself, I know. The trouble is I ate a bowlful, realised how delicious it was, told everyone else who also had a bowlful and then there were only two strawberries left.)
Friday, 14 May 2010
This is probably my favourite line in any film of all time, and it’s (very) loosely about beer, too (by virtue of the fact that it's in a pub). In fact, it’s my greeting of choice, unless I’m meeting my parents. In a very tenuous way this brings me to a question: what’s your favourite scene in a film which also involves beer? Pete posted a link to Ice Cold in Alex, and that’s a fantastic scene, then there’s the scene in Shawshank Redemption when they get to drink a beer outside like free men, or maybe it’s the ‘Frank the Tank’ in Old School?
Best scene in a movie which involves beer in some way: what is it?
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Monday, 10 May 2010
UPDATE: Tandleman has written a reply to this post. In truth, I hoped that somebody would pick up on it and show a different side - that's what makes blogging fun. His is almost the opposite of what I say but that's understandable as he's coming at it from an entirely different viewpoint. Interestingly, if we met right in the middle we'd probably be fairly balanced and close to the real situation. What do you think about the opposing views?