Friday, 25 May 2018

Friday Five: Good Beer Week Learnings

When one goes to a week-long beer festival and drinks 178 'unique' beers, it may be difficult to keep track of things. So to prove that I did indeed learn some things, I am willing to share them with you:

5 Things I Learned at Good Beer Week:

Sour beer face (No, it isn't Him Outdoors)
  1. You can have too much sour. Not just in terms of the fact that mouth puckering isn't always fun, but some people also have internal reactions to the acids and yeasts involved. When you've got a hall-full of beer drinkers, these effects may not be particularly pleasant. Just saying. 
  2. I'm fed up with coffee in beer. I like coffee. And I like beer. But I like dark beer that doesn't taste of bitter grounds. There are many flavours I look for in dark beer including chocolate, spice, vanilla, smoke, nuts, toffee, caramel, liquorice, toast, raisins, molasses, and dark fruit (probably not all in the same beer). These days most of those flavours are overwhelmed by coffee, however, which has become pervasive. Wake up and smell the beer, people!
  3. Bourbon burns. Not always, as is proved by the utterly sensational Stockade Old Money Barrel Aged Bourbon Imperial Stout. This was the best bourbon-barrel-aged beer of show and is rich and big and boozy and beautiful with delicious chocolate notes. Many bourbon-barrel aged beers are just too harsh, however, and they burn.
  4. Lavender has no place in a beer. I understand that brewers want to try all sorts of ingredients in beer (I had a beer with snails in it and another including crickets) and many spices blend nicely. I've enjoyed beer with basil, chamomile, and one with Rogan Josh spices in it. But unless you want your beer to be reminiscent of granny's bathroom, may I suggest leaving out the lavender.
  5. Write it down: you WILL forget. Remembering what you thought of 178 beers is hard enough at the best of times. It's even harder when you've had 178 beers. If you care about recording thoughts and impressions for future reference, do it there and then, or you'll have no chance.
Not a mental image you want from a beer

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