Monday, 5 January 2009

YoB: #11, #12 & #13

Lowenbrau Oktoberfestbier, 500ml bottle from Aldi (if I recall correctly).

While preparing Tesco Finest Pork Sausages with cabbage it occurred to me that the food was somewhat Germanic and that a German beer may compliment it.

My hunch was right. The flavours worked perfectly and the tongue-scrubbing effect of the carbonation was particularly apparent. This effect has been mentioned by other beer writers but this was the first time I'd really appreciated it. 

Herold Black Lager (500ml bottle). 

I've had an on-off love affair with this beer since it started to appear in Britain in the late nineties. The love affair is on again. My favourite aspect of this beer is the long finish in which the flavours seem to mingle and mutate in agreeable ways right before the eyes (er, tastebuds.)

Brilliant. It's been a long time since I had one. I kept thinking of the Sass and Dandelion and Burdock I grew up with.

In the past ten years I've interviewed, or just chatted with, countless UK microbewers. Interview or chat, I always ask "which non-UK beers do you particularly like?". I don't really want to know, I just want to spark the conversation and examine the interviewee's enthusiasm for beer. If the brewer's eyes light up and I hear a long diatribe on the wonders of various exotic beers I know I'm speaking to someone who is genuinely interested in flavour and also likely to be a brewer whose beers are consistently interesting.

On the other hand, I've had some rather underwhelming responses. Funnily enough, they've come from brewers whose beers are, well, dull as ditchwater. Some examples:

"I don't bother with foreign beer"
"I tried that Chimay once: didn't like it"
"My mate gave me a bottle of that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to try - too fizzy"
"I'm not interested in foreign beer"
"It's all lager isn't it?"


Jeffrey said...

You think you shopped on Aldi, but then you're not sure. It's all very shameful!

Jeff Pickthall said...

Make no mistake - I'm an ALDI shopper. Several times I've come close to buying a welding machine.

Woolpack Dave said...

Now I'm worried. What answer did I give when you interviewed me? I've been to Belgium and Oregon since so I might give a different answer now.

Can you get welders in Aldi? I'll have to go there sometime.

Velky Al said...

Herold Black is a lovely beer and certainly a step or three above the majority of dark lagers made in the Czech Republic. The Budvar dark is also lovely, but I am not sure where you would get that in Britain.

Jeff Pickthall said...

Woolly Dave: Your obvious enthusiasm and apparent willingness to make up for lost time as a late-starting beer geek were enough