I love my beer. I'm not a heavy drinker, but some weeks our recycling bin looks like the aftermath of the Glastonbury festival. My default brew is our local Londis mini mart's own-brand Premium Lager. Trust me, it's nowhere near as bad as it sounds - in fact, It's actually Kaltenberg Hell, made in Lancashire by Thwaites. I'm not usually a fan of licence-brewed beer, but this is a very good replica - smooth and fresh, with a hint of citrus. I'll also knock off at least a couple of bottles of Taylor's Landlord in a week- a drink that's so important to my personal wellbeing that I'll even endure Stratford Morrison's to get it. This store has the best bottled ale selection in the area, but it is a very horrible place - a sort of preview of what life will be like when society finally collapses. After half an hour in there I feel like Jason coming home with the golden fleece.
This year I've being trying beers new to me. Meantime Stout was as dull as ditchwater, despite the gushing reviews I'd read. Another letdown was Bath Ales Gem - I love golden ales but this was too light for me. No matter how much of the bottle I poured, it just wouldn't empty. I haven't been able to get enough of St Peter's products - especially their Golden Ale. It's become my second-favourite beer, but it's hard to find near us. I'd heard a lot about Sierra Nevada, but it didn't work for me. One to try again in summer, I think. Another disappointment was Herold Bohemian Black - which I found rather watery and - dare I say it? - unpleasant. Maybe I'm just harder to please than I thought. A real standout was Robinson's Old Tom, absolutely bursting with dark, juicy and intensely smoky liquorice flavour, giving the inside of my head the pleasant sensation of being next to a well-stoked wood burning stove. Units, shmunits.