Monday, January 12, 2009
Off The Wagon
I don't usually drink alcohol in January, but the weather has been so cold and grim here that I decided there was no point in denying myself something I enjoy so much. Last night I went to the first-ever Leytonstone Anglo-Spanish beer festival, which was held in our dining room. On offer were 11 beers, 9 from the UK, 1 from the Czech Republic and one from Sweden. The Spanish element was our mate G who is from Madrid. Last year I took G to the Brown Cow in Keighley, his first visit to a pub with a wide variety of ales. He was impressed by the 'beer talk' going on, which had parallels with 'wine talk' in the bars in his home city. Previously, he had been unaware that British beer came in as many styles and subtle differences as wine, so he was keen to try some more. The standout beer of the evening was Harviestoun's Bitter And Twisted, an utterly delicious golden ale bursting with grapefruit flavours, not what we expected at all. It was strongly reminiscent of the Goose Eye Brewery's sublime Chinook, which is all but impossible to find in London. Runner up was Pilsner Urquell, followed by Old Peculier. Landlord was the 'control' beer - it's as essential as milk in our house, so we knew it 'too' well. Poor old G, a typically Spanish moderate drinker couldn't finish his last ale - a syrupy McKewan's Champion - before staggering off to his taxi, so I drank it for him. I'm suffering a bit today though.