Saturday, 27 September 2014
Beer with a view
A flight of pigeons, Venice echoed, Don’t Look Back, St Mark’s Square perhaps, wheel in the tight space above Christmas Steps, while the backbeats of some dance tune, I know not what, whirl from somewhere amongst the slow, jerky trail of Friday evening traffic down below the balcony on which I sit. A bruised gold glass of English — Bristolian — Pilsner stands sentinel-straight on my table as I watch both birds and cars make their different shapes in and above the space we call a street. I like Bristol’s Zero Degrees, I like the stainless steel vessels, the lagering tradition and the temptation of time; I like the quiescence of a brand that doesn’t really shout but still makes great beer (and wood-fired pizza too). As I sit and gulp my Pilsner, a glass of beer that brims to the rim with Saaz spice and niceness, its brisk and frisky character gambolling on the palate, and its bracing bitter finish putting me in mind of Zatec 12˚, I enjoy the view of an irregular roof-scape of turrets, chimneys and spires and another sip later, and a turn of the head, take in the contrast to the clean and angled shapes within Zero Degrees. Sometimes a beer with a view is all I need.