Wednesday, 20 August 2014
I’ve drunk beer in Brattleboro and Burlington, taken it too in Boston, in a bar in upstate Maine, but not in New York; I’ve drunk deeply in St Petersburg, fleetingly and fearful in Moscow, searched for it in Krakow, dialled it in in Prague, Plzen, Cesky Krumlov and Chodovar; I’ve devoured it in Munich, inspected it in Berlin, caned it in Paris, lost myself in it in Dublin, fed on it in London and let it in in Milan, Rome and Bologna, discovered it in Malaga, Zagreb and some small village in the Dordogne — and do you know what, it’s never let me down.
Saturday, 16 August 2014
It seems to me that there’s a lot of anger and irritation rippling through the beer hive these days, easy offence being taken about this label or that or whatever, while exasperations erupt because a competition result went one way and not the other and heaven forbid if brewers don’t do what the zeitgeist is telling them what they should do. However, after looking at wine writer Jilly Goolden’s lager piece in the Mail today I’m tempted, just briefly, to join the hive. Why? I’m not bothered about the fact that the paper asked a wine writer to dissect lager (I’m still waiting for the wonderful world of wine to let a beer writer prattle on about premier crus), I mean it’s been going on for years and who am I to say who a commissioning editor should commission; the issue that has caused a disturbance in the force for me is the addition of Westmalle Tripel in a piece about lagers. I think there’s a clue in the beer style, Trappist Ale. There will be some who say that it’s good to have beer in the newspapers whatever tripe people write, but I’m not sure about that. On the other hand I’ll be suggesting a wine column, I hear Chateauneuf du Pape is a gorgeous summertime spritzer, full of brisk, bubbly emotion, light on the palate and ideal with prawns. Mild rant over, I’ve left the hive.