Showing posts with label becks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label becks. Show all posts

Monday, September 26, 2011

Being Responsible

Mrs V and I went to another wedding on Saturday, that's 2 in a fortnight. This time, the wedding was that of fellow homebrewer, occasional beer blogger and all round top person Eric from Relentless Thirst. If I may take a moment, meeting Eric and his lovely wife has been one of the highlights of moving to the US - a more generous, enthusiastic and awesome couple would be difficult to meet.

Given that Richmond is but an hour away from us, I said to Mrs V that I would be responsible (for a change) and be the designated driver for the night. Usually Mrs V and I share the driving duties, I drive to the drinking hole and she drives home, this really is a case of practicality, I drink more than she does. As such, I was fully prepared for perhaps a couple of beers early on to then be followed by copious amounts of coke or similar.

At the ceremony, which was beautiful and a real expression of the now Mr and Mrs Relentless Thirst, we saw some familiar faces, including Tom from Yours For Good Fermentables, with whom we had shared beers and discussions on decoction mashing at Hogmanay.

Having made the short trip to Havana 59 for the reception in pretty quick time, other than one missed turn - it wouldn't be a trip to Richmond for us without making a missed turn - we secured a prime location at the bar and perused the beer list, which included Becks NA, at which point I made the decision to be responsible but still have the taste of beer. Thus I stood, swigging lager from the bottle for the first time in many a year, feeling like a college kid again going to some trendy pubs on Birmingham's Broad Street.

I will not bore you with tasting notes for a non-alcoholic beer made by InBev, suffice to say that it was wet, vaguely skunky, grainy and with a long dry finish. Interestingly the head retention was superb! The thought that crossed my mind several times was that it was actually better than the vast majority of "craft" lagers I have had and not entirely unlike watered down Gambrinus from the Czech Republic, in a word it was drinkable. Looking down the bar several times, I hope Havana 59 had a plentiful supply of Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA as it was flying over the bar.

The reception was again excellent, relaxed, full of fun and dancing - not that I partook in the dancing, I have two left feet and derive no pleasure whatsoever from dancing. Mrs V on the other hand loves to dance and so I tend to sit at the bar, beer in hand and watch. The only time I ever actually dance is if I am so mind addled on booze that suddenly I convince myself I have the moves of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, but that takes a very large amount of beer, and perhaps a shot or two of whisky flavoured Dutch courage. You can imagine then the amount of Becks NA I would have to drink to achieve that state.

When the night drew to its conclusion and the revellers had waved the happy couple off, we wandered back to our car, me with a Blood Alcohol Content which according to this online tool was "negligable" and Mrs V having finished her couple of glasses of wine a few hours previously. Arriving at the car, Mrs V turned to me and said something along the lines of "you know, it's ok, I'll drive home", and thus we got back to Charlottesville just past midnight having talked and joked all the way home.

It was a magnificent evening indeed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Glassware Stories

I don't really have an extensive branded glassware collection, and even less of an unbranded collection, though I am sure Mrs Velkyal would beg to differ and then regale you with stories of my obsessive care for said glasses. In some ways she is right, I am somewhat overly attached to my glasses, but each one has a back story, a link to a beery event or to the generosity of brewers or some such moment of nostalgia which makes me fond of them. I don't have any chalice style glasses for Belgian style ales as that would be largely pointless because I rarely drink Belgian beer, beyond the Trappists that is. Here then is the full, branded collection.

A motley bunch to be sure, a few Czechs, a couple of Brits, a German and an American.

The glass that features very regularly on Fuggled is of course my half pint, actually it is one of two glasses, and I think I most fussy about what gets done with this pair. When I lived in Prague, I wrote a couple of reviews of Lovibond's excellent beers that I had bought in the UK a while back, and the owner of the brewery, Jeff, very graciously sent me a couple of glasses, which I think are the most beautiful in my mini collection. When we moved over to the States, I was worried that these glasses wouldn't survive the journey, so I was very relieved when it came to unpacking boxes and there they were, good as new.

Chodovar is a family brewery in Western Bohemia that I have liked ever since I tried their Skální Le?ák at PK, first in the bottle and then on tap. This glass though I picked up in a pub on the other side of Prague, simply by asking how much I could pay them for it, and they said "take it", so I took it. The glass itself is pretty much like the vast majority of half litre beer glasses you get in the Czech Republic, and fits perfectly in the hand for swilling glass after glass of amber nectar.

I bought this hefty mug at the Slunce v Skle event hosted by Purkmistr back in 2008, on the day I had the pleasure of meeting, and getting royally rat arsed with Pivní Filosof for the first time. I also bought a delicate little goblet glass which I did all my beer tasting with that day, and which again survived the trip from Prague to Charlottesville, only for me to break it by missing the cupboard shelf by half an inch. Purkmistr also make a lovely weizen glass that I would love to get my hands on - so my Czech readers, get me a new goblet and a weizen glass, post them to the US (address will be provided by email) and I will send you the money to cover said purchases.

Beck's reminding you of a renowned craft brew pub in Dublin just sounds wrong, but it does. When Mrs Velkyal and I went to Ireland for my birthday back in 2008 we arranged to meet up with The Beer Nut and Barry, of Bitten Bullet fame, in the Bull and Castle. We drank plenty, had a good feed, and the manager was trying to get rid of these Beck's Vier glasses, so Mrs Velkyal said she wanted one, and I claimed it would never survive the flight back to Prague, I was wrong, as you can see. One thing I didn't realise with this glass is the laser etched bottom which extends the life of the head, something I still think is intrinsically wrong, hence I refuse to purchase a Sam Adams glass, despite it looking so fabulous.

The glass was a give away to celebrate their first anniversary back in November, and a nice glass it is too, though I think I will have to buy one of their goblets at some point in the future, just because they look so nice. My glass is another which is very close to my zythophilic heart, and again shows the generosity of the brewing world. You can't buy Everard's lovely ales in the US, which is damned shame in my world because I would love a pint or six of Tiger almost every Friday, but I enjoyed it in Oxford when I was last there, and had the pleasure of showing one of their brewers around several of Prague's best brewpubs a while back. The glass is another celebratory souvenir, but this time for the company's 160th anniversary, and Everard's were good enough to send one over to the US for me - such lovely people, who make such lovely beer!

I am hoping that I am not the only person who attaches memories to my glassware, in fact I am sure we all do it, hence the sepia tinged picture above, with the unbranded glasses chucked in for good measure. Of course, one should never look back too much, so I have a growing list of brewery glasses I want, but that would be telling!

Old Friends: Joseph's Brau PLZNR

I have to admit that there really are not that many things that I miss as a result of this pandemic. I am sure that comes as something of a ...