Showing posts with label bell's brewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bell's brewing. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tastes of Autumn

I can't remember who tweeted it, but someone the other day asked the question "pumpkin beers or Octoberfest lagers"?

As a committed devotee of all beers decocted, cold fermented and then cold conditioned, the answer is fairly obvious for me, give me a pint of Octoberfest any day of the autumnal week. There is also the fact that I just don't seem able to get along with pumpkin beers.

As for the actual Octoberfest seasonals that I have enjoyed so far this year, Samuel Adams is a solid as ever offering, and Bell's Octoberfest is a serious candidate for my lager of the year. Big juicy caramel malts and a dose of background bitterness for balance make this an insanely easy beer to drink. While at 5.5% abv it is no session beer (regardless of what the marketing mandarins have written on the website), it is a delicious brew for sitting at a trestle table with buxom wenchie types bringing you bratwurst laden with lashings of mustard. I only have about 30 more bottles of beer to drink before my self-imposed ban on buying bottled beer is finished with, once that is done with I can see this filling some of the available space.

There is of course more to autumnal drinking than Octoberfest and pumpkin beers, for this is the season when brown ale, whether "nut" or otherwise, makes its appearance. Sierra Nevada's Tumbler is a favourite of mine, and not just because they call it an "Autumn Brown Ale" rather than a "Fall Brown Ale", smooth, silken and luscious to drink. Speaking of Nut Brown Ale, it is around this time of year that I see the eponymous Samuel Smiths winking from the fridge and indulge.

Autumn, don't you just love it?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Come Autumn Come...

It's one of the those days here in Charlottesville, warm, cloudy and wet. It isn't actually raining at the moment, more that a damp murk has been drawn over the city. If it were about 30 degrees Fahrenheit cooler I would be sat here thinking about it being the kind of weather I grew up with in Scotland, and would be as happy as a pig in clover. I like cool, damp and dark weather you see, it is perfect pub weather - honestly, can you think of any place better to be during a downpour, or more likely back home, a steady soaking of drizzle, than a comfy pub with a pint of something good in your hand?

The problem though with such weather is that when you add in the extra heat and attendant humidity, my brain just turns to mush and I have problems deciding on what to write about. But as the weather has put me in mind of autumn and its delights, I have of late started stocking up the cellar with beers for the coming dark months - winter being my favourite season of all. As such, the following beers have been added to the cellar in preparation.

Ok, so a lot of people think of K?lsch as more of a summer beer, but in my experience it has a malty sweetness which lends itself just as much to supping as the leaves change to amber as it does to refreshing yourself in the heat of a German biergarten. Doppelsticke is an extra powerful Altbier from the Uerige Brewery and Alt is again one of my favourite styles, and I love that bottle. Rauchweizen I have discussed at length elsewhere and the bottle of G?se is there because I want to try and get more of a handle on that style, which uses salt and coriander.

These bottles are just the beginnings of the dark nights cellar, sure there will be plenty of homebrew being stocked up, my imperial stout and spiced Belgian amber ale will make appearances, and come Thanksgiving the first of my 1 year in the bottle barleywine will be cracked open. Another batch of the peat smoked Mild previously known as Experimental Dark Matter will be in the works soon, renamed as Machair Mild.

Sure, there are plenty of sunny days to enjoy, but it is the dark and cool of a winter's beer that I am looking forward to.

Monday, February 8, 2010

For Whom the Bell's Toll

In the ongoing aftermath of my DVT, and subsequent drinking limitations, it has been a trial not to put a glass of something delicious and alcoholic to my lips. The trial was made all the more challenging by the fact that I didn't have a drop of the amber nectar for the duration of Advent - I thought I would lose the inevitable Christmas poundage in advance, rather than spending January dry, as has become my habit.

Effectively then, I have had a two month hiatus with regards to beer. Last week though the doctor said I could have the "occasional half pint", warning me not to "go crazy". Apparently the danger in boozing whilst on blood thinners is not just the extra thinness of the blood, but the possibility of having an accident and bleeding to death - not something I would relish to be honest. I was all set for my first post-op beer when the doctor rang to give me my weekly INR update, basically they tell me where in the therapeutic range for Warfarin I am. It was at the higher extreme of where they wanted it, so a change of dosage was required, and back in to storage went the beer, as I decided to give the new dosage a couple of days to bring the INR down a bit.

For those of you who know me well, such restraint must seem nigh on miraculous.

This weekend though, I could bear it no longer, and simply needed a beer in order to celebrate Liverpool winning the Merseyside derby, again, and Dirk Kuyt scoring against Everton, again. The beer I turned to was , a 10.2% big hitting, toffee laden, delight.

have become something of a favourite brewery of mine, indeed my final beer the night before the operation was their simply sublime Two Hearted Ale. Third Coast certainly maintained those lofty standards I have come to expect from Bell's, and to say a "half pint" (you have to love small bottles on occasion) of this magnificent beer hit the spot, would be the understatement of the year. If you are yet to try anything from Bell's then I recommend a quick trip to your local bottle shop and correcting your oversight immediately.

Today I had blood taken for this week's INR, assuming all is well, I am planning Budvar tonight.

Beyond January

Dry January is over, but my beer fast continues. Well, it continues until Friday. As a general rule I only drink at the weekend, thus my win...