Showing posts with label ettal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ettal. Show all posts

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 15, 2010

In Praise of Sample Trays

Think about sampler trays for a moment, if you will. When do you normally order a sampler tray? Yes, when you are in a place for the first time and you want to try a little of each of the beers available before ordering a full pint of the one you fancy most. I never once thought that a sampler tray would become something to look forward to in and of itself, an end rather than simply the means to an end. Such are the joys of being on blood thinners (I hate to mention it all the time at the moment, but it is surprising how much it influences every tiny detail of life).

The Bavarian Chef is a restaurant some 25 miles from Mrs Velkyal and I's flat here in Charlottesville, and we had reservations for Saturday night. Neither of us bother much with Valentine's Day, so this was to be our special dinner out, but without having to deal with couples going all gooey eyed at each other over their wiener schnitzel. One of the attractions for us was the fact that Bavarian food is very similar to Czech and we have been feeling nostalgic of late - I blame Anthony Bourdain and this clip. While making the reservation I asked what beers they had on tap, the reply came back: Spaten, Paulaner Oktoberfest and Hefeweizen, Ettal Dunkel and Schneider Aventinus, so I was intent on my one beer for the day being the Aventinus. Then I saw the sampler tray, so the decision was easy really. 

The Spaten lager was a nice pale lager, Ettal Dunkel is lovely and received the Mrs V seal of approval, Aventinus was everything I remember. For some reason though I find Paulaner beers leave me cold, the hefeweizen lacked the sparkling zing I have come to expect from weizens while the Oktoberfest reminded me of cardboard. A quick word about the food, very nice, huge portions but some things were just a bit on the sweet side for our tastes.

Of course Saturday was the brewing day for the International Homebrew Project, and I now have an American Pale Ale fermenting happily in my primary, and plans to use the remaining Centennial, Amarillo and Cascade hops in a big American style IPA to be called Hopbomination. 

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 ...

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