Showing posts with label fruit beer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fruit beer. Show all posts

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dodge the Jam

As you know I spent January not drinking. The observant among you will have noticed that the list of beers residing in my cellar grew exponentially during January as well. On one of my trips to stock up, I wandered from work to Cider Club - I say wandered, it was a Friday and sometimes I like to walk home from the office, which takes me an hour or so.

Cider Club is one of those wonderfully random places which from the outside seems to be a comic shop, but on the inside is in fact a comic shop that sells cider, and ales from the UK, in particular Wychwood ales. Having picked up a couple of bottles each of Hobgoblin and BeeWyched (deciding against more Black Wych), the owner asked me if I wanted free beer? Hmmmm, the agony of choice. So I walked out with a bottle of Belhaven Fruit Beer as well as the bought and paid for stuff.

Fruit beers are still one of those things which baffle me. I like the occassional kriek, such as the one from Mort Subite I had over the holidays, but most often fruit beers leave me wondering "why?". The Belhaven was no different, pouring a dark orange, almost red colour with a slightly off-white head and with a nose the reminded me of mixed fruit jam, my favourite, I allowed myself to be cautiously optimistic. Oh dear. The body was horribly thin, yes it tasted like fruit jam, but fruit jam so watered down that I seriously considered pouring it away. It wasn't truly bad, but neither was it something I will want to drink again, and I guess I know now why it was being offered for free - and even that wasn't a redeeming feature.

I will post a photo of said beer tomorrow - forgot to move it from my laptop to my flash drive. Oops.
Update: There's the picture.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sudden Death!

I would imagine that for most people, when asked the question “what is beer?”, the majority would say something along the lines of “a drink made from grain, hops, water and yeast” – obviously this was what the writers of the Reinheitsgebot had in mind when they set forth the rules for beer brewing in Bavaria and then later on throughout Germany.
Somebody forgot to tell the Belgians, and thank goodness for that. In particular somebody forgot to tell the makers of fruit beers – random unrelated point, why do people bother with alcopops when fruit beer exists? When on a French shop shelf I saw bottles of a Kriek called Mort Subite, my first thought was “is this the kriek from Brussels which I have read about?” – simple answer, yes it is. Chuck a couple in the basket and walk briskly away trying not to think about the strange looks from locals because your basket is full of booze and none of it wine.

Mort Subite was to be my drink of choice for that night’s dinner – my parents’ preference for white wine tends more toward the sweet side, which is not really my thing, I like something on the dry side of Arizona. Mrs Velkyal was cooking that night, playing with her belated birthday present, a pasta roller – home-made ravioli in a cream sauce for dinner then.

Back to the beer, and just popping open the cork was to be rushed with the fragrance of cherries. No messing around here then, fruit by name, fruit by nature. As you can see from the picture, it is a very red beer, and the head was distinctly pink. Guess what it smelt like, erm yes cherries, but also like the powdered sherbert that I loved as a kid. Tastewise it was a revelation – I was expecting a sweet cloying flavour, but au contraire this was tart and acidic balanced out with a sweetness in the aftertaste, and as I did expect lots of fruitiness. The body was smooth and velvety and boy does this go well with creamy pasta!
Magnificent is quite simply the only word that would do this beer justice. I can imagine sitting on a veranda during a balmy Southern summer with this for refreshment and being very happy with my lot in life.

Old Friends: Joseph's Brau PLZNR

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