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Monday, May 19, 2008

Beer, beer, beer

I think I've found something to write about since I'm not moaning about London Underground so much. Beer. At the moment I'm drinking a bottle a night, for purely medicinal purposes of course. This week I'm trying out Suffolk beers, as my wife is from Suffolk, there are plenty of breweries there, it's fairly local to London, and I like Suffolk beers.

The following "reviews" have already been posted on the Beer thread at Neil Gaiman's boards.

Suffolk beers

Greene King Strong Suffolk Vintage Ale, bought by my wife as she is originally from Suffolk.
To start with, the bottle says that it is "a unique blend of two classic ales, BPA and Old 5X. Old 5X is aged in oak for 2 years". I don't think I've ever had a blended ale before, or a 2 year old one (except perhaps from one of those pubs that only sells 1 pint of bitter a month, so the beer has been sat in the cellar for 2 years in an aluminium cask).

This beer is good. Very good. It's strong at 6%, dark, and quite sweet. On first taste it reminded me of honey, but the notes on the back say it has a spicy, fruitcake aroma and flavours of oak, caramel and burnt toffee, which I can't disagree with. I probably couldn't drink more than a couple of them at a time, but it goes very well with food. Highly recommended!

Tonight I have a bottle of Adnams East Green Carbon Neutral Beer.

Immediately on popping the cap I could smell the fresh, crisp aroma. it's a fairly light beer, both in colour and strength at 4.3%, with a fresh, crisp taste to match the aroma and a light citrus hoppy flavour. (I decided to describe the flavour in my own words and found I was very close to the way they described it on the bottle, so this thread is educating my palate.)

It is made at their new brewery in East Green, Southwold, which is the UK's newest and, they believe, most energy efficient. The Adnams bottles across the range now use 33% less glass and feel quite lightweight and delicate. The ingredients for this beer were locally sourced (Maris Otter malted barley, Boadicea hops) and the with a little offsetting it makes the beer carbon neutral.

I think this will become another favourite, as it is light enough to drink at lunchtime. MrsK says she has had so many sips of real ales in the last 2 weeks that the baby will be born with a beard.

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