My night as a beer guru

That was a pretty cool thing to be awarded that title by a nice guy that I met last night called Ben Byford. I was also helping my husband in his beer choice. It was unusual for me that I was so decisive yesterday but last week I had been so indecisive that I missed out and didn’t want that to happen again.

I had decided earlier what I was going to drink and what I was having first although that did kind of go out the window as soon as I got there because beer is best fresh so the selection constantly which is good. I was going to be lazy and drink beers that I knew were good but I drank beers that I had heard about online/liked the breweries etc instead.

First beer at the Bottle Shop was Siren‘s Haunted Dreams. This is their attempt at a pumpkin beer. It just has pumpkin spices, no pumpkin but that didn’t matter as there tend to be three categories of pumpkin beer, 1 with pumpkin, 2 with spices and 3 with pumpkin and spices.

It was a nice chocolate porter with hints of spice. I thought it tasted like a chocolate ginger sweet even though I don’t remember ginger normally being used in pumpkin pie. My husband got the spices later on as there quite muted so its a smooth drink. We couldn’t detect most of the other spices but we had already had an Artesian Light beer from Asda (Shepherd Neame boo) before we came out and some Black Sheep Beer. For dessert I had a sample of port with my mince pie and stilton after my spaghetti bolognese which my husband proclaimed to be one of my best ever.

Next was a recommendation from Lucy that we sample the beer on tap and that was a Brew by Numbers golden ale. That was quite nice and fruity and led on nicely to another recommendation, Weird Beard’s Hacienda. This is a black saison with oranges. I made the mistake of having it cold and it hid most of the orange taste but it didn’t taste anything like a saison usually does as it was a lot darker than usual hence black saison. Good for people that are not keen on saison and good on Weird Beard for adapting a summer style to suit the winter.

Afterward I wanted to try the Out of Office coffee ipa also by Weird Beard as Sam had that one but didn’t rate it very highly. (Nothing beats Mikkeller’s Brunch Weasel). I came to the same conclusion.

My husband had one of his favourites at the moment which is the Founders Breakfast Stout. He sways more towards the american side of things in his drinking. He recommended that to our padawan. He also had the Buxton Rainshadow which is quite dark, alcoholic and disappointing. We shared it between the three of us and had an interesting debate about the merits of carbonation in beer. Different beer styles suit different carbonation levels. There is no one level fits all gauge although mass beer producers would have us believe this.

As to my padawan, I helped him choose the Weird Beard Something Something Dark Side which is quite floral in this present incantation which makes it really nice. Much nicer than usual. I suggested some of the Brewdog beers like Cocoa Psycho but he didn’t have that one. They haven’t got the Christmas Brewdog‘s yet but they will soon I expect. He did have a Brunch Weasel as his last beer but I’m not sure he was as sold on it as we were. Since we were drinking lots of dark beers as its that time of year, we also had a chat about Dark Star as they have nice beers in Brighton when we visit my brother/ in law. Apparently, one of the brewers has left to form his own company which is how Dark Star came into being in the first place, a branch out from another brewery.

It was at this point that I was getting a bit hammered so three glasses of water followed by the final beer a Broken Dream by Siren. This is always very nice and since all I needed was something simple and reliable that fit the bill quite well.

My husband brought home a Kernel as I was thinking of drinking that earlier but in the end didn’t really have any as it wasn’t necessary. He also got Evil Twin‘s Lil B as he didn’t try that when he was in America. This is for later sampling but we did however share a Batemans Mocha beer that I got from Sainsburys earlier. If you go up to Lincolnshire as I did recently these are really awesome dessert beers and there is a 4 pack that is quite cheap and really nice. Sadly I haven’t seen them in these parts. When I next go to the Shire I shall have to ensure there is room to bring some back.

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