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Monday 26 April 2010

Election beer

No this isnt some sort of cruel joke. On May 6th I will be sitting down after a long day of pushing for last votes in at least two Scottish constituencies (yes Scotland has more than one). I will be helping my party out and then it will be time to sit down and watch the results come in.

Aside from the fact that I will only have been home for one day and will probably want to get stuck into some of the lovely beer I have waiting from Crown Brewery, Thornbridge, Brewdog, Marble.........I also want to have a little drink to celebrate the election.

Ive not been able to do much campaigning for my party (being in France for 7 months) but I still want to show that some of us are watching the election and do feel that this may be an important one.

Anyway the point is......I want to find a beer which speaks for each of the leaders. Whatever your political views are it would be nice to have some suggestions. For example should I toast old Gordon Brown and his party with a bottle of 'Stella'- Watery, worn out and a bit bland. Or maybe you think Gordon and the Labour guys and gals deserve a bottle of Old Speckled Hen- There is something you dont quite like about it but its better than that bottle of Green King IPA lurking in the wings. Maybe Nick Clegg and his smooth performance in the debates mean he deserves to be toasted with a bottle of BrewDog/Stone Bashah- Dark, stronger than it seems and a little bit confusing. Is David Cameron and his party a bottle of the same but with a different label?

Who knows? Have a think about it. I know I will be and I will be posting my choices on the eve of General Election day. Happy thinking

Thursday 22 April 2010

Am I still a hop head?

Its been a while since I posted. Just checked and apparently the date is the 19th of April! Woops. I havent forgotten about you all, honest. Rather Ive just not had that much great beer recently which has inspired me to write. I tend to find that I only get in a beer mindset if I am drinking some nice beer or I am anticipating a box of nice beer. Since I am currently in France and all my boxes of nice beer are in the UK, this is a problem.

Recently though I have been questioning my self declared status of 'hop head'. That was until the other night anyway.....but more about that in a bit. The reason I question whether I am such a hop head is because I seem to have been drinking a large amount of beer that I wouldnt really class as hoppy. Since the weather got nice again in France ive switched to a lot of Lambic, which the more clever among you will know use aged hops and therefore do not have that zingy hop taste. Also on the darker cloudless nights Ive been sticking with a bottle of Orval or something equally lovely and Belgian. My excuse for this though is because I am in France. Its not that I dont enjoy these beers, I do, a lot! Rather my status as a hop head will just have to be put on hold until I get back to the UK in May (if the volcano stops by then).

I was reminded the other night though of why I do classify myself as a hop head. Valeir Extra.

Image from RateBeer, my own image to follow

On a recent visit to my regular Belgian beer bar the local called me over and told me she had a bottle for me. Something that she wasnt selling because it was only a sample from the brewery so she could decide if she wanted to stock it. I was quite excited, not because I was getting a little exclusive but because I know she thinks of me as a hop head and immediately I knew it might be something good. Anyway, she produced a bottle of Valeir Extra, this is a beer I have never seen or had before. In short its a Belgian IPA and it is probably the most hoppy Belgian I have had maybe aside from De Ranke XX Bitter. The two beers are hoppy in different ways though. Whilst De Ranke has a dry refreshing hop bite Valeir has a lovely tropical and fruity hop body. It reminded me of a certain little Scottish beer I have a thing for!

Proper tasting notes will follow, but I thought I better let you all know that I am still here and that normal posting will resume soon. There is after all a very large collection of great beer waiting for me at home.

Stay tuned folks.....


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