Pick Your Poison

I like to think of myself as a beer connoisseur, in a loose sense of the word.  Over the years I’ve tried some really delicious draughts at microbrew festivals, pubs and restaurants.  I’ve enjoyed IPAs, cranberry ciders; even an alcoholic root beer draught that tasted just like, yep you guessed it, actual root beer!  (A second glass from that tap was impossible to turn down).  So last weekend, when I was given a couple of beers to try for the first time, I made up my mind that I would devote an article to them both.  So here goes.  Cheers beer lovers!

The first beer is a Scottish ale from the Belhaven Brewery.  A dense texture and amber color crowded my glass as I settled in for the first sip.  But before I could indulge, in fact, to be correct, before I could pour it in my glass, I had to follow the instructions on the back of the can.  Usually I’m a staunch opponent of beers in a can, but every now and then you have to break your rules to try something new.  The instructions begin by  informing you that the container is supplied with a “floating widget” designed to enable you to enjoy its “smooth full bodied flavour.”  The idea of the widget was nothing new to me because I distinctly remember the Guinness company using a similar widget in one of their brewed bottles.  Next, there are five specific instructions: 1. Chill for three hours, 2. Carefully open can, 3. Wait for the head to rise, 4. Pour into a glass, 5. Relax, savour and enjoy.  It’s probably best to make this beer your first of the evening if you plan on “beer-hopping” (my own term for drinking multiple beers with different labels), since you’ll have to read instructions.  But the 5.2% malty and nutty flavoured taste is well worth the aluminum printed protocol.

The second beer is a Belgium family brewed ale called Delirium tremens.  Whether the name is intended to warn about the necessity for moderation and the delirium that can occur from the withdrawal of alcohol, or simply distinguish itself from ordinary sounding beers; I guess both reasons would make sense.  The bottle’s label is eclectic, jam packed with sly pink elephants, haughty prancing crocodiles, foolish copper dragons balancing themselves on balls and golden swooping doves, against a black and blue boarder and gray body speckled with black dots.  I told you it was eclectic.  A rich amber colored 8.5% ale with a very thick, creamy texture; this family brewed beer is a great compliment to any Saturday afternoon ballgame on TV.

Have you tried any new beers lately?

© 2012



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