Saturday saw more of the same. Eddie, the eager, legal beagle insisted on exercising his rights under the Human Rights Act 1998. Apparently, this means he can force you to go out and drink at anytime he sees fit. Even if you have repeats of 2004 Top Gear to watch.
Anyhow, on our travels we came across the perfect example of what and what not to do with beer. Two very different taste experiences sharing the same bar space-the Hare & Hounds at Holcombe Brook. As we stood perusing the 10 beers on offer, we were offered some advice and a taster from a punter sat close by. We were subsequently grateful for his intervention.
Turns out he was supping a pint of Art Brew i (as in ice cream) Beer. Now it’s only 4% and colour coded a no 1, so I too may have made his mistake-trying it without a taster. After all, how bad could it be? Well their website describes it as “a vanilla golden ale that balances out strong sweet vanilla flavours with some equally fragrant and punchy hops.”
Except it doesn’t. There is a big blast of vanilla in the aroma, followed by a big blast of vanilla in the mouthfeel and a big vanilla finish. Now I like vanilla as much as the next beerhound, but this was overkill. Having tried various vanilla Porters, I’m not even convinced that vanilla should be anywhere near beer and certainly not in this quantity. And there’s not even a hint of what to expect on the pumpclip. The poor punter did say it was an acquired taste and that he was still acquiring it, but being of the old school, he had paid for it so he was going to drink it.
Immeasurably better was Ilkley Mary Jane. They’ve only been brewing since May of this year and are another of our very own Mr Porter’s installations. MJ is a pale, lowly 3.5%, but despite its obvious lack of body, compensates with a nice helping of hops to deliver a long, dry finish. Impressive and worth keeping an eye out for their beers in the future.