Wednesday, 26 November 2014

This. Is. Pretty. Good.

So last week I posted a blog about the fact that I had a pint of Brewdog This. Is. Lager, a beer that I like, after having two pints of Pilsner Urquell thus rendering BD TIL pretty shit.

See, Brewdog and I, we’ve had our differences in the past but they were pretty cool about it and offered to send me a few bottles which was awfully nice of them!

A couple of days later, before the bottles arrived, I had a spare hour or so on my hands so I decided to pop into The Bell Hotel Wetherspoons in Norwich and have a pint on an untainted palate, and it was the beer I remember having pre-Urquell. It was great – it had that solid biscuity malt backbone, that hop bite and a crisp and clean refreshing finish. Somehow it was warming, even on a cold evening.

I loved it!

Then, last Thursday, three bottles arrived at my house. Sadly I was suffering from a really horrific cold so I couldn’t crack one open there and then, I shoved them in the fridge and decided to come back to them when I was feeling good again (hell, I wasn’t even home anyway as I was at Emily’s).

So the other night I had a couple of hours spare at home before making the journey back to Gorleston and thought I’d open a bottle.

Sidenote: To me, lager is drunk in pints in the pub or straight from the bottle/can at home. I don’t care if it’s a ‘craft’ product… in my mind a lager is for that purpose. No fuss, no overthinking, just to be enjoyed.

So there I was, sitting in front of my computer with a cold bottle straight out of the fridge, that has come to me straight from the brewery and I crack it open.

I take a sip and instantly I want to be at a BBQ in the summer… it’s just so nice and refreshing as it’s got bitterness and subtle citrus flavours as well as a nice maltiness and it’s so well rounded.

It’s a pretty good beer, I have to say, and to be honest I think I prefer it bottled to keg which is an incredibly rare thing to happen.

What I’d like to see, however, is This. Is. Lager in cans because they’ll be easier for me to take to friends houses or the beach in summer.

Alongside Punk IPA, 5am Red Ale, Dead Pony Pale Ale & Brixton Porter, Brewdog currently have a very strong core – or headliner – range right now and I’d also like mixed packs of all of them to be readily available in shops, but until then I’ll mostly be drinking six packs of Dead Pony in Majestic.



Disclaimer: I have had many free pints of Brewdog This. Is. Lager at Wetherspoons courtesy of Eddie Gershon PR sending me a bunch of vouchers to write about the new beers. Also, as I mentioned, I didn’t pay for the bottles I received because I’m a jammy bastard. I also borrowed the bottle image from here:

Monday, 24 November 2014

Thinking Drinkers: The Enlightened Imbibers Guide to Alcohol (Book Review)

Ben McFarland & Tom Sandham are known throughout these lands as the Thinking Drinkers. While Ben has been crowned British Beer Writer of the Year a triad of times, Tom is former editor of a cocktail magazine called CLASS.

Together they do a variety of things including writing (as demonstrated in this book), tasting sessions for those who want to learn more about booze & performed in shows from Edinburgh to the London West End.
The whole point of this book is to encourage people to Drink Less but Drink Better, which is a bloody good mantra and one that many of us have fallen foul of in the past.

Anyway, this brilliant book takes you through all of the main food drink groups… you’ve got beer, wine, whisk(e)y, gin, tequila, vodka… everything.

Every chapter gives you insight into the history of each beverage, along with amusing segments on famous people who are renowned for drinking said drinks, cocktails, recommendations and general hilarity!

The whole book is so captivating and I have now found myself interested and filled with knowledge on drink topics other than my core one of beer.

The great thing is that it’s not just a book for reading, but one for reference. It’s the kind of book that I think every pub or bar in the country that prides itself on stocking artisan or craft spirits should have on the bar, not only to further their own personal knowledge but to allow customers to read.

All in all, this book is brilliant and will be a perfect Christmas present for anyone who likes a drink or two!


Friday, 14 November 2014

This. Is. Ehhh.

Yesterday Alec and I had a Christmas dinner in Wetherspoons and as part of the deal for £8.99 you can get a beer… luckily, these days, it’s not restricted to Carling or Ruddles. These days you can get any of the craft cans, any real ale or either of the craft beers on keg.

I got Brewdog This. Is. Lager with mine, which I have had many pints of before but last night I realised I don’t like it as much as I thought I did.

Last night, I just found it all wrong, so unbalanced. Too sweet yet too bitter, too carbonated yet too dry, when previously I had proclaimed that it’s everything I want in a Pilsner.

And then I realised what the problem was.

Pilsner Urquell.

Yes, the problem was that earlier in the evening I’d had two pints of Pilsner Urquell, the classic, the original, the legendary Czech pilsner. So beautifully crisp, floral and creamy; a beer you can drink pint after pint of without getting bored.

A pilsner that ruins all other pilsners because of its perfection.

Of course, I am well aware that it’s a bit wrong to essentially compare the original pilsner to one from a 21st century brewery who claims to be revolutionising the style, but still.

Don’t get me wrong, This. Is. Lager is still a very good beer. It’s well made and had I not drank the Pilsner Urquell, I would have probably sunk several pints of it last night but what’s happened here is a case of “I drank something better and now I don’t like the one I liked before”

Maybe for research purposes I’ll pop in Wetherspoons this weekend and give This. Is. Lager another shot, just to see if I still feel the same about it.

I’d also really like to try get hold of a bottle of This. Is. Lager to see how it translates, and maybe do a proper, untainted review but until then…