Labmate’s Holiday Beer Fest   Leave a comment

The lab manager (she has all the shitty jobs of the two of us who more-or-less wear that hat, so I tend to refer to myself as the “instrument manager” or the “mass spectrometry janitor”) went on hols to the Yorkshire Dales last week and to say, “thanks for babysitting the kids,” brought back three beers for me to try.  This isn’t the first time (nor even the second) this has happened and I almost feel guilty for taking them.  Almost.

monty python's holy ail detail

We start with Monty Python’s Holy Grail, a beer I thought was only exported to wankers in the States but is brewed at Black Sheep, whose Best Bitter is always a good pub choice.  I got home late and didn’t feel like cooking so put the bottles in the fridge and phoned for some delivery food.

T. S. Eliot was often called “more British than the Brits.” I , too, have gone a bit native but not the middle-class naturalisation of our little Prufrock: so far I have joined a Working Man’s Club, taken up Marmite, and whinge about, well, everything.  One further measure of just how native I have gone is this meal of curries and warm beer.

monty python's holy ail and curry

The label states that it is “tempered over burning witches” but the truth is this is a very floral and fine blond ale that deserves more respect than the novelty label would suggest.  And, great with spicy food especially the greasy pakoras.

dent brewery ramsbottom

Ramsbottom from Dent Brewery is easily the best beer I have sampled in months.  Not so much a chocolate as a burnt toffee, the fore-taste yielded to something tropical.  Heavier than a dark mild but not quite as thick as a stout, this will be on my cooler-weather shortlist this autumn.  “You’ll never forget your first taste of a Ramsbottom.”

tirril old faithful

The lone Cumbrian ale of these Northern lovelies, Old Faithful from the Tirril Brewery, came with low expectations due to the review my colleague gave.  However I found it a delight with citric hoppiness that cleansed the palate and may well have stripped the enamel from my teeth.  It was really unfair to follow the Ramsbottom with this, though, and the next time — there will definitely be a next time — it will be the first of the session (and it would be a good session beer on its own).

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