My twitter feed has been a buzz with this #12beersofxmas recently.
Apparently as I’m a “beer blogger” and a reassuringly increasing amount of followers/following now includes people far more adept at it than I, it is something that appears to be a tradition.
Along with “Golden Pints” which I may also get involved in, though probably won’t.
Sensible beer bloggers are doing 1 beer each day (lets be honest, they are doing far more than that, they happen to have a specific 12 beers in mind), but seeing as the 25th of December has presented itself as a time to drink over an extended time it felt prudent to jump on this ale-powered ship and “get it out of the way” in one 24 hour period.
At first I thought I could try and do just local bottled beer, I could have done, but as I like my dark beers more it appeared that my choice of bottles from the North West had been limited by my own predilections.
I didn’t even stick to the North.
What I did manage to do was taken some god awful photos using my useless phone, which caused a fair few people to remark that either; I’ve used instgram (I won’t ever use that) or some kind of filter (nope). That they are not chronologically ordered (they are, the light sources and locations vary about the houses they were taken in).
Worst of all, for me especially, is that all the drinks, if not dark or particularly pale, looked like Rose wine.
I can only apologise to the brewers in advance for the poor representations these photos make of your brews, hopefully their write up will go some why to correcting this.
Boggart Brewery were up first with their Rum Porter (4.6%).
Its an award winning porter and one rightly so, one of the best representations of its kind. Sweet and smooth, like drinking a melted down selection box of rum-chocolate liquors.
Wilson Potter Brewery were second with the Natural Progression (4.8%).
A good contrast to the Porter (the award for stating the obvious goes to…), this red ale had a good bitter punch to it and a delightful floral aroma.
Guinness was third with what is an Xmas tradition of having a drink of this at home, on Xmas Day as I have done for was seems like I’ve been legally allowed to drink. This was Guinness Original in a bottle, so no widget head on it (4.2%)
Whatever you think about the drink or the company, this is Xmas for me as much as ‘The Snowman’ or a Pixar movie, Morcambe & Wise, Singin’ in the Rain, Wizard of Oz, It’s a Wonderful Life or 6 days of creative turkey/goose/Capon recipes.
BadSeed Brewery provided the fourth drink, their Saison (6%).
Everyone who has mentioned BadSeed drinks to me always bangs on about the Espresso Stout, that is in my bottle collection, as is all of their beers, but I cracked open this beer and was immediately hit by some of the most wondrous smells that I could never do it just to try and describe. It tasted fantastic too – felt like a proper Sommelier (not that I have any idea just how much skill and training is involved for that) or just a proper beer sniffing twat, but it was that stimulating.
Weird Beard Brew Co were number five with the Little Things That Kill (3.4%).
British Nirvana rip-off act Bush had a song called Little Things, its painful how bad a copy of a generic ‘grunge’ song it actually as. This was Batch 3, it would appear the lowest ABV of this label so far, with hops added at the whim of the brewer. I’m not a fan of massive hop flavours, but I’m beginning to think that I’m much more accommodating to them when out of a bottle rather than when served in a pub. Or that Little Things That Kill was a lovely beer that even tickled my taste buds.
Tickety Brew helped my to half way with their Stout (5.4%).
Another beautiful myriad of aromas greeted my every mouthful of this dark brew. Every beer I’ve had by them, either from bottles or from the pub has been a good solid brew, but this is actually my favourite of theirs so far.
Quaffing Gravy were seventh with their Pale Ale (4.2%).
Perhaps the full title of this drink is Quaffing Gravy Pale Ale, I don’t know, what I do know is it was yet another pale drink that I took pleasure in drinking. In fact it was the drink I finished in the quickest time, which hopefully should speak highly about how tasty I found it.
Buxton Brewery were eighth up with Rednik Stout (4.1%).
A straight forward, no nonsense, stout. Does that translate as boring? Maybe it does, in this era of trying to big and flashy with the flavours (and smells), you forget that all you are drinking is 4 or 5 basic ingredients and sometimes there is far too much twattery going on (it is my job to be contradictory). This was a good stout, simple and honest.
Harviestoun Brewery were in at number nine with the Old Engine Oil Porter (6%).
Another jolly fine porter, with big malted and roasted flavours.
BrightSide Brewing helped me to ten with Odin (3.8%).
After a run of dark beers I needed this. A clean and crisp drink, a palate cleanser of subtle hoppy flavours, BrightSide hit another one out of the park (or back of the net if you wish to keep it British).
Ilkley Brewery were eleventh with the Longhorn (8%).
This is a Whisky-aged Cranberry Milk Stout (I hope I’m right in saying they take their Holy Cow (4.7%) and, well, age it in whisky barrels). I don’t like whisky (I’ve checked, I’ve got another of the Ilkley Brewery whisky-aged range too) and I’m not a fan of cranberries either. But this was one of those drinks that, when you combine the flavours like this it works.
Anarchy Brew Co were the twelfth and final beer of a very long day with their Crime Scene (5.5%).
Anarchy Brew Co call this a Hybrid American Amber. Its got a good solid bitter hit to it and along with their Smoke Bomb (3.9%) and Urban Assault (5%) they are certainly ones I’ll be looking out for and it turns out they used to be Brew Star, whose name also rings a beers previously drunk bell.
This 12 beers odyssey was helped by a massive meal, some good tele, my family and a massive dump just when I started to feel too full and too tired to carry on.
The body and its systems are wonders of evolution, as it the evolution of brewing.
Merry Xmas to all (and Happy New Year) and to all a good night.