Since taking delivery of a butt-load of award-fancying beer two weeks ago, I’ve found myself at a couple of events which firmly favoured quantity over quality in the beer stakes: a stag-do and a Sunday League football team awards night.
I’m not the laddiest, but suffice to say, we were not sipping Cantillon Gueuze with cautious restraint.
And, fun as those get togethers were, I was looking forward to getting back to having a normal drink. One which didn’t involve intentional liver destruction.
So, here are three efforts from the awards lot.
German beers have a strange power over me. That distinctive malt and caramel flavour, normally joined by spice, banana and clove, with plenty of fizz, sends me back to drizzly nights on the cobbles in Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Berlin and all points between.
This festive Märzen is not the best example you’ll ever find – it verges on over-sweet – but it does the job, with all the aforementioned Teutonic tendencies on display.
I’d recommend it, but if you can get any Schneider Weisse, go for that instead.
Boon Mariage Parfait Kriek (2015)
This was one that I’d earmarked for a special occasion, like Christmas or a birthday. Turned out the special occasion was after a crap day at work.
Bloody worked though, didn’t it.
For starters, it’s hard not to enjoy a drink that starts with twisting off a champagne-style cork. Then, you remember that Boon crush everything they touch and their Kriek is no different.
It’s dark, tart, sour, fruity, a little dry and beautifully balanced.
If I had to choose a Boon to drink, especially as a treat, I’d pluck for the Geuze Black Label, which proved a knockout a couple of weeks back. But if you prefer your funk toned down, this is a worthy replacement.
Which makes it sound like I’m calling it the Jamiroquai of beer, but I’m not.
99 times out of 100 I drink the beer for the beer. But then there’s that time where it’s for the glass.
(I’d argue that impulse is peak beer geekdom, but that’s for another post.)
This was one of those moments. The Averbode beauty pictured is my favourite, and it was yet to meet the Abbey beer it was made for.
It all looked the part – the beer fit the glass like an old pair of slippers – but it’s a blonde abbey beer, and that’s what it tastes like.
That is to say, very nice, but nothing new. Crisp, spicy, boozy, with dried fruits and a reasonably crisp finish.