Monday, 14 May 2012

Lake District

This weekend I visited the Lake District with the family. Not normally an excuse for ticking lots of different beers but since the challenge waits for no man (or woman) I did my best. The cottage we rented was simple, lovely, and was very secluded which did not lend itself to driving to a pub (it took  20 minutes of negotiating precarious single track lanes just to reach the main road!). So we took along some beers for the first night. As I was there to spend time with family, whilst we chatted about beer quite a bit, I concentrated more on company than making notes, but here goes!

32: Sneck Lifter, Jennings, 5.1%
Shared a bottle (as chosen by Dad). It was slightly stouty, a dark ale. A fine start, and a local offering.

33: Inedit, Estrella Damm, 4.8%
This was a beer Mr T had never heard of before, a Belgian style Wheat beer, from Spain. The label stated that it specially designed to be paired with food by a collaboration with the brewery and some top chefs and sommeliers from El Bulli restaurant. We served it according to instructions re temperature and glass type, however, weren't pairing it with food so can't comment on it's success at this! It had fruity, citrusy smells. I am not sure if I am a fan of wheat beer. I didn't dislike it, but I just didn't seem to enjoy it as much as other beers I have been trying.

34: India Pale Ale, Meantime, 7.4%
Caramely smell, something fruity. Malty flavours, and very bitter. A nice IPA.

35: Chocolate Porter, Meantime, 6.5%
Another offering from Meantime, we have liked this brewery since visiting them in Greenwich a couple of years ago. The chocolate porter was certainly chocolatey, just my cup of tea and an excellent beer to round up the evening. The rest of the family who all had a sniff and a taste were most impressed by this of all the beers of the night.

The following day we went to Hawkshead Brewery and had a tour around, but there is so much to write about that, I will save it for it's own post. Saturday evening we were stuck for what to do/eat/drink. A quick Internet search suggested the Watermill Inn at Ings for food and drinks. The pub was awarded UK Beer Pub of the Year 2011 by the Good Pub Guide, and had some standard good old pub grub to go with it. It is actually a microbrewery, and had many of their beers available on cask to sample. All of their beers have a dog theme... Colly Wobbles, Dog'th Vader and Ruff Whatever. Unfortunately, I was driving and only tried a half of one of their offerings, Colly Wobbles

36: Colly Wobbles, The Watermill Inn and Brewing Co., 3.7%
I believe this is what is known as a session beer. Low in abv, easy to drink, tasty, and a good accompaniment to my beef pie.

I've been finding it hard knowing where to place beers like this on my enjoyment scale, because whilst fine beers, they lack the intensity and oomph of some of the hoppy numbers or malty dark stouts. However, I think I've learnt something. This is the first time since the challenge began that I didn't think too hard about what I was drinking and let myself enjoy the simple pleasure. It was the perfect accompaniment to food, company and a low ABV. I wouldn't have tried anything stronger, and anything more intense would have needed careful pairing with the food.

Later, at the cottage, back to the bottles.

37: India Pale Ale, Goose Island, 5.9%
Another IPA, was very good. Really made few notes on this beer due to enjoying company too much!

38: Asahi Black, Asahi Original Brew, 5%
My first Japanese beer, ever, I think, let alone of the challenge. Tried this straight after the Goose Island, and to be honest was taken aback a bit. Was too intense for me, and I let Mr T finish it off. Not sure if this was due to what I was drinking earlier, or just not really liking the style or the particular beer. Mr T enjoyed it though. Would like to try this again, or something similar.

I'm glad of this weekend, glad of taking a step back from trying to analyse what I am drinking. It has reminded me not to over think beer tasting and remember why I am doing this blog in the first place: to try beer, enjoy beer, and perhaps learn something along the way.

It was a lovely weekend and I would recommend to anyone that they come explore the wonderful countryside.

1 comment:

  1. Some good beers in there! Sounds like a best of both worlds sort of weekend.