Friday 4 November 2011

Viva el Presidente!

I have just returned from a friend’s wedding in the Dominican Republic. All week I tolerated a beer which I hope to never encounter again. El PresidentĂ© was worth a great deal less than I paid for it and the holiday was all inclusive. This beer made Tesco Value lager taste like Westvleteren. It smelt of corn and farts and tasted like you were drinking soda water with a bad cold. If you were lucky the dishwasher was faulty and it tasted of lemon detergent. All it was effective at doing was keeping my all inclusive diarrhoea runny and making me belch. In actual fact, I suppose El Presidente did serve to remind me of how good great beer really is. Viva El Presidente!
Anyway, as I sat on my all inclusive khazi sweating, grimacing and calling for my mummy, a very nice e-mail arrived informing me of the success of two of my beers in the World Beer Awards. Sharp’s Special won World’s Best Bitter and Chalky’s Bite won World’s Best Flavoured Beer. Almost the next e-mail to arrive was one letting me know that Honey Spice IPA had won the UK’s best honey beer competition at the National Honey Show.  That of course called for a celebratory Imodium and a fight with an American in the pool.
This week on my return we put this year’s single brew reserve to bed. For want of a more comprehensive description it is an Ale version of Monsieur Rock. A single varietal pale ale with first wort and dry additions of the noblest of noble hops, Saaz. The picture below shows Ian the brewing supervisor in his space suit tying the sacks of Saaz to the bottom of CT17. 20 minutes after this picture was taken these hops were submerged under 20,000 litres of freshly fermented beer. I hope Ian taps on the tank when he needs the toilet because I don’t want him spoiling the beer(joke).

On a much more sombre note. Massive Ale is no more. The lovely people at the Portman Group have decided that calling a massive ale, Massive Ale is in breach of code rule 3.2. which prohibits promotion of a drink on the basis of its strength. I had never considered Massive to refer to the amount of ethanol in the beer only to the weight of its flavour. But then I do see the world through rose tinted spectacles and always look on the bright side. I wonder if drinkers in Scotland are prohibited from asking for a wee heavy by this rule? What about beer labelled as strong ale like the excellent Old Tom?

The best compromise we can come up with is to call it Quadrupel Ale which is a bit inaccurate because (intentionally) it doesn’t fit the style particularly well. For the record I have never brewed a beer called Massive Ale, I am certainly not sending a cask of 3 year old Massive Ale to the White Horse Parson’s Green for the Old Ale Festival at the end of November. If you go to the festival make sure you mumble when you order a half or the stormtroopers will descend and you'll be in the stalag before you know it . I will be spending the weekend constructing an Ann Frank style secret compartment in my cellar in which to hide my stock of the Massive Ale that I have never brewed.       


BeerReviewsAndy said...

ARGGHHH i just spent ages typing a comment and then blogger died!

to sum it up:

the only beer i've had from out that way is carib, it tastes pretty much like you described what you were drinking.

good news on the Reserve, i hope it will be on the online shop as a mixed case with the special??

as for massive ale...what a crock of sh1t, shame you can't tell them to foxtrot oscar.....on the plus side does it mean the bottle i have left is now worth millions???

Stuart Howe said...

I know the feeling Andy computers are w**k but then you must know that being in IT!

Not sure what format the SBR will be in the shop I'm sure Ed will be as accommodating as always.

If I were you I would drive your Massive Ale to a secluded moor and bury it as deep as possible. If the Spanish inquisition arrives deny all knowledge.

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