I read on other blogs about the writer's liking for extreme beers, whether it is Innis and Gunn's latest bourbon aged effort, or some outrageous stuff from Brew Dog (again), or Thornbridge (not quite so often) and now, I am urged (for example) by Pencil and Spoon to look out for extreme beers from Ramsgate Brewery. Well I won't be. They do nothing for me, probably as I rarely drink beer at home and anyway, when I look at some of the fearsome strengths, I imagine the beer taking big bites out of my liver.
Now I do enjoy the decent drinking strength beers from Thornbridge and Brew Dog and by that I mean up to 5%, but with very few exceptions - like when I'm in Belgium for example - I rarely drink much stronger beers. Now of course I enjoy outrageously hoppy beers from Phoenix, Pictish and Mallinsons to name but a few, but you can keep the extremes of barrel aged this, imperial or double that. I don't want to have to struggle to pick out a million clashing or just plain wrong flavours, often excused by that overused word "complex".
Variety is the spice of life and I am happy for those that like that kind of thing and it is good to see British brewers pushing boundaries. I also recognise that we have a long way to go to rival the odd geekery of the USA, where good old supping beers are despised, but there is an element of that creeping in. It isn't for me.
Artyfacts from the Nyneties #5: Sainsbury’s Bière de Garde, 1991 - The image above comes from the Sainsbury’s supermarket in-house magazine for November 1991 and is a great reminder that interesting beer didn’t arrive in...
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