I've only had two Christmas beers so far. OK, I haven't been really trying and I promise to do better, but both have been ordinary mid brown beers of (by co-incidence) 4.8%. It doesn't augur well.
Now is it just me or am I wrong to expect a Christmas beer, specially issued for the season, to have something, well, special about it? Wouldn't you think that at a time when everyone wants to treat themselves a bit, the brewer would pull all the stops out? If they don't believe in the premise, why bother going through the motions? What do I expect? Well, something different. Maybe a mildly spiced old ale, or one with a little fruit of some sort in it - bitter orange would be good. Maybe even something dark and toasty? Something stronger and warming definitely, but not just a bog standard premium, mid brown bitter of no character or seasonality.
This isn't the first time I've raised this point, but it is still worth saying I think. Put some bloody thought and effort in please brewers. Stretch yourself and your imagination. It's only once a year after all.
I first complained about this in the early days of my blog, two years ago. Post number 21 in fact. It still makes a good read!
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, CAMRA Chairman and (local) activist, beer author, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
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