I sometimes, despite protests, get sent bottles of beer to try. I do give them a go, but as I rarely drink at home, it usually takes me a while to get round to them.
Friday was a lovely warm night, so I dug out two bottles. One, St Peter's English Lager, had been in my fridge for a few months, the other, Brilliant Ale from Shepherd Neame for only a week or so. I do confess though that I did drink one of the two bottles of St Peter's Lager when it was sent and thought it pleasant enough, but somewhat ale like. A little like those hybrid "lagers" - really more like Koelsch I suppose - that family brewers used to pass off as the real thing. Think Amboss, Edelbrau, Stein, Einhorn, Holtenbrau etc.
We shared the bottles in the sense that I had one and E the other. We didn't split them, though we each tasted both. I still thought the St Peter's rather ale like, but E liked it well enough. My Brilliant Ale was a perfect summer beer. Light, spritzy, slightly dry and just the thing to watch the sun go down on a beautiful summer at dusk and it would had been even better if I'd had it when the sun was higher and I'd maybe had a couple more to wash down the one I'd had.
E thought it OK but preferred the St Peter's. That's beer for you.
Thanks to both breweries for sending the samples. Brilliant Ale (5.6%) is brewed to a recreated recipe from sometime between 1825 and 1855, with the original East Kent Goldings being replaced by Cascades. St Peter's Lager (5.2%) has a classic combination of Hallertau and Styrian Goldings
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and 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, 2011 and 2012. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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