Saturday, 2 January 2010

Christmas Beers

Unlike many fellow beer bloggers, my sampling of the juice of the barley was somewhat limited over the first couple of days of the Festive Season, and didn't really pick up until I went to Prague. Eileen's brother David came to us for Christmas and whilst he enjoys a drop or two of beer, for our Christmas meal we ended up drinking wine. We did have a largish container of Harveys Best to polish off beforehand, that had been given to me as an early Christmas present by one of the lads that works for me. Being "bright beer" I knew it wouldn't keep more than a couple of days, so after having made a sizable dent in it on Christmas Eve, it needed finishing up on the day itself.

In addition, as I was due to fly off to the Czech capital for a few days, I hadn't got too many speciality beers in for the Christmas season. I am looking at a couple of bottles of Rochefort (an 8 and a 10 degree) as I write. It would have been nice to have moved onto these with the cheese course, along with perhaps the Chimay Bleu that is also staring at me, but both David, and my son Matt were keen to get started on the port. It seemed rude not to join them, and I must confess I'm quite partial to a drop of Oporto's finest, so that was the end of the Trappist idea.

The several pints of Harveys, followed by a decent bottle of Merlot to help wash down a rather large turkey dinner would have been quite sufficient for me normally. The best part of a bottle of port between the three of us (Eileen doesn't drink!) was therefore more than enough to ensure that after the washing up was done I ended up falling asleep, and missed most of the first installment of Dr Who.

Later on in the evening, (quite a bit later on), and wanting something light and refreshing, I cracked open a bottle of Tesco's own premium Czech lager, Boheme 1795. This 4.7% beer is brewed by Ceske Budejovice's other brewery, Budejovicky Mestansty Pivovar - otherwise known as Samson. Somewhat confusingly the word "Pilsen" appears prominently on the label; surely "Budweiser" would be more appropriate? This aside, the beer itself has a good maltiness which nicely balances the fragrance and bitterness of the Saaz hops, and was just the thing to revitalise my jaded palate.

Boxing Day was a very sober affair. I had a 7.15 am flight to catch from Stansted the following morning, which would mean leaving home at around 2.45 am. For obvious reasons I wanted to be in a fit state to drive, so decided to leave my body to metabolise the remaining alcohol in my system and apart from a small glass of Boheme 1795 with my cold turkey and bubble and squeak, stuck to tea and coffee for Boxing Day.

I of course more than made up for this lack of beer when I got to Prague, but that's another story.


Ale Fan said...

Somewhere, hidden in a cardboard box from the move, I have a bottle of Harvey's Christmas Ale. Hopefully it will surface before spring!

Paul Bailey said...

Hope you find it ok Ale Fan. My experience of moving suggests that things can take a long time to surface. Enjoy it when you do eventually find it!

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