Thursday, 12 April 2012

Getting Back into the Groove

I'm just getting back into the swing of things with regard to beer drinking, but at the moment am still taking things slowly. There are two reasons behind this; the first is my system has become unaccustomed to alcohol over the last nine months or so and needs a bit of time to re-adjust. The second is I'm slowly weaning myself off the medication with another four weeks to go at the lowest practical dose, before I can say goodbye to the tablets. GP's really need to act more responsibly, and think of the consequences, before dishing out what after all are powerful psycho-active drugs! However, that's another story and one I don't wish to dwell on; onwards and upwards is the motto!

One thing I'm very pleased to report is that I haven't lost my taste or appreciation of good beer during the intervening period; in fact abstinence has made my enjoyment of a decent glass of beer all the more satisfying. Talk about "absence making the heart grow fonder"!  I have noticed though that beer prices have shot up, even in the supermarkets!  There are still bargains out there, but one must be prepared to look around for them.

I posted some time ago about the excellent cut price Oyster Stout from Marstons, on sale in Lidl's, and the other week I picked up some 500ml bottles of Czech Boheme 1795 (incorrectly labelled as a Pilsner!)  for 99p each in Tesco's. Last weekend the same supermarket was offering Pilsner Urquell at 3 bottles for the price of 2, and I noticed on their website such delights as Adnams Broadside, Fullers Bengal Lancer and 1845 at 4 bottles for £5.50. Our nearest Tesco though is one of their smaller stores, and doesn't stock the full range of beers; hence I was unable to pick up the White Shield which was also on the same 4 bottles for £5.50 offer.
Not to be outdone Sainsbury's also had some of their "Taste the Difference" beers on special offer over the Easter weekend. Two in particular caught my eye, so I decided to purchase them. The first was Porter, whilst the other was  Celebration Ale. I've yet to try the latter, which is a 6.0% dark beer from Black Sheep, (unusual for then to be brewing an ale of this sort). However, I have sampled the Porter which is brewed by Shepherd Neame. Many of you will know that I am not a huge fan of Sheps but to give credit where it's due their Porter is a cracking beer. I'm not sure if it's the same beer that was available on draught some 10-15 years ago, which allegedly had liquorice root added to the copper, but tasting notes for this 5.0% bottled version describes the beer as having "intense spicy liquorice flavours alongside chocolate ones". It was certainly a good example of the style.

The Easter weekend saw me enjoying a range of different beers at the mini-beer festival organised by the Nevill Bull pub at Birling - see previous post, but apart from that, and the odd pub stop on recent walks in the country side, I haven't done a lot of drinking in pubs. One beer probably more than any others that I am looking forward to sampling again is my old favourite, Harvey's Best. There are plenty of pubs around selling it, I just haven't had the opportunity to pop into one to try a pint recently.

Hopefully this will change at the weekend, especially as its my birthday. I will let you know how I get on.

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