Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Graveyard Calculating : So Many Beers, So Little Time

Last birthday, or perhaps it was last Christmas, Alexander bought me a book entitled "1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die". So far it has remained uninvestigated on my desk, but the other day I picked it up (as you can imagine it is not a light volume) and flicked through its pages and started to do a little graveyard calculating. Given that average life expectancy for a man in the UK is currently just over 78 years, that means that even if I started now and managed to find, sample and consume one of the selections every week, I would have to arrange for the final 273 bottles to be packed into my coffin with me. Given that I have always fancied donating my body to a Medical School for dissection practice, this would mean that the 273 bottles would fall into the hands of the medical students : and we all know they would probably finish the collection off in about 45 minutes. So it is time to start, it is time to launch a fine symbiotic dual quest : drinking more beer and living longer. It is time to tick off the pages.

We are lucky at the moment because there is such a wide and wonderful range of bottled real beers available, not just in specialty shops but also in local supermarkets. My first bottle (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale) was bought in my local Tesco store and, despite the fact that it had been lovingly brewed and bottled in Chico, California and shipped halfway around the world, cost me less than £2. Whistling the Star Spangled Banner I carefully poured the rich amber liquid into a Portland Microbrew glass (a present from a fellow blogger, thank you Christine) and read the Tasting Notes for the last time.

"Fresh grassy, resiny hop nose with orangy undercurrents; also fruity with maybe just a hint of peachiness. In the mouth, it is crisp and dry up front, with a slightly toasty malt character that then blends into a clean and assertive hop bitterness and a long perfumed bitter finish"

I won't pretend to have noticed a tenth of those flavours, perfumes or undercurrents and I will therefore provide a Yorkshireman's assessment of its' overall character : A GRAND GLASS OF BEER.

11 comments:

  1. As it’s a bucket list, if you find yourself running out of time, why not just pour the last few bottles into a bucket and down the lot. I don’t see why those medical students should be beneficiaries; who knows what they’d do with your corpse under the influence - it doesn’t bear thinking about.

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  2. The bottles are often interesting, too, and would make a fine collection for any serious student...of life.

    A noble quest you have embarked upon.

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  3. Now that's a noble quest if I ever saw one. Onward, Sir Alan!

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  4. A beer that is pretty readily available over here, and one you don't mind friends handing you from their coolers.
    Finally, IPA's are gaining in likability over here, which is a blessing.

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  5. Just drink faster! ;)

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  6. I love trying new tastes! I did stumble upon a very tasty smooth and slightly dark ale in Folkestone and had to order it every where I went after that. It was a local brew and only found in your lovely country. Believe me I tried finding it here in America to no avail!

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  7. You're just going to have to work nights as well, Alan. After a while, you won't know if it's day or night, anyway!

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  8. Great review. Amazing how different one product can be.

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  9. It would be interesting to try and set a record for the quickest consumption of the lot. I don't think. :)

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  10. Moving into Tasting Notes, eh?

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  11. I am sure you could taste more than one a week! Beer for Breakfast! I don't really like beer..I must have strange taste buds:)

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