Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Porter, existential blog crises and smug beer knowledge challenged

It's been a month since I last posted, far longer than I ever planned to let this blog languish, but I was somewhat distracted over the last while with brewing exams and wedding preparations. While these things were factors contributing to my absence, the biggest problem has been the sickeningly small amount of time I have spent brewing, which throws up another more fundamental problem; is this a brewing blog or a beer blog and does it matter a damn either way? I drink as widely as possible with respect to bottled beer and have had any number of beers to comment on over the last month but relented because I'm not all that comfortable with reviewing beer. But if I hold off to post until I find the time to brew, there won't be much substance to these pages at all. So, to get things rolling again I'll briefly blow my own trumpet by informing you of the the second prize my Industrial Stout won at the inaugural Tara's Specialty Beer House home brew competition, and tell you a little about a porter delivered to my door from the nice people at CAMRA.

I greatly look forward to my quarterly CAMRA delivery, and what with the euro beating several shades of night soil out of sterling at the moment I'm getting the stuff for half nothing by Irish standards. This delivery contains, among others, Entire Butt English Porter from the Salopian Brewing Company Ltd of Shrewsbury. It's a surprisingly straight forward beer despite the boast of 14 different malt malts and 3 hop varieties with far more condition than many of the other bottle conditioned ales I've chanced upon. It is decidedly porter like in the sense that it wouldn't be mistaken for a stout, but this is rarely a problem with English porter. The name is a problem though, as it appears to play upon the propagation of a beer myth that that just isn't true according to the historically rigorous Zythophile. I'll have to put my hands up and admit to propagating any number of beer facts in the past that I have since learned to be more than likely mythical. My personal favourite is the birth of IPA, which is sadly dispatched with ruthlessly once again by Zythophile. Ron Pattinson is carrying out similarly devastating work on my once comfortably held opinions on beer styles and derivation. It's actually pleasant in a painful kind of way to have one's knowledge and opinions shook up in this way and I always eagerly await new posts from these learned beer lovers.

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