Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Pies, Pasties and Pickle
Decent English ale brings out the pie eater in me. When I get that English hop flavour and complex yeast contribution I have a hankering for traditional English fare comprising savoury meats and ploughman's lunches. Everything works so damn well. I have my father to blame for this need. His food of choice with a pint of ale is a cheese and onion sandwich, which we eventually managed to track down for him at the British Beer Festival. There was a protracted period of time when he feared a total absence of his favourite ale supplement, but thankfully discovered a small stall in the corner of the cavernous Earl's Court venue where a very busy man was bisecting French rolls and stuffing them with mature cheddar and fresh onion. He was a very contented man for the rest of the festival. So when I opened this bottle of Brakspear EPA I felt compelled to complement it with the food I love so much. You have no doubt noticed that there is a distinct lack of pie and pasties on the plate in the photo, but I did the best I could given the limits of my fridge contents, and must declare myself very happy with the resulting collaboration. I greatly enjoyed Brakspear's Bitter and was very keen to try their EPA hoping that it would be a step up the flavour intensity ladder. In this respect it didn't disappoint having satisfying English hop character and the familiar complex malt and yeast flavour that I can't pin down. I tried the Brakspear Triple last year in my pre blog days and was very happy with the muted tones of the their bitter which was triple like to a degree. The EPA represents the middle ground, I suppose, and gives you everything you could hope for from a bottled pale ale.