I forgot all about this beer for the last few months. It got stashed away in a box somewhere during a tidy up of brewing and beer clutter and I was no real hurry to find it again because the first time I tried it I was decidedly underwhelmed. Green Daemon was part of my last quarter CAMRA beer club delivery (come to think of it, this quarter's delivery is long overdue...) which proved to be quite unremarkable save for a tasty porter. A second try of Hop Daemon has changed my opinion on this beer entirely. First time round I thought it thin, gassy and with an unusual flavour that I don't like, but sadly find in quite a number of the more common English ales. At a second attempt this beer has transformed into a crisp, lively, very pale, bitter and clean tasting golden ale. What the hell happened? I suppose I could point towards further maturation of this beer in the bottle for the last few months but I know this not to be the case, or at least not the main contribution. The fact is my palate was in two completely conditions each time and my state of mind equally differing. I can't recall the exact circumstances of my first taste, but if I had reviewed the beer at that time I would have suggested you give it a wide berth. This time round I suggest you hunt it down next summer, when it'll hit the spot very nicely indeed. The effect of mind set and environment on one's perception is something I have long been aware of, and I try my best to avoid beer when I feel that I might not fully appreciate it, because when I consume alcohol I like to make every drop count, not just imbibe this noxious chemical for the hell of it. But more importantly, if I am going to be one of these review beer blogger types how the hell can I be sure I won't change my opinions on beer at the drop of a hat?
And before you ask, no, I won't be changing my mind about Gulpener Rose.