Four score and seven beers ago


“Four score and seven beers ago, I, Richard Gardner , Beer for the Year, set forth on a most excellent adventure. Conceived by my friend and colleague, Simon Peel, this great gentleman was dedicated to give me the proposition, which was true today as it was true two months ago, to drink 365 excellent beers in 365 days… excellent to each other…..and… on dudes!”

Ok, not quite Abraham Lincoln, and more like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (I do love that film), I have had the idea for the title of this post in my mind for sometime now, almost since the start of the year. Most people would probably do a review after a milestone such as 100 beers (most people would not be doing a 365 beer challenge) but I thought it would be a good time, at 87 beers (it just so happens to coincide with the two month mark), to look back over the last two months and produce some more beer related statistics.

Beer No 87 came in the middle of a beer festival (no 2 of the year), that I went to with Conchi, Carol and Andy (Carol and Andy are our fairly regular drinking partners), celebrating St David’s day at The Royal Blenheim. The theme, as you may have guessed, was Welsh beers. There was an excellent choice of 21 ales from 9 welsh breweries. I managed to try 5 different ones, steering clear of the pints this time and opting for half pints. My two favourites were Red Dragon and Honey Porter. Red Dragon by Great Orme Brewery was a copper coloured, fruity,zesty ale. It had an unusual taste in that it was a little sweet at the start but had a hoppy, bitter finish.  Honey Porter by Conwy Brewery was a dark brown porter with a dark roasted malt taste. It didn’t taste sweet at all, despite the honey, and had a nice smooth texture and with a slight bitterness to finish. Apparently the beer festival is going to be a annual affair, so I look forward to trying some more Welsh beers next year. Although I am sure there will be a few more Welsh beers drunk this year.

Meantime-LPA   Caesar Augustus    WP_001389

Here are the stats for the last two months, January and February (and March 1st):

Number of new beers tasted: 61/87                     70%

Number of beers tasted before: 26/87                30%

Most number of different beers in one night:     6

Number of lagers: 11.5/87                                     13%

Challenge progress: 87/365                                  24%

My favourite new beers in February were Caesar Augustus by Williams Bros Brewery, a lager/IPA hybrid that was surprisingly good, refreshing and hoppy, and London Pale Ale by Meantime Brewery, a pale ale full of hoppy, fruity, citrus flavours and bitterness. I also had the good fortune to try a new beer by my local brewery, Gunners Gold by Loose Cannon. This ale had a nice golden, yellow colour, not too bitter, with hints of peach and a very smooth taste. I may be a little biased because they are a local brewery but they always make a great beer.

So, as I finish writing this review, the first two months are over and done with and we are now slightly into the third month. I have drunk 92 different beers with only 65 days gone, almost a month ahead of the challenge, if you look at it that way.  However, I have only drunk 2 out of the 51 beers I have in the house, the lure of the pub having overridden drinking beers at home. In fact I have been beer free for the last three days! I am very close to Beer No 100 and have the beer ready that I would like to drink as No 100. This will be the subject of one of the next posts.

7 comments on “Four score and seven beers ago

  1. You need to come and spend some time down in this part of the country … we have some awesome local beers 🙂 That and I miss your face

    • drrichieg says:

      Cheers Rachel. I miss your face too. Would be good to sample some of the beers in your part of the country. Trouble is there seems to be awesome beers everywhere. So much (and maybe too much) choice. Remind me where you are again exactly?

  2. buttox says:

    I’m also drinking 365 beers this year so offer you my support, although you’re well ahead of me. I see your in the oxford area. There is an off license – corner shop in jericho, opposite the Victoria pub that is recommended by camra – according to their sign – and is an Aladdin’s cave of world beers. Good luck – I’ll be checking this blog for ideas so keep it up

    • drrichieg says:

      Thank you for your support. I offer you mine in return. When did you start your 365 challenge? Are you also in the UK? I think that it has been fairly easy this far. We are blessed in this country to have a good supply a both bottled beer and beer in pubs on pump and draught. I have been in the off license that you recommend but not since last year. I know that they have loads of world beers but I am not too sure about their UK selection. I remember them having a lot of beer and ale from Oxfordshire but I don’t know about the rest of the UK. I will have to go and have another look but not until I have got close to finishing my current stash. Good luck to you too. I hope that I can give you some good ideas in progressing with the beer count. Cheers.

      • buttox says:

        I also live in Oxford, I’m only 1 beer up as of today but a delivery of shopping with an amazing surprise from the girlfriend (about 10 bottles of ale) should mean I’m a few up by the weekend. I assume you’re counting halves/pints and bottles (rather than just “tasting”) if so I admire how far ahead you are! to be fair I had a couple of weeks off booze at the start of the year after xmas (much needed). i’d love to know how you set this age up so I can share my success beyond face book. I know what you mean about the beer in England, I’ve actually surprised myself recently as doing this I’ve noticed so many more beers. let me know which shops you are using, as you say the early days are easy, get the obvious out of the way. Having a page like this will allow friends and family (and beyond) to make recommendations. I joined CAMRA last year so might try and get on one of their jollies out to the country side one evening. I also wish I’d weighed myself at the start of the year, this is a good control experiment for whether beer really is fattening.

  3. carol says:

    regular drinking partners, what constitutes as regular?

  4. drrichieg says:

    We go to beer festivals with you. We go into Oxford with you and Abingdon a bit. Although not as often as we could. We could make it more regular, weekend plans permitting. It is good to share my beer tasting experiences with you and Andy 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s