Four score and seven beers ago

Lincoln

“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…..be excellent to each other…..and…..party 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.

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Possibly a premature Top 5 Beer list

I didn’t really expect to produce a top 5 beer list so early on in the challenge. In fact, I had no intention to make this list for some time. I was going to wait until a bit further down the line until I had say, 100 beers-150 beers under my belt. But an opportunity arose for me to have my Top 5 beers posted on a website. I replied to a Tweet to have it put on the Cask Marque website. How exciting?! For me, very! (you can check it out by following the link) I don’t think that I have ever done a top 5 beer list before, mainly because I don’t have a very good memory and tend to forget most of the beers that I have drunk. A few have stuck in my memory, like the local beers that I have tasted on frequent occasions, but not enough have stuck in my head to make an informed top 5 beer list, until now. I thought that now I have tried 60 different beers this year, I could have a stab at a list. So here is my top 5 at the moment, in no particular order.

Top-5-Beers-2

1. Abingdon Bridge from Loose Cannon Brewery

2. Triple chocoholic from Saltaire Brewery

3. Harvest Pale from Castle Rock

4. Conqueror from Windsor and Eton Brewery

5. Caesar Augustus from Williams Bros Brewery

I think there is quite a variety here. A dark brown ale from Loose Cannon, a smooth, chocolatey stout from Saltaire, a blond, pale ale from Castle Rock, a hoppy, black IPA from Windsor and Eton and a peachy, hoppy lager/IPA hybrid from Williams Bros. I mentioned before that this is my top 5 beer list ‘at the moment’ because who knows what amazing beer or two or three or more could be waiting for me around the corner. Maybe in two or three months time I will have a few new beers in the top 5, or maybe a completely new top 5.  There is still a long way to go with the challenge (304 more beers) and anything could happen.