I may not have known whether I had a new beer on Sunday (Abingdon Bridge or Cumbrian XB? probably Bridge but I don’t want to admit it, I am in denial), but the weekend was not a total whiteout. Get it, all that snow! I managed to try seven new beers and lagers. Woohoo! Friday night saw a Northern beer from Tadcaster, Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale, and a Greek beer called Thursday’s Red Ale. Thursday was the better one. Nut Brown ale was, well, too nutty! Made to taste of beech nuts, almonds and walnuts, according to the tasting notes, with a rich nutty colour. Thursday was a bit like a red lager and was more refreshing than the Nutty Ale. Saturday night saw a trip to Oxford in the Snow starting with a visit to The Bear. I do like this place but it is always busy. And why is it that the tallest people always stand in the lowest ceiling part of the bar? So funny watching them with bent necks trying not to bang their heads. Being a Fuller’s pub, it was either a Fuller’s beer or Shotover’s Prospect or Scholar (these are the guest beers they usually have on). Fuller’s Jack Frost sounded good, so I opted for that (see the 1st cool photo?!). It was a good beer that had a toffee, tea and fruity berry taste that didn’t dominate the overall hoppy and bitterness flavour of the beer. Well, that’s what the tasting notes say. I say it was a good drinkable beer. Maybe I need to learn how to taste beer properly, use all the fancy tasting words that you see on the tasting notes. They must do courses for beer tasting, like wine tasting courses for wine (note to self: look for a beer tasting course).
After this, the night continued and finished with a streak of Lagers, Spanish lagers, at Kazbar on the Cowley Road. Three different beers were drunk including Alhambra Negra, a rather good, dark beer, that is slightly malty, quite fresh and medium bodied, and Mahou (see 2nd cool photo?!) and Estrella, middle of the road Spanish lagers that don’t hold a candle to San Miguel 1516. I do like that lager beer. Have I said before how smooth it is? So, Sunday accepted, it was good beer weekend that increased the total beer count to 28, as you can see from the good photos (2nd note to self: take better photos of the hand pumps and the beers).
Sunday Roast. What could be better than a Sunday Roast? A nice walk in the snow down to our favourite pub for a nice Sunday Roast. Even better, I could have a new beer and add it to the list. Exciting! Conchi and I went with this plan and took ourselves down to the Brewery Tap for the famous (well in Abingdon it is) Sunday Roast. We arrived at the nice warm pub and I surveyed the hand pumps. Not that one, its off, not the second one, Abingdon Bridge (already drunk) but the third, Hartleys Cumbrian XB, this was the one for me. I was happy. We were shown to the table where our drinks orders were taken and the food order too. I will have a pint of Cumbrian XB please.
The beer arrives and it is an amber brown colour with a pleasant taste, similar to others that I have tried over the last year or so. I would like to say more about the flavour but I don’t really know what I am talking about when it comes to these matters. At the moment, if a beer tastes good it is good and vice versa. The food arrived and over the next 20 minutes we finished everything on the plates. A really good roast beef and roast duck, highly recommended. No I didn’t have two, one was Conchi’s. No room for dessert so we asked for the bill. Checking the bill, imagine my surprise when I saw an item that read Abingdon Bridge! I am sure that I asked for Cumbrian XB. ‘Yes, you did’ said Conchi. Maybe I had the right beer but the wrong beer was put into the till? Maybe I did receive an Abingdon Bridge, one of my favourite beers? (but I have already added this one to the list) If I did receive my favourite beer, how come I did not recognise it? What colour is Cumbrian XB supposed to be? So many questions. With these doubts in mind, we paid for the bill, took a look at the hand pumps and left the pub not knowing whether I could add a new beer to my list. At home, we checked the tasting notes for Cumbrain XB to discover it is pale golden ale. Being a scientist (not really sure what this has to do with it), I put all the evidence together and decided that I may not have had a new beer and therefore it could not be included on the list. To be added to the list there can be no ambiguity as to which beer I had drunk. The moral of the story: always order beer from the bar. You need to see what is being poured, especially when you are doing a foolish 365 different beer challenge.