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Category Archives: taste

To Toast the Games

So, this evening we get the start of the greatest show on earth. It really doesn’t seem like seven years ago that we found out that the UK would be hosting the Olympic games. And while there has been a lot of cynicism with regards to the sponsors and LOCOG, I do genuinely believe that it’s something we can all get behind. The world is watching, and it’s our time to show off. Negativity isn’t going to change anything or stop it happening, so can’t beat them join them I guess.

This evening, I’ll be at home, watching the opening ceremony. So far we’ve had sneak previews of people in PJs jumping on trampoline beds, colourful dancers and what look like owls on bicycles. So far so eccentric. I’m glad to say however, I wont be drinking any ‘official’ beer of the games. I’ll be sticking by my usual ethics and going for something tasty, perhaps local, perhaps not. Probably British. I’ll be having a curry, it’s often wheeled out as the nations favourite meal, so what could be more British than a ruby and a pint? I don’t think my choice of beer will be with added steroids this evening thanks.

What will you be drinking this evening? Will you be watching, or determinedly ignoring all the fuss until after 9th September?


Too Many Hops

Thinking that this might be a bit controversial, hops are seen as good right? Always more hops, needs more hops, if only it had C-hops…. Is that always the case though? I was drinking some new (to me) beers on Friday night, one of which was a complete hop bomb. It wasn’t particularly high ABV, but was incredibly bitter, with a huge hop profile. I felt as though I had had my mouth scoured by a grapefruit flavoured brillo pad. Now I know there will be people who love this kind of beer, lap it up whilst shouting ‘More hops, never can have too many hops’.

I love hops, I adore the different scents you get, I like the citrus, the pine, the earthy flavours. That resinous mouth feel, the kick of bitterness to counteract the heady aromas. I may have been guilty of saying that you can’t have too many hops in the past, but these beers changed my views. It turns out you CAN have too many. This beer was almost sour – not in the vinegar sense – but in the just bitten a lemon sour. It wasn’t just me, those who I was with all tried it, and we all felt the same. It was too heavily hopped. There was no malt flavour to balance it out, and nothing from the yeast either. If there were notes in there at all from the yeast and malt, they had been steamrollered by the hop character.

I am reminded of a quote of Garrett Oliver in this blog from Tandleman  equating over-hopping beer with over-salting food to the point of it being inedible. Well I found my over salty beer I am afraid. Now, is it just me? How many others have found beers hopped to the point that you’d rather not drink them? Or are you still firmly a believer in never having too many hops?