30 September 2007

The great taste of brut

It's a beer I've been intensely curious about for years, staring at me from the end of the top shelf in Redmond's every time I go in. However, it took my recent visit to Brussels for me to finally buy a bottle of DeuS, attracted by the bargain basement price of €10.

The manual attached to the neck outlines the tortuous method of brewing and conditioning this "brut des Flandres". It's made and bottled in Belgium then shipped to France to mature.

Despite the champagne overtones in the presentation, this is quite a sweet and fruity honey-coloured ale. The strength is a prodigious 11.5% ABV, but it bears no resemblance to the likes of Bush or any other high-alcohol Belgian. Instead, it's a rather light, sippable affair with pronounced overtones of clove and ginger.

DeuS is, by all accounts an odd beer. I don't know if all the work that goes into it is really worthwhile, but it is certainly well-crafted and interesting.

28 September 2007

Bohemian travesty

I have very fond memories of the dark beers of the Czech Republic and was full of anticipation on dropping in to Dublin's Czech ex-pat bar this afternoon. There was a wide selection of taps, and lots of strangers among them. I opted for a Staropramen Granát. Mistake!

This light red-orange coloured beer is possessed of a sharp, acidic and frankly gastric bitterness which put me right off.

I will be back to the pub to try some more of what's on offer, but I won't be touching this again.

24 September 2007

Lacking the lactose

A couple of months ago I complained of undetectable cream in St Peter's Cream Stout. I'm beginning to suspect that brewers' definition of "cream" is very different from mine, since last night I had a Samuel Adams Cream Stout and must confess to being unable to detect any cream here either. It's a rather thin stout, with a sparkly mouthfeel and mild caramel flavours. In fact I'd place it closer to a Vienna lager or some class of dunkel in style, and very much not what I'm after in a stout, or a purportedly creamy beer.

Somebody please explain cream in beer to me. Perhaps too much nitrogenation has ruined my vocabulary.

23 September 2007

oooOOOwww

The worst bit about organising a crawl around every brewpub in London is ending up with Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" stuck in one's head, except with the word "brewpubs" instead of "werewolves". I think I've just about exorcised it now though. Anyway, you can read the full article on how I got on over at IrishCraftBrewer.com; I'm only here for the beer.

I started at The Cock & Hen and moved on to The Florence, both of which brew two beers. In the former I had a pint of Bonobo, a warm cop