Saturday, 26 December 2015
#12EssexBeersofChristmas The Second Day
The Twelve Essex Beers of Christmas
It's Boxing Day, the feast of St Stephen, where cold meat and pickles are the order of the day in many households. Another groaning table full of food to be consumed, and what better to wash it all down that a glass or two, or more, of locally brewed beer.
Traditionally slower-paced, the second day of Christmas is more of a recovery day after the mad-panic and over-indulgence of the day before. There's no slacking when it comes to writing a blog post, particularly when you know there's a further ten days of writing ahead. So, as we sit back and take it easy, there's one man in a bright red suit who's earned a rest more than most of us, and I think he deserves a beer.
The Second Day - Boxing Day:
Wibblers Brewery - Santas Night Off 4.2%
Before I open this beer, please note that I have re-produced the name of this beer exactly as it is written on the bottle label, with no apostrophe between the second a and the s of Santas. That's how it's shown on the bottle, or indeed pump clip for that matter so that's how I'll show it here. Speaking of the pump clip, if you have seen this beer on the bar at all, you'll notice it matches the image shown on the label, relaxing in an armchair with a cup of something steaming hot, a spiced beer perhaps. This is preferable to the previous clip which showed a cartoon of the big man sporting sun glasses and a salacious grin leaving an adult store with a blow-up reindeer under his arm. It's time we confined that kind of imagery to the dustbin of Christmases past.
It pours a deep chestnut red-brown with tight off-white head and an aroma of warm malty brown bread. The initial taste is all malt up front, with caramel and chocolate notes drawing aside like the stage curtain at a church hall pantomime to reveal some chewy earthy raisin and woody hops that bring a crescendo of bitterness that fades slowly, resonating long into the finish.
Two things struck me as is drunk it. My first thought was that it wasn't very Christmassy. There's no real element here that points to this being festive in any way. The second was that it slipped down very quickly indeed. In fact if I were in a pub with a group of friends talking all sorts of nonsense as we are all sure to do at this time of year, the beer would compliment the conversation perfectly. It's just at that level where it tastes good without being overly remarkable and you could leave the pub after a few relatively less the worse for wear. Exactly the kind of beer you want at Christmas when you catch up with the old crowd.
If you want to read more about Wibblers Brewery and their beers you can do so by following this link. All being well they should be moving to a new site in 2016 with their own taproom / micro-pub as well.
For all the latest Essex beer news follow @BeerInEssex