Saturday, 2 January 2016
#12EssexBeersofChristmas The Ninth Day
The Twelve Essex Beers of Christmas
The Ninth Day of Christmas is, rather strangely, National Science Fiction Day in the USA due to, and I'm guessing this, it being the birthday of Isaac Asimov in 1920. It is also the day that my true love sent to me, nine ladies dancing, and all that.
It's not going to be a long post tonight, I have to confess that I've been at a local pub this afternoon, the Olde Dog in Herongate, a pub that I've been drinking regularly at for over a quarter of a century. It's one of those pubs that, even though I hadn't been in for a couple of months, I immediately felt at home. They keep their cask beer on stillage behind the bar and their house beer, Olde Dog IPA is brewed for them by Crouch Vale. They usually have their Brewers Gold on, however the Essex beer available tonight was from Wibblers, and very good it was too.
Many pubs are quiet this time of year, but not the Olde Dog, with its real fire and Christmas decorations still decking the bar it had attracted quite a late afternoon-early evening of crowd drinking plenty of good beer. This is the one f the best times of year to visit a pub near you that has some festive charm and good beer. The once-a-year Christmas drinking crowd have melted away like the remnants of a late winter snowman, before the warm weather brings the families in to enjoy the gardens and lighter evenings. So get out and supprt your local pub, they'll thank you for it.
The Ninth Day:
Brentwood Brewing Company - Santas Little Helper 4.0%
This hoppy blonde Christmas beer from Brentwood almost didn't make it into this selection, and if I'd had a substitute I probably would have gone for it, and there are two reasons why.
The first, and most trivial of these is the lack of correct punctuation. For goodness sake, if you have to write Santa's please put in the apostrophe otherwise it looks very sloppy. But I'm sure this isn't what caught your eye if you looked at the label, I'd imagine it's the scantily clad blonde haired girl making Father Christmas (or Santas (sic)) look like a lecherous old pervert. This is something I'll keep going on about until it changes, but there is no need for this type of out-moded 1970s imagery in beer, and certainly not in beer in Essex. We get a rough enough ride with TOWIE showing us in poor light without this kind of thing as well. Please stop it.
Onto the beer itself. It pours a pale amber with a pure white head and the aroma of peach juice and lime zest. It's actually very good, smooth and medium bodied it ticks all the right boxes for this style, with gentle honey-soaked waffle malts wrapped up in grapefruit and mango citrus sprinkled with the merest hint of orange zest. The finish drops the malt and leaves the citrus notes to linger, not too long but long enough to keep you drinking and make you want another.
This is a really good beer sullied by some ill-thought out packaging. I'd like to see it next year looking a little more mature.
If you'd like to know more about the Brentwood Brewing Company and their beer then follow this link to their website, or visit their shop at the brewery itself. They'll be more than happy to introduce you to their range.