|Last exit: Brooklyn's take on lager|
still manages to taste like failure
As one door closes, another one opens as the saying goes. But not for me it seems. In fact the only door openings I can readily rely on are the little cardboard ones that hide the next beer away from my prying pre-Christmas eyes.
Despite an evening drinking fine Bordeaux wines and a healthy couple of scoops in The Harp afterwards, I failed to get any sleep last night. Not even alcohol-induced torpor was forthcoming. Just an awful lot of turning over, rearranging pillows and BBC World Service.
And then daylight. Not so much licking me into shape as slapping me down and reminding me there is no let up. No succour. No comfort. So I did what any man in my position would do and headed straight for the bottle. I'm not proud. But boy did it feel good to drain the last of the Gaillac Perlé and leave the glass on the bedside table.
They say all things happen for a reason, but the more you go searching for those reasons, the more obscure they can become. Trying to understand the whys and wherefores can often feel like trying to understand your breakfast. Some things just are and it's up to you to deal with it. Sometimes you just have to accept you'll never know. There is no explanation.
And honestly, there's very little explanation why I chose to stock my calendar this year with not one but two lagers. I don't like lager as a rule. Not really. I mean, I'll drink it if there's nothing else, but I won't generally seek it out. But if there was ever a day when lager is appropriate, then it's today. Exhausted and bewildered, possibly the only insult left is to have my own calendar mock me. Thanks, fate.
But yes, there is hope. There's always hope. And it comes from Brooklyn. New York's finest brewer puts a Viennese spin on lager and makes it actually taste of something. Something good. Something worthwhile. Something that might just turn the day into night and the night into sleep. I'm sure it'll all look better through the bottom of a glass, won't it?
Beer: Brooklyn Lager
Strength: A thankfully decent 5.2%
Colour: Amber bloody nectar.
Smell: Stale cat piss in a dark, dingy alleyway that someone's tried to mask with cheap scent. Christ, I hate the smell of lager.
Tasting notes: OK, so it's not as bad as it smells. In fact, if anything, I'd say it's considerably nicer than cat piss. What starts out like a run-of-the-mill bog standard lager sits up halfway through and refuses to be beaten. Rather it shouts out from the pit of its stomach 'I am not a lager, I am a real beer,' and you're ready to be carried along by its enthusiasm. Hell, you'd gladly lay down your life to be swept away in its beery embrace, be shown things you'd never seen and gaze in awe at its splendour. But just when you think you can't be any more certain about something, wallop. Sorry. It's a lager again. And you sit, dejected and cheated as your very raison d'être drains away.
Gut reaction: Frankly, I don't care. I just want it over with.
Session factor: Oh I could stomach many more glasses of this disappointment. I'm a dab hand at this.
Arbitrary score: Ten pence.