Sunday, 8 December 2013

The English Scheme

Ale seizer: I took one look at this and
grabbed it with both hands
Careful what you wish for, as they say; it might come true. Never got that one, really. Unless you wished you had an orange for a head or you wanted to be Piers Morgan, for example, why on earth wouldn't you want your wish to come true?

No need to write in with an explanation. Being out the other side of a marriage that was a horrendously bad idea, I know only too well that what you think you want might not turn out as well as you expect.

But for the last few years, I don't think I've wished for that much really. Not for me the world peace or several lottery wins on others' wishlists. I may have wished for the odd Australian wicket now and then or a decent first innings total and I'm fairly sure I've wished a reasonable amount of hours in the day away; maybe even a whole year.

Take today, for instance. I approached it with no expectations at all and without a shadow of a doubt it's been one of the most relaxing I've had for a while. Pottering and bimbling all through it and a relatively decent drive back from Seaford that didn't take too long. Now the kids are tucked up in bed and story-read, all that remains for me to do is hang out the washing, neck this beer and write about it.

In the spirit of nothing-too-demanding that's characterised my weekend, I hoped today's wouldn't be challenging. And pulling the bottle out of the crate put a huge smile on my face, since it's a lovely sounding, bog-standard, straight-up-and-down English IPA.

Couldn't have wished for better. Cheers.

Beer: English IPA
Strength: A cheering 5.5%
Smell: Honeysuckle that's been rained on from a great height. The next morning when the rain's stopped.
Tasting notes: Malt? Who needs malt? This is violent, bitter attack from the outset. Not unlike the current Australian cricket team, it's snarling, uncouth, scornful and quite frankly not particularly sportsmanlike. I rocked back like a bouncer-evading tail-ender after my first sip and the short-pitched barrage didn't end there. And while the hostility crackles around your tongue like an unrelenting sledging, you can't help feeling a modicum of grudging respect for a style that's been out-of-sorts for some years but looks like it's clawing its way back to reclaim some of its former glories. Hats off to it.
Session factor: Would happily share a few in the pavilion after stumps. Moreish stuff, this.
Gut reaction: Grow a pair, show some guts and face the onslaught. If you lose after that, well at least you gave it a shot.

Actual beer: St Austell Proper Job. Yep, terrific beer. If I'd had to guess what it was, I'm fairly certain I'd have got it right. Now if I could only find another close to hand. 


Sam Tait said...

That one is a favourite of mine - a contender for inclusion in my Desert Island Beers

sothisis_simon said...

A great beer... always high on my to do list whenever I head down the south west.

Phyllis said...

Just discovered this beauty...will be on the look out for it from now on.