|Festive farewell: this one is already
making me feel Christmassy
So I'll raise a glass to Sam, who has not only put together an impressive range of beers from the South West for me, he's also indirectly ensured I've stuck to my task. And I have to give thanks for the foil wrapping, which has just been brilliant. I've felt like a six-year-old boy unwrapping little Christmas presents every day for the whole month. Fantastic.
Just a few reasons why I reckon I've enjoyed this year's more than any of the previous ones. Not only have I lived the ethos and actually drunk one beer a day, I've come to fully appreciate the task of both compiling the beer list and working your way through them. Next year's should be a breeze.
In general, my frame of mind has been better than for a good few years as well, which may well have had a detrimental effect on the quality of the writing but hasn't half helped rekindle enthusiasm for a project that I was beginning to think had run its course.
What's made me think otherwise is the absolute plethora of copycat calendars out there. I'm flattered, of course, that others feel it's a good enough idea to emulate. And I've marvelled too at their inability to keep it going. It's really like watching a baby giraffe take its first furtive steps. I suppose it was always going to happen at some point, but we all know who had the idea first and some among those paying homage have doffed an acknowledging cap my way.
But it's made me all the more determined to carry on next year - hopefully with another 'mystery mix'. Although there is talk of making a calendar available for purchase next year so that people can join in should they desire. I'd be more than happy to forego the mystery should that come to fruition.
In the meantime, it's time to draw things to a conclusion, declare stumps and wave the players off the field. Thanks again for reading and sticking with it through the less interesting times. All comments, retweets, likes and other appreciative noises really are gratefully received.
Now, where's that Saison? Merry Christmas, all.
Strength: A totally fine, no really, it'll be OK 6.5%
Smell: Smells terrific. I can't pick much up, to be honest, as my nose is all but blocked, but what I can detect is gently fruity with a hint of spice. Christ, I sound like an actual beer reviewer.
Tasting notes: Brilliant. Just brilliant. So pleased this is the final beer as it really is a cracker. Heh. A cracker. Oh never mind. Bustling like Oxford Street the weekend before Christmas, it crackles away on your tongue like beery Space Dust (Google it if you're under 35). But once its shopping is done, a more relaxed demeanour takes over its features and it sneaks off for a rewarding pint. It then stays there, propping up the bar and smiling at the locals while getting ever more merry. Sure, it knows it'll have to scoot soon, but that's not going to spoil its moment as it dwells longer without ever threatening to outstay its welcome. Then before you know it, out into the cold winter's night it goes, making sure to come back and pick up its forgotten bags of Christmas gifts.
Session factor: It would be unwise, but what the heck? Bring me more. Then some more after that. Cheers.
Gut reaction: Who cares? It's Christmas. *burp*
Actual beer: Bristol Beer Factory Saison. Another beer out of the top drawer from this brewery. Must visit soon.