|Come the evolution: thirst up against
the wall to be executed
Today, I approach the calendar with the relish only truly known by magazine editors who've just sent their latest edition off to print.
After a morning spent pulling various coverlines, captions and pull-quotes out of what was a pretty bedraggled looking hat that was my beer-addled brain, I accompanied the client and our design director to The Rose public house on Snowsfield in London's SE1 postal district.
I haven't been into that place since August and have decided it's definitely a winter pub. Its oak panelling and brass tabletops give it the kind of beguiling hue that warms, soothes and surreptitously coaxes you into staying all afternoon. It was tempting, especially given the grimness of the outdoors at our time of departure.
But I'd still be there now instead of writing this up. And that wouldn't have been particularly appreciative of Nigel's contribution to this year's calendar, now would it? One thing crowdfunding does do is galvanise you into getting stuff done that you'd promised to do.
And speaking of promise, this Wild Beer Evolver looks terrific. It has a moose on the front for a start, but its strapline is: hops – brettanomyces – hops. I'm guessing most readers are fully au fait with the words bookending that line, but could be less aware of the middle one.
At the risk of patronising, brettanomyces is a wild yeast. It usually imbues the beer with a slightly off flavour redolent of a three-week old quiche that's been left at the bottom a soiled gym kitbag. It's ruddy delicious.
It might be that I have to hold my nose, but I'm definitely going to enjoy putting this edition to bed.
Beer: Wild Beer Evolver
Strength: An eminently sensible 5%
Smell: Sweet vinegar and old chocolate limes. That's a positive thing in my book
Tasting notes: Rasping and spitting like a cornered wildcat. I almost feel like I've been clawed by the little shit while I was sticking my tongue out at it. Suppose I deserved that, really. It smarts. Sweet Jesus, it smarts. But once the pain subsides, the lovely mustiness of the brettanomyces kicks in and puts me instantly in a Royton bathroom about to take off the bandage sling I'd been wearing for nearly four weeks to heal my broken collarbone. Again, a good thing. The reassuring smell that sling gave me has stayed with me to this day. I get the feeling my tongue would appreciate similar longevity where this taste is concerned.
Session factor: Medium high. I could work my way through a few but it's particularly fizzy, like a fretting mum waiting on her offspring's exam results.
Arbitrary score: 291114
Sponsor: Nigel Nunn. Happy birthday, squire. *raises glass*