Saturday, 17 July 2010

..Cornish Beer (Part III)

I'm not sure yet, but it may be a bit of a struggle to get up to The Vineyards this afternoon but one things for sure it would be worth it.
Last night's session began for me at about quarter to seven. The Star was already filling up but there was still space on 'death row'. I started with another pint of the Gull Rock (4.2%) - or was it Cornish Gold (3.8%) - from the Tintagel Brewery. This one is such a good brew. It turns out the Gull Rock of the pump badge is the one off Trebarwith Strand and not Potreath's as I thought. I had to try the Roseland Cornish Shag (3.8%) again to confirm my earlier experience and second time around proved to be much the same as the first. A colleague joined me half way through the Shag and when finished it I went straight for a half of Wheal Maiden Brewery's Grandma's Weapons Grade Ginger Beer (5.5%) which couldn't have been more ginger - delicious. By now the Spingo and the Gull Rock had gone and there were 2 more ales on tap. I followed the ginger beer with Penzance Brewery's Potion No. 9 (4.0%), a golden ale which started on the palate with sweet peachy flavours and then rounded out to finish with a balance of sweetness and citrus tones. A good session beer. The last ale that I consider myself fit to judge was Stoked (3.6%) from Hogswood Brewery. This beer was almost mild like with a darker colour than the golden ales we'd become familiar with. It was gently fruity and not over bitter, refreshing - a great quencher and session brew. Although I did drink another pint I'm not sure if I can be objective enough about it. It was becoming increasingly difficult to make the notes. All I will say is that All Saints Brewery's Blest Bitter was yet another golden ale - a good one to be true with a complex hoppy bitternes on the finish. I'd certainly like to try it again. Perhaps if I make it up there this afternoon there'll be some left. Cheers.

Friday, 16 July 2010

..Cornish Beer (Part II)

Well, back up to The Star Inn again for another afternoon session. Managed to make it before the first barrel of Spingo Special (if you want links look at my previous post) was still going (just!!). Started on a Gull Rock from the Tintagel Brewery. The rock on the pump badge is very similar to the Gull Rock of Portreath. Now, having just checked their site it appears that the beer can only be their Castle Gold (3.8%). Whichever it is, it went very well with the Pasty - a Cornish Bakehouse bite - the beer, with its light body is 'Golden' ale and delivers a fine sweetness from the malt and a rush of hops as it washes over the tongue with strong citrus flavours on the finish that's just begging for more. Further down the glass I got a whiff of Ginger which then appeared on the tongue. Of course since he was there Lewis had to find the ginger as well. The other half of yesterday Spingo (6.6%) followed and then it was on to Roseland's Cornish Shag (3.8%). This is an unassuming light ale which swallows well; after the Spingo I suspect my pallet was still swamped. Further down the glass more of its character became evident. A good quaffing ale that you could enjoy all night. Nicely finished. Back home for Cornish Sardines baked with Chili, Lemon and Garlic - nothing Cornish about that but it was Sainsbury's 'short date' - you can't mess up Cornish New Potatoes. Cheers

The Star Inn - 7th Annual Cornish Beer Festival

What a wonderful coincidence; my birthday and a Cornish Beer Festival starting on the same day. This was the reason for the earlier change of shirt. Suitable dressed I again left the flat and strode up through town, again dodging showers. Popped in to see BathZena in her dungeon before climbing Milsom Street and along The Paragon to The Star Inn. I had intended to be there for opening time but, well breakfast was worth taking time over. Just as I was within sight of the pub another, heavier shower hit so I had to run - only a bit - I don't do running. The bar person who will have to forgive me - I can't remember his name (I'll ask later) was waiting at the door for me (actually he'd chosen that exact moment to steal out side for a cigarette).

The menu for this years festival is most interesting. Of the 11 ales available over the weekend there are 3 familiar favourites and no less than 6 from new breweries. The three available for the lunch time session were indeed not the strangers; St Austell's Proper Job - a beautiful golden bitter ale and my usual pint at the Edgecombe Arms on my arrival in Cornwall via the Cremyll Ferry (Timetable). Proper Job is a very bitter ale with a strong flovour of grapefruit on the finish. Next in the line was the famous or should it be infamous Spingo Special - a true monarch of ales. Brewed at the back of the Blue Anchor in Helston it is a rich and fruity dark beauty and a strength such that many would advise only drinking halves. It was early in the day to be drinking Spingo so I too heeded the advise. The last one in line was one of my favourites from the Skinner's Brewery in Truro - Heligan Honey. Light in style and flavour amber ale with a hint of the honey from the bees of the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Before I left at 3 pm I had one more Proper Job. A most pleasant lunch time session.

Sixth Decade 3rd Birthday

According to the scheme used by The Millbrooker I am 3 in my sixth decade which is cool and confusing at the same time. Yesterday, my actually birthday, began as days sometimes do if you let them, with the campaign plan slipping into a dawdle around the web checking the weather, monitor pricing (LG E2250V) etc. etc. Eventually an hour later than planned I meandered up to The Kings Arms to see if their new breakfast would come up to expectation. Deb's has only just started them this week. The 'Full On' breakfast with a pot of tea for £7.49 was a cracking good eat. It took 23 minutes to demolish and then I had to just sit and drink more tea before I could move. The meats were gorgeous - finest thick rashers, the meatiest sausages and delicious black pudding with a decent amount of barley in it (too little in some I've eaten). Beautiful flavoursome eggs and then there were mushrooms, hash browns, a door step of soft granary toast, tomato and baked beans. Quality eating. Suitably stuffed I headed home, dodging giant rain drops, to change into my St Austell Brewery's Tribute drinking shirt ready for the afternoon's inactivity. 50 metres down the road I realised I hadn't paid - Doug slapped the back of his hand to remind himself to take the money off customers when he sells something. Thanks to both, a great start to my day.