A guest post by my husband. Already a confirmed cask ale drinker when we met (indeed we bonded over a shared love of Adnams Broadside) I have since taken him out of his beer comfort zone on many occasions although not always to successful effect. This is his explanation of how he grades some of the many brews I try to persuade him to drink…
Level 1 – Entry level beer…
“Here, try this Beer Husband”. Mmmm. The first hurdle is passed as Beer Husband likes it enough to drink the rest. Often a beer is refused at this point on the basis of having been ‘mucked about with’, and not a ‘proper beer’. So called ‘Christmas beers’ with added spices are a good example of mucked about with beers, as are some of the pseudo/ersatz ‘craft beers’ that may interlope, proliferate and contaminate the bars and shelves of this otherwise fine brewing land. So too a good beer badly kept or bottled may fall by the wayside at this point. On to…
Level 2 – I’ll have another ...
This beer has passed level 1 successfully and is here due to a response of “Yes please!” if Beer Husband is offered another of the same. Specifically excludes any third or more successive pints of a session as an attempt may be made to sneak in a level 1 failure, particularly if taste buds in shock following the devilment of Scratchings. Note that the beer is bought for him, as spending his own money would be a significant game changer, upping the beverage in question to the next level.
Level 3 – Approval
The beer has passed levels 1 & 2, or has jumped straight in at Level 3, as we find that Beer Husband is already at the bar and paying for a pint of this beer with his own money. This is clearly a significant ale.
Level 4 – Repeat quaffage
To achieve this level a beer requires the co-operation of the publican, the drayperson, the brewery, the brewer, the bank manager, the weather and of course Mrs Beer Husband to enable Beer Husband to return to the pub on a later occasion to try and get that same beer again. Also relies on the above for, the beer to be there and in addition requires a working cashpoint, reasonably clement weather, and the hmmm… consent?…hmmm… acknowledgement?… (whatever!) of Wifey and reference to her notes to supply the name of the beer. Actually it’s more like “You can’t go to the pub without me! Wait…I’m not ready…”
Level 5 – The ultimate (almost).
Beer Husband has returned to the pub – or a different pub – seeking that beer and it is still available and Beer Husband has independently remembered the name of the beer without any reference to Mrs Beer Husband’s notes or any other written source.
Beer Husband’s Level 5 beers (not an exhaustive list; includes bottles)
Adnams Broadside (Cask 4.7% Bottle: 6.3%)
Palmers Tally Ho (5.5%)
Brains Dark (4.1% bottle; 3.5% cask) and Reverend James (4.5%)
Jennings Snecklifter (5.1%)
Porters in general, and in particular:
Thwaites Tavern Porter (4.7%)
Einstock Toasted Porter (6%)
Gadds’ Dog Bolter (5.6%)
Stouts in general, and in particular:
Gadds’ Black Pearl Oyster Stout (6.2%).
Thwaites Lancaster Bomber (4.4%)
Wadworth 6X (4.3%)
Gadds’ No. 5 (4.4%)
Brooklyn Brewery Sorachi Ace (but then who wouldn’t?) (7.6%)
Beer Husband’s Level 4 beers that he enjoyed according to Mrs Beer Husband’s notes (Steady there with the use of Mrs – Ed) …. Your name isn’t Ed. It’s Sophie!
Smuttynose Robust Porter (5.7%)
Bronx Brewery Pale Ale (6.3%)
Exeter Brewery Darkness (5.1%)
Downton Brewery Chimera Dark Delight, and IPA (6% and 6.8% respectively)
RCH Old Slug Porter (4.5%)
Woodforde Nog (4.6%)
Three Castles Knight’s Porter (4.6%)
Bath Ales Dark Side (4%)
Daleside Monkey Wrench (5.3%)
Arbor Ales Down Deeperer (12%)
Odell Cutthroat Porter (5.1%)
Sharp’s Connoisseurs No.5 Spiced Red and No.1 Quadrupel – 2011 Vintage (9% and 10% respectively)
Funny, odd beers that I wouldn’t even consider tasting except when given the opportunity to but found that I indeed liked.
Brooklyn Brewery’s Post Road Pumpkin Ale (5%)
Rock Saison from Kubla Brewery – flavoured with lavender and chamomile (4.2%).
Bottoms Up! (unless it’s bottle-conditioned of course).
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