Playing It Safe

I’ve been playing it safe recently when it’s come to the choice of bottled beer I’ve been drinking. I could point to various reason why this is, but it essentially boils down to playing it safe.

For example, I’m a big fan of Lambic beers, especially anything from Cantillon, I can’t tell you the last time I had one it was so long ago. This problem extends to practically all bottle conditioned beers, as I don’t have room to store much beer at home I tend to buy stuff to drink that night. Bottle conditioned beer isn’t in a fit state after being bounced around in a pannier during the hour it takes me to cycle home, hence the playing it safe.

I have decided that enough is enough and I’m going to take a stand and stop playing it safe. It’s time to stop drinking golden blonde beers like Fullers Discovery, Adnams Explorer and Wychwood WychCraft, it’s also time to stop picking up three or four BrewDog Punk IPA’s when they’re on special. It’s time to start trying new beers and it’s definitely time to get back to drinking beer that is bottle conditioned.

I need a project, something that will challenge me to try new beers from breweries I didn’t know existed. I need something that will force me to stop buying beer in Tesco and start visiting the Jug & Firkin¹ again (I think I’ve been in Cambridge long enough to keep calling it by its original name). I need something that will get me excited about beer again and I have got the perfect thing in mind.

While I like trying beer from all over the world, we have such a large choice here in the UK, that I thought I should really do something that expands my knowledge and appreciation of it. So I’ve bought a copy of the seventh edition of The Good Bottled Beer Guide by Jeff Evans (published by CAMRA) and I intend to try all the beers listed in it. This is a long term project as there are hundreds and hundreds of beers listed, I’m sure some of the beers will become unavailable as the brewery will close, for example, and new breweries will open or existing breweries will produce new beers, so it will probably turn into something quite fluid over time.

To keep me honest and on the straight and narrow I intend to document my progress through the book in this blog. Exactly what format that will take is yet to be decided, as is how I plan to work my way through the list, alphabetical, by beer style, random…? One thing is for sure, it’ll be a very tasty journey.

¹ Now called Bacchanalia

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