Advent Beer: What Did I Learn…?

December is but a long distant memory. While my focus has turned to other things, I keep mulling over some of the things I learnt from indulging in Advent Beer again.

If you can cast your mind back to December, I’d decided to do another round of Advent Beer, but this time with some constraints:

Some constraints though, the beer must be from UK breweries, come in a can and I can’t have tried it before.

Purely on the basis of the constraints, it was an all round success. All the beers were new to me, they were all British and they all came in a can. That’s probably where the success stops though.

It’s fair to say that the contents of the cans were a bit of a mixed bag, some were really good, some were pretty woeful. It just goes to show, it really is all about the contents of the packaging, not the actual packaging itself. There’s just a much shite beer in cans, as there is in bottles, cask and keg.

The biggest disappointment with the cans was sediment. Unlike glass, which you can see though, there’s no way to tell if there’s any sediment in the can. Thus it’s very difficult to know when to stop pouring. This caught my wife out when she poured a can of Magic Rock’s Wayniac and was very annoyed to find huge chunks of yeast floating around.

Given the current vogue for the yeast from Vermont, I’m not really sure what brewers can do to mitigate this. Printing a warning on the side of the can is a start, but if you can’t see where any yeast might be in the can, how can you pour carefully, without leaving a third of the volume in the can?

I really struggled with finding things to say and will admit to not enjoying myself near the end. Maybe it was getting behind with the write ups, maybe it was falling into the same old Police report¹ style of beer review. Either way, I think I’m pretty much done with reviewing beer on this blog.

I like drinking beer, just sitting back and enjoying it, letting the flavours and bitterness (or lack of) wash over me and adjust my mood. I don’t drink beer to try and identify every subtle nuance of flavour, or play guess the malt bill or hop variety.

I’ve said before that I just don’t have the vocabulary to communicate what I’m tasting, and I just end up not enjoying the beer, or the writing. So that’s it, no more Police report style beer reviews.

One positive thing to finish though. Getting Boak and Bailey to mention your blog post really does wonders for your traffic…

¹ Read Pete Brown’s excellent blog post Tasting Beer: Some Thoughts and Reflections, for what I mean about the Police report style of writing.

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