The Beer Gatherer

Blogging about Israeli beer in general and Israeli craft beer in particular, following 1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die and other beer musings.

Break The Spell

It’s been over a month since my last post here, and ages since the last post in beerdrinking. We flew to England. Traveled in towns and villages, following CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide book and App. Attended a Real Ale festival in York. Drank 125 different beers and ciders over the course of six days. Returned home to madness. Campaign, work-related bar crawls, no time to eat or sleep or see loved ones. Crashing on Friday night – our weekend – after a long day of phone calls and emails going back and forth – Tel Aviv – Paris, Paris – Dublin, London and New York somewhere in-between. Typing and being creative were the last things on my mind. I just wanted to sleep.

The campaign is finally up and like a teenage groupie I find myself driving ‘unnecessarily’, ‘accidentally’ bumping into ‘my’ outdoor ads. Yup, I am THIS lame. And now I have two weekends to rest before flying to an incentive trip with dozens of bar and restaurant owners from all over the country and writing business reviews and preparing corporate visits and whatnot. It’s a chance to recap, train the fingertips to type and the mind to focus on my things, my home-grown passion. I wanna write about the Real Ale Trail. However, we haven’t edited the photos and I haven’t read my notes from the trip yet. And since our return I attended two tastings and drank stuff from The Book and tonight there’s another tasting and more Book beers and if I don’t cover whatever has been consumed over the past two weeks the world will fall apart! Won’t it?

So, The weekend after we returned The Secret Agent and I attended an extensive tasting. One session, 21 beers. I shit you not. We contributed 3 bottles to this session:

Surly Coffee Bender with black pepper, coffee and vanilla aroma and delicate coffee sourness – derived from  cold-pressing the beer in ground coffee beans and results in a tasty, fun drink; Mill Street Coffee Porter grabbed by my Excellent Little Brother on a business trip to Toronto, where coffee is also very dominant, both in the mouth and in the nose, but a bit drier and roastier than the previous one and North Coast Brother Thelonious, A big Belgian beer that holds 9.3% abv and adorns a beautiful label. It’s a spicy one: fruity, nutty, raisins, clove and cinnamon in the nose, very fruity, sweet and slightly alcoholic taste and a sweet fruity finish. Still, despite the high abv. and its Belgianness, it wasn’t a tough drink.

The following week I drove REL and The Actuary (who as I typing this are now ticking and rating in Rome’s craft beer festival) to Baseball Tom’s sunlit bachelor pad in the ‘burbs. We watched Brew Dogs and Brewmasters and tasted beer like Yona Yona Ale that Tom brought back from Thailand, a Japanese APA. It was a pretty ugly beer – filled with weird floaties, with peach and toffee aroma and sweet toffee taste. I didn’t feel the  cascade hops or anything like that – something happened to the content of the can before we opened it. Another APA we drank in the occasion was Three Floyds Alpha King which was pretty good: I’ve had the bottle for quite some time and while its hoppiness started to fade, but soft, orangey bitter taste and a smooth, citrusy finish indicated its previous awesomeness.

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Now off to rest for an hour, before heading out to another tasting.

These were beers #303, #304, #305, #306 and #307 I Must Try Before I Die. More to come tonight.

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