What we got here is a photo-graph I took of some genyu-ine Ee-jip-shun tomb figgers. No fancy trickery involved. It's just how it looks in the museum. Where of course, at night, they come to life.
See, the guys on the left are mashing in. With their hands. There's two actually working and one standing and pointing (head brewer I guess). On the right sitting, looking at the bottles (jars really) is a scribe and there's a guy standing with a wad of papyrus under his arm next to him. They're counting and doing the paper work. And there's another guy supervising (pointing).
In total: 2 managers, 2 clerks and two fellas doing any productive work. Plus ca change and that.
Well, of course, We drank beer. And wine. And some whisky.
But it's the beer that you're interested in, right? Looking back over my notes (as far as I can make out - they're a bit scrawly), I seem to have been using a marking scheme which I can no longer understand. So I'll reduce it all to a simple score out of 10 (there may be some half marks), and any sense I can distil from the ramblings - and then we can try to figure out what it says about me:
In chronological order:
Heineken 6 In the air. KLM do ghastly little fairy cans, while Air France have a reasonable 33cl one. For that matter Air France offer wine (and beer) with breakfast, while KLM give you a slightly dirty look when you ask.
Lagunitas IPA 7 Yay, we arrived. Praise be. Beer in fridge.
Full Sail Amber 5 Do I like these Amber beers?
Anderson Valley Boont Amber 5 No, guess not.
Sierra Nevada Torpedo 6 Supposed to be good - but is it really?
Anderson Valley Brother Davids Triple 5 It's a bit nasty. Banana? No spice. Burny alcohol
Tsingtao 5 mmm wet. Eating Dim Sum
North Coast Old Rasputin 6 Actually, various scores - 7 is the best it got. I gave it a 5 as well. Kept trying it tho'.
Flying Dog Doggie Style 4.5 I used to like this. Either it's changed or I have. Or it's a typo.
Gordon Biersch Czech Style Pilsner 7 That surprised me.
St Bernardus Tripel 8 More. Oh, there's no more?
Dogfish Head 90 min Imperial IPA 7.5 Good enough.
Bison Brewing Organic Chocolate Stout 5 This is a GABF silver medallist - can't see it myself.
Erdinger Hefe-weizen (Dark) i.e. Dunkel(what's hard about that?) 7.5 Good enough
Speakeasy Prohibition 6 Another amber. "Boldly hopped" my arse.
Speakeasy Big Daddy 7 IPA. not bad at all
Lagunitas Sonoma Farmhouse Hop Stoopid 6.5 Disappointed
Ballast Point Sculpin IPA 8 This is very nice.
What shall we conclude? Well, I don't like these amber beers much. The American IPAs cover the range from the pits to the tits. It's easy to f-up a Belgo-triple (and it's not that I don't like the "real thing"). I don't come across many 9's or above.
Anyway, that's the homework done. Now back to work.
In case you're interested, you might interpret these scores thusly:
<5 I wouldn't have another (well, maybe one just to make sure) 5>score<7 I'd have another. score>7 even knowing what I'm like, you should probably have one.
8 or above: Have one. Go on.
Update: Have tried some torpedo since we got back... Herself still rates it "wouldn't have another", I have it down as "a bit rough without being tough, and confused also" and "hint of toilet-duck" So I'm afraid the 6 has to stand. I would have another, but I'd probably try something else rather. I'm probably not a good judge of these yank IPAs so I don't know if you should take my hearty endorsement of the Ballast Point seriously. But I'm planning to buy some of their other stuff on the strength of it.
Also, I'll have to get a bunch of Anchor Steam (I haven't had any for years and years) I used to like it, but now, who knows? I don't seem to like these other, newer, "ambers".
In a shock announcement earlier this week, wee Jimmy and his Dad turned their back on their punk roots. "Yep, from now on, our beers are sweeter, weaker and less bitter", said a spokesdog.
Industry sources suggest that being told "what was good for them" and "your only chance of getting your bottles anywhere near the eyeline" has led to the pair betraying their fans and doing just what the man says.
"It's been great", said an insider penguin, "when the suits told us to jump, we had a jumping competition. I won!"
This is Jon's personal "blog" - I work at an independent microbrewery (a small-scale, artisanal producer of “real ale” and other beery treats), based in the Furness area in Cumbria (or N. Lancs if you'd rather). Or a "Craft Brewer", if you like. We're known as "Stringers", or "Stringers Beer". I don't just make beer - I also sound-off in half-informed rants on a variety of subjects. Like here.