I feel distinctly different in the last few days. The days are shortening, the heating has been turned on, the kitchen has stopped producing griddled and barbecued things and now hosts pots of bubbling stews and casseroles. I'm drinking more beer.
The Good Stuff has always been beer-heavy, but i'm going to concentrate more on this in the next few months. There's so much good stuff out there, and now is the perfect time to take a trip to your local beer-nerd-stockist (see the next post for a profile of mine).
I recently got my hands on two excellent examples of the evergreen work of Samuel Smiths, a brewery close to my heart, in Tadcaster.
Thier 'Taddy Porter' is a big, big beer. Huge malted flavours, with those tradmark hints of coffee and roasted malts. Make no mistake, you know you've had a glass of Taddy. Unremittingly dry, this is one of my favourite examples of Porter available today (the other being Flag Porter - which i can't seem to find - can anyone help?).
A few nights later, a long, boring day at work was rounded off by a glass of Smith's Winter Welcome Ale. At 6% abv, the ale is no slouch but is remarkably drinkable - malty, as you you would expect, but quite lively also. It's brewed in Yorkshire Squares and you can tell - that trademark taste runs thorough it. Hoppy on the aftertaste, i really enjoyed this and will be having it again.
In Leeds, The Angel, just off Briggate, stocks these and pretty much all of Smith's brews all of the time.Oh, and i know it's nerdy - but when was the last time you say such amazing design on a beer label?