Sunday, 1 January 2012

On the seventh day of Christmas . . .

(To catch up, I'm doing two a day.)

A pint of Dark Star Hophead. I know it's traditional and cringe-inducing for ale to have names that sound like Bill Bailey's hair looks. So I do have a problem with a brewery whose name evokes (or invokes even) the Grateful Dead and an ale with a weedy (ho, ho) pun of a name.

But it's fabulous stuff from the most successful new brewery in England. (Thank you, Gordon Brown, for your untypically canny tax break incentive for small brewers.) I'm not the only that rates it, either. See here.

Though from Sussex, it's become a London staple. It's what I order in pubs - if it's there. Which is how I came to realise how high I rate it. You can't get it or anything like it in the bit of Cornwall I spend some of the year in. Heligan Honey or Doom Bar just aren't the same. Though Tribute, if it's cold, is its own joy.

Where would I drink it? At my friends Kirk and Paul's place, Tapping the Admiral. Or perhaps at the Southampton Arms, with its 'Ale Cider Meat' sign. Or maybe the Euston Tap — there really aren't many neo-neo-neo-Classical pubs. (Or tube stations — including, as I discovered yesterday, Brent Cross.)

If this makes me sound like some beer bore, just for you I'll get a bit pretentious about it and say it is a fine citrus flavour (American hops, I think, if I was told right). In fact, I'll go further and say it has the air of pomelo . . .

See you soon.

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