The Griffin MALTS – A Summer Update.
By Arthur Green-King, Real Ale Enthusiast And Twit.
My good friend and fellow MALTS attendee, ‘The Man With The Jugs’ is presently in disposed on his annual holiday, a week’s mountain climbing in the Fens, and has asked me to step into the breach and provide an update of what we’ve been up to since May.
Three tastings have come and gone, and by the time you read this the inaugural Griffin Beer Fest will have come, gone, and in some cases unexpectedly come back to haunt those who overindulged with sore heads and dodgy tums before becoming but a pleasant memory.
As you may already know, Gilly has reported July’s news so it falls to me to tell you a little of the details from May and June.
May’s theme was Belgian beers. Now, upon hearing this, I must say that I winced somewhat. My brother Ivor once gave me what he termed a selection of Belgian beers, which turned out to be twelve mixed cans of weak lager that he’d purchased from a supermarket on a day trip to Ostend (Ivor’s contribution to the world of quality beer is on a par with Dick Van Dyke’s contribution to the Cockney accent). Thankfully Gilly, our ever reliable hostess and one of the country’s foremost practitioners in the treatment of ‘Cenosillicaphobia’*, was in charge as always and had sourced and provided a wide and varied selection of bottled beers from the country that has also given us gorgeous chocolate, Tintin, and Brussel Sprouts (not sure on this last one actually).
Among the beers sampled were two fruit beers; one brewed using raspberries and the other with blackcurrants. To be fair, these are an acquired taste, though I must say that the raspberry one was most refreshing and both were relatively low in alcohol, as well as being one of your ‘five a day.’
From here on in though the beers got stronger and included ‘Hercule Stout’ weighing in at 9% (how did Poirot ever solve a case whilst drinking this??) and a wheat beer. However, the winner on the night was Barbar’ Bock,’ a full bodied, delicious dark ale, which if it was not named after the famous elephant was certainly strong enough to floor one.
June had been due to see us visit Colchester Brewery to enjoy a BBQ and to try some of their many fine beers. Sadly, this had to postponed for the time being, so off to the Griffin we went to try another excellent selection of ales instead.
High points of this tasting were the Adnams ‘Mosaic,’ a craft beer which is a regular fixture at the Griffin. Cold, crisp and very hoppy. Colchester Brewery’s ‘Braggot’ was a honey based beer with an aroma of lavender and a sweet, but not sickly taste. The winner for June though was Bishop Nick’s ‘Dark Mild’ which was nutty, malty and simply delicious. Dark beers have done well at the tastings so far and it will be interesting to see if this continues.
So, if you are about on the third Tuesday of the month, why not pop along and join us at 7.30 at the Griffin? Go on….. you know you want to!!
*Cenosillicaphobia – the fear of an empty glass.