Tuesday 8 June 2010

Genitalmen prefer blonde

It's nice when summer kicks in isn't it?

Just the changing of the seasons makes you think of new drinks... Yellow ones!

Surely every hankers for something clean, bright and blonde on a warm day, you know; Sun scouring your shoulders, invisibly, relentlessly... silently. The deceptively quaffable 'summer water' slipping down, intoxicating slowly but surely... Until you eventually end up frazzled inside and out and wake up in the pissing rain, sunburnt to fuck.

OH BUT OF COURSE! I'm only joking, we're sophisticated drinksers here I'll have you!

Yellow beer was invented ages ago, it comes in many variations and has similar characteristics; Lager type beers, blonde or pale ales and light wheat beers are all blonde or indeed yellow in colour in the most part light in body and easy on the tongue. Lagers have an intense history and run the gamut from majestic golden refreshing brews, to dry but bright pilsner and indeed piss water laced with rice, corn syrup or some other unnecessary complication of the relatively straightforward brewing process.

Light wheat beers criss cross Europe and range from complex, phenolic German types to subtle, delicate and zesty Belgians. Cloudy but bright, big on refreshment and good with food. The former you can slosh about all day and night long, the latter deserves to be quaffed from a smaller glass next to a canal...

British pale, or more correctly; golden or blonde ale also has a deep deep history. But many of the beers you'll find on the wickets in your local 'decent beer' establishment are a slightly different breed from the traditional amber beers of this particular island. Bright, blonde or golden ales have surged in popularity and good job too as they were developed as a response to the rise of the afore mentioned piss water. The lightly roasted malt makes light beer and a great background for more volatile flavours, many of these subtle and lingering. The best way to drink these is in a good boozer, from the cask.

Ahem - you can of course get shite wheat beer and shite British ale of course, it's just the unfortunate state of affairs that the lager brand shite is particularly pervasive.

Anyhow, you want really great blonde ale? Try Roosters, Crouch Vale or indeed Wensleydale's Semmer Water which is fucking magnificent and has an amazing 'working brewery' pong.

We've been getting through a few of the Americans at North recently, especially the super snappy Brooklyn summer - a beer that I tried straight from the cask at the brewery. The bottled version is bracingly bright and fresh. Also one of my all time favorites of which I'm partaking of right now... Also Sierra Nevada and Goose Island Summer beers are worth looking up.

Anchor Summer is made from 50% malted wheat and the other half malted barley. A 'modern American wheat beer' no less... It's a down and out winner and I try to keep a case in at home all Summer. It marries the best of ale traditions with a dose of bright wheat, clear golden colour and fizzy fun-time! It's smooth, snappy and bright - the wheat brings a touch of acidity and a really good length...

heh... length.