Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Cloudy with a chance of idiosyncrasies part 2

So leading on from my pondering over cloudiness in the last post here's some examples and explorations...

You'll find many, many British bottled beers with instructions to "pour gently to leave the sediment in the bottle." But Each beer is different and using the sediment will have different effects.

Duvel is a classic case of a beer that is better without sediment, it dulls the bright snappy classiness of the beer. When you get your Duvel in a straight glass that you have to top up, or worse you're just given the bottle and no glass you know you're being served by a plankton who knows shit all about his/her job. I've nearly set about people who insist on swirling the Duvelsediment and chucking it in the glass. I've found that this is best done with a dimple tankard.
Buxton's excellent Moor Top has a fair amount of cloudiness to it - I poured it pretty steadily and it has a beautiful golden haze, this is due to a touch of hop haze as well as a touch of loose sediment. The beer itself is delicious; light on the palate, brisk but firm bitterness balanced by fruit and a full, long finish. It has a haze regardless of how you pour it so don't

The Kernel's beers have a massive amount of sediment in them and for me you don't want it all in the glass, again it tends to dull the beer very slightly and there's so much that you do feel like you're drinking beer milkshake. The ideal serve for me is to leave the sediment and a bit of beer in the bottom of the bottle swirl it and then serve it on the side as a shot. This is common practice on the continent for heavily sedimented Belgian beers and it should be more common in the UK as it's a really nice touch that gives you options. Try one beer with sediment added and one without, or perhaps keep the sediment back and just stick it in halfway through your drink. The hardcore types will just shoot it down. I've heard tell of pubs and brewery taps in Burton actually keeping a supply of sediment to serve to punters as a tonic.

Marble's Tawny no.5 ale is one of my all time favourite beers - it's really up there with the best but the most recent bottled batch fell a bit short of my expectations. That is until I realised I was being a softy and forgetting to get the sediment in... BANG there it is - that full juicy, tannicalmost woody, bitterness. The sediment adds just that touch of body that the beer lacks when clear.
So from here on in I don't want to hear any complaining about the look of a beer until you've tasted it, you just don't know until you experiment.

Now labels and pump clips - they are a whole different ball game...