Daily Archives: April 21, 2007

stuff i drank, part 1

Because I 1) don’t have a good digital camera and 2) can’t find the damn thing anyway, the posting of photos from my trip to the UK will be delayed.  Unfortunately, I’ve also been very under the weather since Wednesday – am hoping the antibiotics take effect soon.

However, I can go ahead and list the many different beers that were consumed or tasted during my trip.  To this end, the Brits did a solid job in broadening my palate.

At the same time, the finest beverage did not contain beer.  It was a delicious concoction of bison grass vodka, from Poland, and applejuice.  Nice, cloudy applejuice.  It is so sweet and refreshing that you don’t have any idea how hammered you’re getting until you are, definitively, hammered!  Nectar of the gods, that stuff!  When I’m feeling better I’ve got to find that vodka.

The Brits also introduced me to a couple cognacish drinks, to include a very lovely aperitif called Pineau des Charentes.  I could live off that stuff.  The other drink was a cognac champagne coctail with a cube of sugar.  Amazing stuff.  Like I’ve said previously, these folks know how to drink!

But a trip to Great Britain is incomplete without making a sort of study of the beers.  To my surprise, they weren’t all served warm, or even room temp.  To my greater surprise, the Brits also like some of their beers served cold.  So nice to have stereotypes shattered, isn’t it? 

Since I don’t recall much about the day I arrived (jetlag combined with a walk I’ll liken to the Bataan Death March – fully the fault of my lovely hosts who just didn’t know how very out of shape I was), let’s start with York on April 6th…

York, by the way, was incredibly lovely, like most of Yorkshire.  Just beautiful. 

We started at The Blue Bell – a tiny pub, described by Lonely Planet England as having decor dating from 1798.  I started with a half of Timothy Taylor Landlord (bitters), which was strong in flavor.  I tried the Bombshell’s Adnan’s bitters which was lighter and more enjoyable.  However, the highlight was the Silver King – a great blonde lager brewed by Ossett in West Yorkshire.  The Bombshell’s Beau described it as, “floral” and “hoppy”.  I think The Bunny might like it considering his current (and unfathomable) thing for Hoegaarden.  Silver King is way better.  I also had a Cascade at the Blue Bell, which could be described as being a bit maltier than the Silver King.

The second pub was a bonafide local called the Ackhorne.  It was more spacious than the Blue Bell and the Beau’s favorite.  I could see why.  I had a Rooster Yankee (made in Knaresborough) and the Bomb had a Battleaxe.  The Rooster was a bit lighter in color.  I’d describe the flavor but can’t recall anything except the Branson pickle and cheese flavored “mini cheddars” (crackers) we had there.  Strange combo but compelling if you’re drinking many beers.

The York trip was finalized with a stop at a pub called Maltings where I had a Black Sheep Bitters.  My notes say that it had a short finish.  I’m fairly certain I was pretty tipsy at this point.  The truly shocking thing is that I was still standing after so much drinking and sight-seeing.  

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