A trip over the Pennines to mediacity at the Salford Quays to see Simon Evans allowed me and Mrs BF to sample the delights of the food festival that was on; how is that for coincidence and not at all planned.
The food festival was so-so, Simon Evans very funny and the trip to the Imperial War Museum brought tears to my eyes. The tales of heroism and gallantry against a back drop of pointless empire building should be on the curriculum for every child in the land to show that while man is capable of great stupidity, greed and evil there is a defiant spark of bravery, selflessness and sheer courage in the face of adversity that gives a belief that there is hope for a better tomorrow.
Moving back into the sunlight of a glorious bank holiday Monday only seemed to heighten the sense of optimism.
While not wishing in any way to denigrate the memories of the millions who have died on the battlefield it must be said that Booth’s did a little to bolster my spirits and with a nod of encouragement from my good lady and clutching my wallet like a five year old on his way to the funfair I dived into the beer section.
Booths, while having nothing by way of breakfast left by 10.00 a.m. on a bank holiday Monday, do have a fine beer selection. True, there is a fair amount of the usual suspects that one would find on the shelves of many a provincial supermarket but there were some out-of-ordinary brews that make such a trip worthwhile.
Stocking up as much as seemed decent for a day out I will, for the sake of research and demands of my public, work my way through them and pass on my thoughts. My thoughts alone and in no way influenced by anything other than what is in my glass.
First out of the box:
Maid Marian from the Springhead brewery in Notts, consumed within 10 minutes of arriving back from Manchester and a 50 minute drive in the setting evening sun I must admit that anything would have tasted as if poured from the gods own chalice. A refreshing blonde with a fruity taste it just hit the spot and would certainly be a good choice for a (sunny) summer’s afternoon and at 4.5 ABV not going to give you a melted skull feeling the next day if consumed in any great quantity.
A bottle of Aviator from the Dent brewery left me a little unimpressed. Being, apparently, one of the remotest breweries in the country may account for what I found to be a very traditional bitter, nothing wrong with this but I have never really been a fan of your more traditional brews and it reminded of sneaked swigs of pints when I used to go and watch my dad play cricket in the early 80’s when I was younger so much younger than today. Won’t be putting that back on my shopping list again.
Back among familiar ground my third for the day was a bottle of Eden Gold and a decent drink it was too. It is described as ‘snapped thistle aroma’ – in the absence of any thistles; snapped or otherwise I am not really in a position to comment I can say that there was a definite fruity smell and taste and would place in the same ball park as Maid Marian in the overall quaffable stakes or to put it another way quaffable with steaks.
Will be looking to go through a few more in the evenings to come and will, for what it’s worth, let you know my thoughts now if you will excuse me I think it is time for a Thwaites Nutty Black (tbc).
Back so soon? Well, sat here in my garret listening to Henry Priestman watching the sun set over the valley with a glass of the aforementioned Nutty B and all is well with the world. I really like the darker end of the spectrum when comes to late evening quaffing. A rich, warm mix that has me wanting to be sat in a beergarden overlooking a tranquil seascape with some close friends but alas and alack the wife is at her Dads and friends are scattered far and wide but I am drifting.
There is a slightly bitter aftertaste that leaves a taste of nuttiness that has you licking your lips for more
A quick squint at the Thwaites website proudly states that it was voted World’s Best Mild in the World Beer awards in 2012. I haven’t drunk all the milds in the world but it is certainly worth checking out
So that is the first batch of brews from Booths. Catch you late in the week for a further update.