Another part of our (hopefully) year-long video project, A Year of Beer. looking at the idea of beer and seasonality - how different styles of beer are more appropriate to different seasons, weathers, festivals and so on. There will also be a bit of beer and food matching thrown in because, hell, we love to eat as much as we love to drink.
This week: Sharp's Chalky's Bite
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Sharp's Chalky's Bite
OK, this isn't really that seasonal, given that I'm talking about a pale, spritzy beer in the middle of January, but sometimes you just have to go with the opportunities that are presented to you.
The day after a visit to Sharp's brewery (which I will write up and post here shortly), I had a few hours and a complimentary bottle of Chalky's Bite to kill. It was hissing down with rain, and blowing a gale (hence the stumbling in the video - I know, it looks a bit like I'm drunk, but I'm not), so I headed down to the quay with a vague idea of crossing the river Camel on the ferry and visiting the grave of John Betjeman at St Enodoc's church. In the event, the weather put me off, so like all scoundrels with nothing to do until lunch, I opted for a beer.
Chalky's Bite is a delicious, sappy bittersweet 6.8%abv blonde beer, matured on Cornish fennel seed. It gets a full 3 months cold conditioning at the brewery, and if I was feeling mischievous, I'd call it Kornish Kolsch. Except it's too flavoursome.
The beer is soft, slightly sweet, with a slight undertow of aniseed or fennel. It's fairly full-bodied, and is better suited to robust seafood cookery, which is exactly what is served at Mr. Stein's impeccable seafood restaurant. If I have any criticism at all, it would be that the food is a bit too masculine - lobster & fennel risotto was made with a very rich stock, roast cod was slightly overwhelmed by the gravy (yes, it was a brown gravy) of whisky & morels. But still, what better excuse for an equally robust beer?