A Year of Beer #12 - Moravka - Possibly the best lager in the UK?
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: Moravka Unpasteurised Lager Beer from Taddington Brewery
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Moravka Unpasteurised Lager Beer
I feel that this video blog doesn't really do justice to the wonder of Moravka. To be honest, it was the third coat of paint on the skirting boards, the sun was beating down (intermittently), and I was just distracted by the pleasure of sitting in the sun, having a nice cold beer with lunch. Let's see if we can add a bit more information to the video.
This beer came to me via the good people at Thornbridge "Never Ordinary" Brewery, and it's always a good sign when one brewer helps another out; it means that they have respect for the quality of the beer. As I (rather smugly) point out in the video, this beer isn't usually bottled. Taddington Brewery currently make only one beer, although they do sometimes offer it in the unfiltered version ("kvasnicove"). They are a draught-only operation as a matter of principle, believing that draught beer is the way to go as far as quality is concerned. Given that this style of beers suffers a little when bottled (and the example I had came with an obviously hand-clamped crown cap), what is the beer actually like? As noted in the video, there is a lovely balance of hop and malt playing of each other, and a wholesome mealy, yeasty quality to the beer. It tastes for all the world like it is actually doing you some good, a bit like the milk that you slurp from the bottom of the bowl when all the muesli has gone. It's an indefinable mealy taste and, to a certain extent, a texture too. A bit like a yeast tonic.
And that aroma! I have to say that I hummed and hah-ed about adding the postscript to the video, and am painfully aware that it sounds like sub-Jilly Goulden bollocks, but the aroma was there. Fresh orange blossom on the breeze, delicate and fleeting, but clearly present. It was a great way to be taken out of a day of drudgery and transported back to a springtime holiday in Sevilla.
Which sort of leads on to the idea of a glass of beer as a punctuation point in the day. Granted, you don't need to have a beer to sit down and ruminate on what has gone by, and what might happen next, but it certainly makes it a bit more interesting to do so. I'm not insisting that you have a glass of beer with your lunch, or that you can only reminisce with a pint in your hand, but there's something very ruminative about slowly sipping your way through a beer, lost in a reverie, taking a bit of time to indulge a minor vice, and calling a small part of the day your own.