A Year of Beer #10 - St George's Day - Classic English Ales
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 to eat as much as we love to drink.
This week: Classic English Ales by Brakspear Brewery
If you'd like to subscribe to my video blog, and be informed when something new is uploaded, then please click here and sign up via the yellow "Subscribe" button. Go on, it'll be fun.
English Ales on St George's Day
The theme of beer and seasonality goes beyond just drinking cold beer when it's hot, and strong beer when it's cold. I also like the idea that beer is part of the social fabric of celebration. There has been a lot of debate in England about whether it's acceptable to celebrate our saint's day, whether he is an appropriate patron saint, or even if we did celebrate, how we should go about it. Well, I think that having some fine English ales is a good way to celebrate, and should you feel a bit uncomfortable about being branded jingoisitic, well, what you do in the privacy of your own home is up to you.
Brakspear have been a peripatetic affair. They used to be indisputably great, then when the brewery moved, it wobbled a bit, but became pretty good again. How it will fare under the ownership of Marstons is anyone's guess, but I'd be surprised if they tried to change anything. Their beers are classics, in a fairly humble, minor way. They're not the biggest, boldest, strongest, or most expensive, but they are typical of the balance of a great English ale; malt and hops, sweetness and bitterness, playing against each other in perfect balance.
By the way, the stocks on the green by the maypole are real, but I've never seen them in use. The claim about pelting naughty people in the face with rotten fruit that I make in the video is, sadly, a tissue of lies.