Saturday, 29 April 2017

Are you a dirty beer drinker?

Whichever way you like to drink it - you pays your money and makes your choice. Whichever way you like to drink it - you pays your money and makes your choice.

DON’T GET ME WRONG! I’m not accusing beer drinkers of being ‘dirty’! We are actually talking about the beer itself.

I am not a beer drinker as such, but admit in the summer to be able to sink a couple of draught Mahou or Alambra and watching the cooling effect of the condensation running down the side of the glass.

On the few occasions that I have ventured back to the UK the first thing that my dear late father and I would do was to go to a local country pub where he would have a small ‘boy’s beer’ - obviously the least potent on offer, normally a pale ale type beverage!! - and I would go for one of the highly popular selections of real ales now in abundance especially in the South West of England.

Two pints of that - in a mug not a sleever - and that would be my craving for ‘English Beer’ satisfied and would probably be my last visit to a pub that trip!

But a recent report discovers the following little known facts that have further fuelled the ‘North-South’ divide!!

Pubs in the city of Bath serve the least clean beer in the UK, while the South West is the worst region for unclean beer lines (with 40 per cent of lines unclean).

Meanwhile, Newcastle and Warrington are where the cleanest beer can be found, with the North East the cleanest region with only 27 per cent of beer lines adjudged to be unclean.

These bombshell findings came into the public arena thanks to the findings of the Beer Quality Report 2017.

Apparently, researched by that internet of things provider Vianet, that monitors the flow of beer through lines in pubs across the country, together with beer quality accreditation and training firm, Cask Marque.

Any bar man/pub landlord should know that the cleaning of pipes and equipment should take place every seven days.

As a trainee in the UK we had to clean pipes after the weekend which was done on a Monday morning by the staff.

Over here the cleaning is undertaken by the suppliers of which ever beer that the establishment uses.

Obvious the light beer/ lager style that we serve in Spain does not create as much grime as a real ale, so greater care has to be given to the great British beer!!

The report found while beer may be substantially more expensive in the South - in some cases almost £1 a pint more - quality can be substantially lower.

Another fact that confirms what many visitors coming to the UK unaccustomed to Britain’s Real Ale Drinking Culture know, is in many cases the beer is served too warm.

In other findings, one in four pubs were found to have major temperature issues with 6 per cent of all pints served too warm with the West Midlands most likely to keep their beer at the right temperature and Scotland was the region with the highest percentage of beer served too warm!

Well I suppose it’s cold enough at the best of times north of the border!!

CALVADOS IS ONE OF THOSE LIQUEURS, 

(or is it a brandy?) that is divisive. Similar to the age old quip about Marmite, you either drink it or avoid it.

Although, I have never seen an accolade such that has been levelled at my featured drink this week. THE WORLD’S BEST CALVADOS 2017.

The story of Drouin Calvados started around 1960. Apart from a love of good food and fine wine, there was nothing to suggest that Christian Drouin the elder, an industrialist from Rouen, was destined for a career in spirits.

Despite this, he purchased a farm in Gonneville with one aim - to produce the very best spirit he could from the cider apple orchards.

Fast forward almost 60 years and his Calvados’ are now some of the most sought after and awarded in the world with the 1989 being the pick of the bunch.

For a Calvados to be classified as ‘Pays d’Auge,’ it must adhere to various rules, including being double distilled and being aged for a minimum of two years in oak barrels.

It is also limited in the production area to the east end of the department of Calvados between Caen and Rouen.

Due to this permitted delimited area, production and availability is always limited.

However, that hasn’t stopped it picking up the award for ‘The World’s Best Calvados’ at the recent World Drinks Awards which is amongst the most coveted awards on the planet.

To win this award is to be up there with the greatest achievements that any product can receive.

The 1989 Pays d’Auge will now join an elite group of other Calvados’ to achieve such heights Tasting notes:

“Restrained on the nose with baked apples and light vanilla notes. Almost lemon zest freshness. Lean and zesty with a sharpness of fruit. Well paired with pastry or crumble based desserts.”

Oh well, I have always used Calvados to cook.

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