What are you drinking 2024.

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A little late, this was last night's my not yet fully cleared Bitter.
Very tasty with a loooong hoppy finish.

Then it was on to a gorgeous Rhone from Carrefour, Calais end of last year trip.
Oh, had with Roast pork that had a good deal of gorgeous crackling.
That's my salt ration for the month fulfilled in one hit!
All I have is my freshly brewed hazy 'Pail Ale' to give it it's official name. Mango madness yeast used for 1st time. It went freaking bonkers in a few hours at 35° ripped through in 48hrs attenuated super low 1.004! Bloody tasty mind. Azacca, Sabro and Strata hopped to hell helped.
Had a mate round yesterday evening, for a first proper tasting of the beers I kegged back in April: London Bitter (5.3%), Witbier (5.1%), Dubbel (6.8%) and Bière de Garde (7.2%)
Let's just say I'm taking things steady today wink...

We had a couple of commercial bottles for comparison: really interesting and something I'd recommend - I think it's easy to be too critical of your own brews.
OK they weren't really direct comparisons, but we tried the London Bitter against Old Hooky and the Belgian-style ones against the lovely La Chouffe.

I was looking forward to the Old Hooky because I haven't had it for years - but it was seemed 'thin' and terribly fizzy. Is it my imagination, or did it used to be stronger than 4.6%? I'm sure that when I used to drink this in the Cotswold pubs it was quite malty, but this certainly wasn't. Maybe it's different in bottles. Interestingly it also had the same aftertaste that I thought was a fault in my beer, so I think I can relax about that now.

After sampling my Belgians we cracked open the La Chouffe, no complaints about that - what a great little beer athumb... What pleased me most though was that mine had a similar "Belgian" character to it - perhaps it's down to the Dingemans malt? Either way, really happy with the results.

We finished on the Bière de Garde - no comparator for that and as it's the first time I've used Saison yeast I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
Earlier samples had tasted pretty rough and ready but it now seems nice and smooth with a distinctive bone-dry finish: dangerously drinkable, and we had a couple of (small!) glasses of that before deciding we'd better quit while we were ahead!

No photos from last night but here's the empties acheers.


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