I have started doing overtime again, so am now to be found around 16.00 on a Sunday in the Shakespeares. No change there you might say, but crucially, and even after the superlative excess of the Stupidly delicious beers tap takeover, I was overjoyed to find good old Kernel on my Kernel line. Which, as I have previously mentioned, I own.
This time the Kernel in question was their Citra IPA. It had no strength, which am guessing is an oversight, but we think it was about 7.0%. It tasted amazing. When I first tasted a single hopped citra beer years ago (am thinking 2011 or 12) I was blown away by it. Since then however, Centennial, Simcoe and of course Mosaic, have bitten their way into my life, tantalising my palate with every citrussy hop drop, and I kind of lost track of what Citra tasted of. The Kernel Citra IPA reawakened my appreciation of this fantastic and sometimes under appreciated hop. I have used all of the last of my money this month supping Kernel Citra. It was (and remained as of earlier), absolutely amazing - Adam even ordered two kegs of it in, one imagines, direct homage. Or a numerical anomaly.
I also recently went on a birthday beer crawl. Just a short one with Tash and Matty. We met in the Grapes, and Tash had a wine and me and Matty pints of excellent Abbeydale Moonshine - kept in perfect condition as always. We enjoyed them sat in the sunshine out the back, and then walked up to West Street, spotting that Fear and loathing had closed, and caught the bus up to Nether Green. We alighted at the wrong stop and walked for a short while before arriving at the Rising Sun.
Being a Monday perhaps explains why their keg range was depleted. The bar staff told us that the keg they had on wasn't very good - some excellent if perhaps too honest appraising there - and when Matt asked for a taster the beer was in fact water. No wonder they didn't rate it. None of the recent special Abbeydale brews were available and I didn't fancy the guests so myself and Matty had pints of Absolution at something like £3.40 a pint, which is a decent price. I got us a seat outsode in the last of the sun and we enjoyed our well kept wares by the road.
Tash meanwhile had a pint of Aspalls cider on keg for £4.00 a pint. Mainly after being told that the Happy Daze which may be from Black Dragon or Gwynt Y Ddraig, cask cider, was an eye watering £5.20 a pint.
Am glad we were forewarned but am unable to work out why this drink cost so much. I thought you paid significantly less tax or duty on cider which is why its such good value for money for strength? I remember going to a beer festival years ago at a pub where the Westons Vintage (7.2%?) was £3.00 a pint, making it by far the most expensive drink. When I asked why this was they said it was higher priced to put people off because it was strong. I never went there again. I may have my facts wrong about cider duty but it put a real dampener on our visit, and we only stayed for one.
We walked to Endcliffe Park next and stopped for a picnic and then went to the Beer House. The Magic Rock High Wire was £4.20 a pint in here but I know they have put their prices up. It was also on top form. I had a pint of this and Matty a pint of another beer which had a name and a price and came from a brewery. The magic of facts, once again, lacking from my writing.
Tonight, after yesterday gorging on Kernel Citra as well as a third of the Founders KBS stout at 11% in Shakespeares, I have had my final birthday present, which was a can of Magic Rock half cut DIPA at 8%. This beer is right up my street. Gloriously bitter, hoppy, cloudy, citrussy, brilliance in a 500ml can. It features Citra, Mosaic and Denali hops along with KBC 438, Amarillo and Magnum T90. For even more detail there is a link here to their website. The Half cut was a wonderful opaque, hoppy end to the day before pay fay and my birthday month of June.
Here's to another lovely luponic year ahead.