this is just a quick mention of a few pints I had last night, showing two contrasting beers, but both eminently drinkable, and excellent examples of their styles.
Not a Shakey Start
Starting at Shakespeares I was dallying with having a Raw Solstice pale, or having a reliable and slightly less expensive pint of Deception, until I noticed, to my delight, that Dark Star Saison was on. Having been my clear winner of the beer of the festival at Three Valleys (no mean feat in the face of some of the Raw, Buxton and Ashover offerings), I was chuffed to see it, and despite the cantankerous weather Gods serving up wind, hail and sunshine all at once it was still relatively warm, so Saison was the ideal choice.
To liven up the experience I should really have bought a bottle of Saison de Silly to compare - instead, putting my droughty gullet before hard research I just bought another half of the Saison and a typically Belgian delicacy, of a pork pie and some Beefy crisps. A tremendously Flemish approach to refreshment I'm sure you'll agree....
I had bought another half because I was conscious of the fact that the Saison would not linger long in my glass. I was right. Pint number one barely passed a five minute lifetime. More was required. So I had a further two pints of this nectar before moving on, once again leaving Shakespeares having had a memorable drinking experience. Full marks.
Up next to the Cranes, as per Beer matters now leased by Rick and Luke and featuring Blue Bee as usual and more Vale. Initially I was stopping only for a half, and had the Welbeck Abbey Portland Black. A terrific super dark roasted malt tribute of a beer, that tasted far too fantastic to fanny about having only a half. So I had another.
The fact that I only stopped for one more half was down to a desire to get myself home like a good boy and cook tea instead of getting hammered, however had I not had so pious a calling I think I would have been in there for a good few more, such was the excellence of the Portland Black.
Am off out later and really really hope both beers are still on. And Rick tells me that they are going to try and stay open late on Friday and Saturday nights when, surprisingly, its actually quiet, so maybe I'll get the chance of another Portland Black at least.