Wednesday, 19 November 2008

A tourist at home

I'm not used to having so much time to myself. And I'm not used to being a tourist in my home town, but it's kinda nice. On Monday myself and TheBeernut met up in the pub (B&C again) with Velky Al of Fuggled fame, and Mrs. Velky Al, for a bite to eat and a couple of beers. Well, TBN and I had a couple of beers as he was working and I had to go shopping, but VA had to make the most of the oppertunity as they were heading for the airport that afternoon. I hope we didn't put undue pressure on his opinion of our favourite Irish beers! But having a Galway Hooker, and a Clotworthy Dobbin , broken by a London Pride, was enough to fuel me for a ramble about town at least. Oh, and Al brought a bottle of Primator Exkluziv 16% for each of us, so I look forward to sampling this properly at home.

Following lunch I collected my copy of the book I had worked on in my dark and distant past, picked up some small gifts for the family and stopped off to get some cheese in my favourite cheese shop in Dublin, Sheridans. This was a bit bizarre. I ordered some Ardrahan, Gubeen, Cratloe Hills and a french ewe's milk cheese that I can't remember the name of now, but when I asked if they delivered their hampers abroad and revealed that I lived in Germany she switched straight into German and we carried out the rest of the transaction in German. She was from Dortmund, not far from Muenster. Die Welt ist Klein. What was bizarre was that quite often in Muenster when I go shopping the younger shop assistants will switch to English, even though I initiate the transactions with German (I know I'm not good at it, but I have to try). The biggest insult was in the local small supermarket where I simply asked for 400g of minced beef, in perfect German, and the girl just kept replying in English. I just kept using German. I guss having a British base just across the road makes them expect to have to speak English, but come on! I was trying! Anyway, it gave me a giggle that this girl was so happy to have someone to speak German at, and I think I got through ok.

After all that I was killing time before heading to Mr Nut's for a steak dinner, so popped into the Porterhouse on Parliament Street (PH Temple Bar). This used to be my regular haunt. I was in there probably once a week for a few years, and any time anyone visited, this is where they'd be brought. I just loved the selection! But once I found the Bull and Castle and realised that it was just far more pleasent to sit in a bar without incredibly loud music and, frankly, quite rude bar staff who no longer cared about the beer, I hadn't been back in this branch of the PH for about two-and-a-half years. It wasn't so busy, being 5pm on a Monday, and the bar staff were having fun amongst themselves, so it was fun sitting at the bar. Apart from one chap who couldn't resist the odd dig at customers. Anyway, I was lucky that there was still some of the Porterhouse Hop Head left. ICB had been invited to a launch of the beer at the brewery, which I was really sad to have missed, but at least I'd get to try it now. My fried Kieron had told me he found it quite harsh, but I expect it had matured since then as I found it quite smooth (the same thing happened with the last IPA I made). It had a flavour like good vanilla ice cream with mango sorbet and a touch of those pineapple chunk boiled sweets at the back end. I couldn't say it was bitter, but it certainly had a lovely full hop flavour and aroma in a zesty, fruity way. Really quite a nice refreshing pint.

The menu still mentioned Vienna Dark as a special, and thinking that it was the right time of year for this seasonal special I asked if or when it was on. The bar man seemed to think that it would not be made this year as the Porterhouse Alt was going so well. So, I had an Alt before bussing it to the Nut House.

TheBeerNut produced a bottle of beer myself and Kieron had made a year and a half ago. It was a failed Old Peculiar clone that had ended up far too strong and far more Belgiany than it was intended, but looking at the recipe again it's not surprising. A sipping beer at 7.2%, I was amazed at how well preserved it was, as it was a beer that I hadn't been overly happy about when we made it. Well done TBN for foresight! This reinforces my desire to make a barley wine before the end of the year. Mmmmm...

This post was made courtesy of some neighbour of my Mother's, who must have turned their wireless router on again after a couple of days denying me web access. I'm a bad boy.

1 comment:

Good Burp said...

No matter how hard I tried to speak German to them, I was still spoken to in English. I think they like to speak English to us, like we enjoy speaking German to them.
But eveything was written in German. I think the fact I have a "good German Name" made it a no brainer. They assume I could read Geaman I guess.