Things have been quiet around here recently as I have been off on a well deserved holiday to Ireland and Portugal. Not only was Internet access like hens teeth at my mother's house, and non-existent in Portugal, but my mobile phone also broke, leaving my completely disconnected. It was great!
The first few days in Ireland were the usual running about trying to catch up with people, and a couple of trips into the Bull and Castle, one of which was for an IrishCraftBrewer.com tasting session. I really enjoyed this as it's one of the things I really miss since moving to Germany. I shouldn't have ended the night on so many Rodenbachs though, as it was rough going the next day which included the three hour flight to Faro. I'll come back to the Ireland leg of the holiday later, as that's where some new beers come into the story.
Portugal was relaxation city, staying at my brother's house there with his family, my mother and my niece. Despite a fullish schedule which included playing mini-golf, visiting markets in an inland town and a trip to visit Zoo Marine, where there was a fantastic dolphin display, even though I don't usually like such things, there was lots of time for sitting around eating and drinking, both in and out.
On the beer front, I tried a few beers that I hadn't had in about ten years (Super Bock and Sagres - not as bad as I remember, considering we used to complain of having a "bad dose of the Bock" last time I had it, but the Sagres had the edge I thought) while trying a couple that I hadn't had before (Sagres Bohemia - a little caramelly, slightly thin and not much of a finish, but at least not yellow, Tagus - Ehhh, yellow and fizzy?). The selection in the huge supermarket was amazingly limited, despite two full aisles of beer. Each aisle was literally a wall of Super Bock, or Sagres variants. I can't really complain about any of them though, as a good quantity of all of the above was consumed with no complaint.
The international seleciton in the supermarket was limited to Corona, Heineken, Leffe, a couple of bottles of Duvel and a handful of Chimay Blue (I bought a couple of the latter two). I have to admit I wasn't arsed keeping notes, as the evenings were spent sitting outside with the family, BBQing, swimming, drinking and stopping children hitting each other.
The best meals we had there had to be the BBQs outside the back of the house, if I do say so myself, being the nominated grillmeister and all that. I bought over 1.7kg (3.8lbs) of sirloin steak (in four thick steaks) that were seriously good pieces of well hung meat, and they only cost €35. That's not to mention the wild boar and chicken skewers, home-made stilton burgers, grilled potatoes and salads with BBQed bananas with chocolate or honey-glazed grilled pineapple to finish.
The best bit of the trip was probably my four-year-old son deciding that he didn't have to hang onto his Daddy in the swimming pool. Independence for the little fella with arm bands and a floaty vest. Great stuff.
I need another holiday soon...