A blog from a previous lifetime, when I ran a beer group in Chester. It’s about opening your mind and trying new things, rather like this blog. And, beer is culture, especially when it’s Belgian, pink and served champagne flutes – available from time to time from Chester Beer & Wine.
I have a confession to make. I don’t actually know a great deal about beer from a reviewing perspective. Instead of waffling on about flowery notes, bitterness, finishes, carbonisation and the like, I will concentrate what I like about the beer and, if possible, add a florid tale about the beer in the question and so on. I thought that I might add a couple of new criteria here to help capture the true essence of each beer for my reader – BTW, I love you dear solitary reader. After much consideration, I settled on ‘if this beer were a song’, ‘if this beer were a person’ and ‘in one word’. Let’s see how we get on.
The beer under the spotlight today is…Rosé de Gambrinus from the legendary Cantillon brewery.
I thought the fruit bowl might enhance this shot. I was wrong.
In one word – Siren
If this beer were a song – La Ritouenelle by Sebastien Tellier because if you’d told me years ago I’d like this I would have laughed, rather like the beer in question.
If this beer were a person – why, the shambling love God himself, Mr Tellier. Not everyone’s glass of beer but adored by his small but fervent fan-base. A bit like Haribo Sour mix.
What I like about this beer – This beer is very much like a marriage: it starts off all fruity but it eventually leaves you with a slightly sour taste in your mouth. Or so I’m told by other less fortunate souls.
I love its fizz and pinkish-red colouring, the elegant foam, and that the burst of fruit eventually gives way to a lovely sour taste. It’s a classic. I cannot believe that I am actually drinking this type of beer – a Lambic – given I once thought Stella was the only drink in town.
A florid tale…
As I took my first sips of this beer I looked out the window and started to daydream…
I’ll never forget the day she walked into my office. Her face didn’t just light up the room; it could have powered the building. People like me didn’t get to meet people like her.
“Tabbernacle PI, I presume?”
I wanted to say something cool like ‘that’s the name on the door, sweet pants’; instead I just nodded and gestured toward the chair beside my desk. “Miss Rosé de Gambrinus” she said as gracefully lowered herself onto the chair and then crossed her legs. They were as long as they were lovely.
“Someone very dear to me has gone missing and I want you to find him” she whispered as she carefully removed a cigarette from her clutch bag.
“Light?” I said as I frantically began to search my desk. All I could find was a novelty Foster beer can lighter. Classy.
“Please”, she replied as she slowly brought her hand to meet mine as I reached across the table. She fixed her gaze upon me while she gently steadied my hand. The sunlight from the nearby window danced across her hair giving it an almost pinkish hue. She smoothed her hair behind her ear and then lit her cigarette. I let out an involuntary whimper. Redheads do that to me. She didn’t seem to notice, though.
“Please do continue.” I suggested as I slumped down into my chair praying that my composure wasn’t about to go AWOL.
“My dear Mr Pepe Lou vanished just over three days ago now. I knew something was wrong when he missed his supper. It was his favourite: perch cooked in Cantillon Gueuze. Oh Mr Tabbernacle, whatever shall I do?” she sighed.
“Let’s start with the facts: when did you last see Mr….. P-P-P” I stuttered as I watched Ms De Gambrinus rise from her chair, softly sashay around my table and gently park herself on my knee. I say park, there was a fair bit of jockeying back and forth before she straightened up, as it were, her bumper flush against my kerb. Among other things, I could feel my temperature rising. She put her finger on my lips and whispered ‘Pepe Lou’ in my ear and stroked my hair. I pictured Margaret Thatcher in my mind’s eye; naked, and in need of an iron. It was my only hope.
“I’ll do anything to get him back.”
………“Andy, Gardener’s World has started” bellowed my wife from the front room, and I was back in the real world and ready for my next sip. What a beer .
I’ll get back to Chester, and its art and culture, tomorrow. I hope you enjoyed my flight of fancy as much as I did writing it.