Category Archives: Glasses and stuff

No. 1 – Bass

No. 1 – Bass

It seems a little weird writing about a beer that I tasted way back on 2nd January but the idea was to post something about each beer before the end of the year so I’m now playing catch up. 

I tried this beer on a normal night out to celebrate the new year with a few friends and it was in fact during the hangover of that evening that I decided to try five hundred different beers in a single year.  I hadn’t started taking pictures or making detailed notes at that stage, so here is a picture of a pint of Bass I had last night (7th November) and a few vintage beermats that I found when I was back in Northern Ireland in May (more of these to follow in my reviews for Guinness, Smithwicks and Harp)… 

 2017-11-06 - 1 - Bass _500beers

It’s a nice amber colour with a frothy, cloudy head that seemed to disappear quickly.  To taste, it is a little light.  Like an amber ale somewhat, with a little malty sweetness initially and followed up by a light hoppy bitter bite at the end.  In January, I initially gave it 6/10, before my rating system developed.  After re-tasting it last night I put it down to a 5/11.  It’s pretty good, and if you are into English style pale ales, I would recommend it, as it is quite a popular drink back home.  It just lacks something special that so many other beers I’ve tried have had this year.

Here’s a quite old beermat, from back when beermats were a little more fun…

 

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How to and how not to hand model + 2 from La Succarsale

How to and how not to hand model
+ 2 from La Succarsale

There are times when it is just not possible to easily take a picture of a beer.  Times when it is necessary to request aid from a friend who will help you document your year of alcoholism.  This post is a thank you to everyone who has held a beer while I try to take a decent picture (see the list of names below – thank you all*).  It is also a friendly middle finger to those who try to hinder me at every opportunity (you know who you are).

How to and how not to hand model

Good hand modelling is not difficult.  The important thing is to hold the beer so that you can see any logos and so that your hand does not cover too much of the beer.  Examples…

It is also possible to get some interesting pictures and effects with effective hand modelling.  Examples…

However, people are also tempted to hand model or interfere in other less useful ways.  Examples…

2 from La Succarsale

What good fortune that a friend who has just moved back to Montreal has moved less than thirty seconds from a micro-brewery!

No. 416 – La Succarsale 1814 Porter
2017-10-28 - 416 - La Succarsale 1814 Porter _500beers

A fine porter with a warm milk chocolate aroma.  It does not quite follow up on this promise, but it is a decent porter that I would recommend.  Oddly refreshing after a twenty minute walk at full speed.  6/11

No. 417 – La Succarsale Vienna Lager
2017-10-28 - 417 - La Succarsale Vienna Lager _500beers

Somewhat dark looking for a lager, it felt more like a standard blond ale.  I should have started with this rather than the porter as it was a good beer that I found refreshing.  It won’t be high up in the reckoning of the best beer at the end of the year, but I would definitely recommend giving it a go if you are in the area and fancy something refreshing.  5/11

I have had one other beer at La Succarsale and will probably try one or two more before the end of the year – it’s a promising place, no bad beers yet.

*In alphabetical order for convenience, it’s no comment on your skills as a model…
Alice, Charlotte, David, Declan, Elspeth, Éric, Jess, Jordan, Moussa, Rachid, Sophie

 

The Two Pint Theory, Nos. 35 – 39

The Two Pint Theory, Nos. 35 – 39

I think most people who take the odd beer here and there are aware of this but numbers 35 to 39 weren’t great so I thought I’d write up my notes on what I refer to as the Two Pint Theory…

I like bowling.
The problem is that I’m not very good at it.
That is until I’ve had about a pint and a half – then suddenly, things start to improve
No more gutter-balls, the odd strike, and a little more luck on spares.

It is the magic of being two pint drunk that causes this.  The confidence of being socially awake and relaxed but not drunk.  I’ve found that this applies in many other circumstances too.  I play the drums and am more likely to improvise something challenging at this tipsy stage, what’s more important is that I’m more likely to get it right because physically I’m loosened up and mentally I’m awake.

The trouble is though that it is a narrow window, which seems to last for about thirty minutes to an hour and then it’s gone.  Proper drunkenness begins to set in from pint three onwards and that’s that.  Unfortunately, stopping drinking doesn’t prolong it.  If it did two pints for breakfast would be recommended each morning.

It’s not just me, is it?

No. 35 – 37 – Molson Canadian, Molson Ex and Coors Light

 

These are all standard light beers that I tried approximately four weeks into the challenge as they were the only choices I hadn’t had by that point.  Scoring wise they’re all 2/11 – for not being bad, being accurate and I would maybe recommend them to someone who likes light beer.  They’re just not my cup of tea.

No. 38 – Granville Island Co. English Bay Pale Ale
2017-01-28 - 38 - Granville Island Brewery English Bay Pale Ale _500beers

The beer drinking highlight of the evening (the real highlight of course being a glorious victory at bowling).  The competition wasn’t particularly strong though (and the comparisons with the bowling continue!).  Anyway, this was a good pale ale, the picture doesn’t really make it look great, but I liked the appearance and it tasted fine.  It gets 5/11 for being good, worth the price, accurate, for drink-again-ability and recommend-ability.

 

No. 39 – Farnham Brown Ale
2017-04-02 - 39 - Farnham Brown Ale poured _500beers

Possibly due to being from a tin, this was a little flat and the flavour was somewhat bland.  It looks like a brown ale and there are mild hints of a good brown ale hidden here but it’s very mild.  Maybe better on draft?  I’m not going to bother finding out – I’ve had too many brown ales that are a lot better.  It gets 3/11.

 

 

Drink responsibly, it’s better…

This is a thing I noticed at the Montreal Beer Festival recently, which seems to fall in line with several things that I have noticed this year so far, since starting the drinking challenge.  Here are a few hastily written notes…

  1. Sens du goût plus développé/A better developed palette
    By tasting and trying to rate each beer rather than sinking them asafp, I’ve learned quite a bit about what different types of beer should taste like.  I’ve also figured out that my own particular preference lies in darker beers, which I think may be linked to getting older but I’ve no proof of that other than my own drinking history.
  2. Plus de plaisir à déguster/A more pleasurable tasting experience
    Pretty much as above, drinking for the taste rather than the effect has made me appreciate not just the beer but the social aspect a lot more.  At the risk of sounding philosophical, the emphasis is on discovery rather than getting drunk and hoping for the best.
  3. Pas de gueule de bois/No hangovers
    This is the best thing I’ve noticed – a better tolerance to the effects of beer by drinking one or two (or three or four) regularly rather than getting smashed at the weekend on seven or eight beers.
  4. Sommeil plus réparateur/More restful sleep
    Sleeping after drinking was never easy.  A few hours here and there, getting up for a drink of water or chocolate milk for some reason and odd dreams which may have been real or not.  After a lot of beer before it would take me 24 hours to recover properly, the night after being a proper recovery sleep.  This is no longer necessary, as I don’t get that drunk anymore sleeping to recover is easier.
  5. Plus d’énergie, meilleure forme, meilleur contrôle du poids/More energy, better form, better weight control
    I noticed in March that with consistent but not excessive alcohol intake comes great responsibility.  It’s very easy to put on weight and it has become a priority to eat somewhat more healthily and do more exercise.  With consistent but not excessive beers, it’s easier to find a balance between the things that are good for you and the things that are bad.
  6. Changer de conducteur désigné/A change of designated driver
    I don’t really care about this as the public transport in Montreal is pretty good!  I would simply add that I have had to walk home at 3 or 4am a lot less this year so far (only once I think, but that wasn’t beer’s fault – damn shots).

 

So far, so far behind…

So far, so far behind

Jusqu’ici, tout va bien ou peut-être pas.

2017-05-28 - Alcohol _500beers
When I decided at some point in January or February to do 500 different beers rather than the standard 365 I planned it out methodically.  What I didn’t think about is the amount of time and effort writing about them would require.

I have tried 175 different beers, three of which were ciders and I have since decided to not count ciders, which means I’m on 172.  So as to not screw up my numbering system the next two beers will be counted as numbers 48, 60 and 77.  This means that…

To keep to my quarterly target I need to drink 78 different types of beer by the end of June.

To get my writing up to date I need to write about 120 beers.

To complete those posts I need to tidy up and sort about 400 pictures of beer and beer memorabilia.

Je veux bien aussi traduire le tout en français – juste pour l’fun.

June is going to be a big month – but first time for a beer.  Cheers!