Tuesday, 21 August 2012

"What if the dinosaurs come back while we're all asleep?"

The Kernel Centennial Columbus IPA,
The Pig and Butcher, Islington

A nearby pub was closed, but about to be open. Posters slapped across its windows heralded the arrival of Daily Fish and Something About Meat Being Butchered On The Premises. It also said Something About Beer. 20 kinds, right? Impressive. Although it sounds like they’ll have had more kinds of fish after a month or so. Maybe it won’t always be the same 20 kinds of beer. Hold on.

“Over 20 craft beers available by the bottle”, it actually said.
“Hmm”, I said.

So I worked it out. Over 20 craft beers: I could have a beer a week there and not have to repeat myself until – until October. Unless they changed the beer list. Then I’d have to think in order to ensure I took the most efficient route through their fridge. I realise now that it is unlikely to be a static beer list. Which is good, but screws up my plan of completing it.

I don’t order anything specific. I peer over the bar, putting on my best “Wow, look at all the lovely beer” face.

“Wow,” I said, “Look at all the lovely beer.”
“What can I get you?” said Jack.
“A Pale Ale please,” I said.

He gave me a bottle of Kernel’s Centennial Columbus IPA. And a glass. Jack’s awesome. He told me about how he had been at The Kernel that day.

“They’re so laid back they’re lying down,” he said.

I chipped off some opinion or another about their Citra. I tried to avoid using the word “yummy”.

“Yeah their Citra one, it’s…” Happily, Jack’s a busy man.

Forget about the Citra one. I mean, you can’t. If you’ve had it, you can’t. But this is a good beer. Rather than forming a massive orange tennis in your glass, it sits like the amber they use in Jurassic Park to make all the dinosaurs out of. It looks like an insect; it ends up chasing you through a dark kitchen while you hide between the pots and pans.

Like how quieter music forces you to listen more to the detail, you know there’s always more to this beer you haven’t found yet. You’re drawn in to try and find it. Many beers boast of their clean, satisfying finish: There’s a finish to it, but it’s not satisfying. And that’s the best bit. This beer is a cliffhanger.

Good news: It doesn’t eat you while you’re on the toilet.

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