It was one of the very few dry evenings this summer. The sun had set somewhere beyond the Poddle and I'd just finished cutting the grass. What I needed, I reckoned, was a lawnmower beer. To the fridge, then, where I found a bottle of Gaffel Kölsch. That'll do.
When I picked it up a few weeks ago I'd been amused by the variety of bottle caps on offer. The brewery supplies the beer with the European flag of your choice on top. Of course, unimaginative purist that I am, I went for Germany. My experience of the kölsch style remains fairly limited, but this was pretty much what I was expecting: crisp and dry, more than anything, though it also exhibits a pleasant mild banana-like fruitiness right on the very end. Anyway, it didn't last long -- just the refreshment I had been craving.
And so back to the fridge where the only thing resembling it I could find was König Pilsener. Medium gold, medium fizz and quite wonderfully balanced. There's a touch of that north German hoppiness at the front, but it settles down quickly into a long smooth maltiness that's very satisfying. In fact, I think I sat over it a bit too long, as the evening's warmth started turning it heavier and maltier. It still remained perfectly drinkable, though, and with a definite light bitter touch, unusual in what's basically a fairly strong (4.9% ABV) lager.
I don't know how much more lawn mowing I'll be doing this "summer", but I reckon either of these will make excellent rewards for my labours.