Finding the sun in an Irish summer is somewhat akin to Russian rouletteNever truer than of this particular Irish summer. On a recent dismal evening I cracked open a bottle of Shepherd Neame Goldings "Summer Hop Ale", having found it on special at Lidl. I had hoped I'd be able to get one from the box, but the shop had managed to pile three layers of exposed bottles on top of the only closed box and I wasn't in the mood for Jenga.
-- Flatten the Hay
As a result, the beer was quite firmly, pungently, lightstruck. However, I'm honestly not sure there was much of a beer there to begin with. I got major stale oxidised notes and a detergent undercurrent beneath the malt, like a bar of soap wrapped in candyfloss. Mercifully there's no aftertaste, just a jarring dry full stop. An awful beer, like an undead version of Bateman's Combined Harvest. And I don't like the new, more slope-necked, Shepherd Neame bottles either. Grumble.
Enough of that. Reports from yesterday's excursion to the Great British Beer Festival will follow shortly.