Friday, January 18, 2008

Beer, glorious beer

In the mid-1990s, I went through a stage of making my own home brew beer. It was reasonably successful, but a lot of effort considering that I'm not a big beer drinker, so after a four or five batches, I stopped.

Fast forward to January 2006, ten years almost to the day since the last time I had brewed beer. While cleaning up my garage, I came across a dozen or so bottles of my home-brewed pale ale that I had forgotten about. I was under the impression that beer didn't age well beyond a year or two, so I started pouring them out into the garden. Being a little slow, I didn't notice until the fourth or fifth bottle that they still had a good head and they didn't smell bad. In fact, they smelled delicious.

After a nervous taste I soon learned that ten year old pale ale not only smells delicious, but it also tastes delicious. It had darkened in colour to a dark red-gold shade, and had a magnificent malt flavour. Those last half-dozen plus bottles went straight into the fridge, and I enjoyed them over the next couple of weeks.

Today I stumbled across what is surely the very last bottle of home brew. One last lonely stubbie of pale ale, bottled on 2nd of January 1996. If beer becomes magnificent after ten years, words fail to describe what it becomes after twelve. A process worth repeating perhaps?

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