Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Düsseldorf Beer Tour - Excerpt

Excerpt from article on Düsseldorf – Piece about Uerige Hausbrauerei, Bergerstrasse.

Once inside we were confronted by a narrow corridor with rooms and stairs leading off in a few directions. The building certainly had a feeling of age and more than a hint of reverence, as indeed it should. It is for many beer lovers the St. Peters of their religion where they come to bow their heads at the altar of Alt and drink from the narrow glass chalice of the life blood of their faith.

There was a buzz running through the place that seemed to be coming through the walls, up from the floor and permeated our bodies making us more eager, if possible of our first taste. We looked into a few rooms that were all busy and seemed to be reserved for locals and not for pilgrims like us. We were channeled towards the back where one door opened into a high roofed, bright smoking room. Being none smokers we turned right, our only other option, and ended up in a open room with a bar, long tables and more importantly free seats.

The bar was covered in polished bronze and a small tubby wooden cask sat at an angle on top of it. A bar man was quickly filling small glasses of beer with fine heads and sliding them to one end of the bar. From there, one of the waiters would load them on to a tray and make his way around the room. We decided that we should move out of the way and looked for a free table.

We sat down at a large empty table, the only empty one there, and waited in impatient anticipation to be served. The waiters seemed to be somewhat distracted by a gentleman sitting close to us on a section of the seating that wound it's way around the wall of the room. At first glance he appeared to be sitting with a middle-aged couple but they scuttled to one end of the table that they shared with the man. A closer look at him revealed a disheveled look of someone who was down on his luck to say the least. He didn't appear to be drinking but still seemed to be worse for wear and muttering to himself while scratching all the hard to reach places of his body. It was these combined activities that brought him to the attention of the waiters. One of them approached him and asked him to leave, or at least I presume he did, I don't speak German but his hand signals were the universal sign for 'Please leave the premises as quick as you can'.

Our inebriated friend didn't take kindly to this and made this clear to the waiter with a barrage of words and a couple of even more universal hand signals. Suddenly there were three waiters there and the roughly grabbed the guy and man-handled him to the side exit. As he was dragged from his seat our attention was drawn to a large pale coloured puddle which had formed where he had been sitting. We immediately thought the worst. No wonder they got rid of him. One can't have people peeing on the seats can we?

The waiter returned from his eviction duties and reached for something from the floor where our troubled friend had been sitting. It was then that we got that unmistakable smell of sweet, pungent liquor. The waiter was talking to the people at the table beside us and we picked up the word 'Schnapps' in the conversation. He than produced the small bottle he had picked up from the floor. They guy had been drinking it and this was what was now spreading along the seat. The waiter quickly cleaned it up with a bit of a grumble and got back to the task in hand. Doling out more beer.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Home Brew Finally!

I must admit that I was suffering a bit from beer fatigue until I got a comment on my last post which has given me a new lease of life. Wiener (or whatever his name is) has stirred me into action at last. Thanks bud! 
My home brew has been sitting patiently in it's bottles for the last few months and the last time I tried it I felt it was a little harsh and just tasted of smoked bananas steeped in alcohol. 
Strangely, that's not as appealing as it sounds.
So I gave it another couple of weeks and I am drinking one now. You know what? It's not too bad.
It's quite a strong flavour with a gingery, biscuity, banana taste. It's got perhaps a hint of cloves too. It has nice soft carbonation and is keeping it's head very well. I remember working out the approx alcohol level and it was about 8%, I think.
Now you wouldn't really drink a load of it but a bottle of two would be ok I think. Mind you I'm biased. I'm quite proud of it really. Especially as it's just from a kit and it's my first.
It's a Brewferm Grand Cru and if you look up my previous posts on Home Brew then you'll see how it progressed.
Anyway, I'm back!
The Verdict
Brewferm Grand Cru Kit - 45cl - 8% alcohol (approx) - Belgian-Irish co-production

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Lazy Old Me

I was going to spin some yarn about how I have been to busy to Blog over the last few weeks but the truth is I just couldn't be bothered!
Well that's not strictly true I guess, I was very busy before Christmas and with New Year entertaining and my daughter's Christening last weekend things have been hectic.
But I could have found time to write. It's just laziness really.
I think perhaps that I kept thinking about how I had to write something about Düsseldorf and where to start and what to say. Not that I find it hard to write as an exercise in it's self but I feel that there's more than a Blog or ICB article in it so I'm letting the whole thing sit for a while. Let my brain sort it out.
I will opinion some beers soon though!