Last night we managed to get out for a couple of hours. Prior to leaving I had caught sight of Jeff's post about lager. Readers might have noticed that it's been really warm of late. Ideal weather for lager drinking one would think. Go on then I thought, Jeff is always going on about how much lager is demonized in some quarters, I can't proclaim to be a broad minded beer drinker if I don't give it a go. I think Ann just about fell off her bar stool when I ordered it.
What I do think is important when serving a drink is appropriate glassware. Some might ask what difference it makes. Well I think it's an insult to Budvar to put it in a Carling glass. OK, the nucleating glass did give attractive swelling bubbles rising in the glass and maintained the head for the whole time I drank the beer, but putting the wrong beer in the wrong glass gives the impression of couldn't care less from the bar staff.
But, glassware aside, did I enjoy the beer? Well, yes, maybe a little. As with all beer drinking, it was at least enjoyable because of the good company around the bar. Budvar has got better flavour than the beer that the glass belonged to. But it still doesn't quite do it for me. After that I had a pint of a Brakspear cask beer. Now that was really nice.
So, what's wrong with me? Many of the beer connoisseurs I know are arguing that there are some very fine lagers. To be truly broad minded about beer, and I want to be, I should accept good lager as a quality drink.
I have come to the conclusion that it's conditioning. No, I don't mean carbonation levels but the deep instilled opinions that become rooted in ones subconscious. From a very early time in my drinking career lager drinking was synonymous with getting into trouble. I drank bitter or stout or wine or single malts. Perhaps I might try sherry or port or rum. I did so because I believed that's what nice people did. Part of my upbringing I guess.
It makes me think, perhaps our views on the tie, or the strength of or the correct dispense volume of beer and many other manner of opinion are rooted deep in our subconscious.