My apparent attacks are not on drinkers who have a broad minded approach to beer and enjoy session beer as well as occasional other beers. My comments are more aimed at the stuffy attitude of those who create glass ceilings in the beer creativeness stakes. "I can't possibly drink that beer, I don't drink anything over 4%" is striking when they are talking about a 4.2% beer. Just how much effect do they think that 0.2% of ABV is going to make to their drunkenness?
Moreover, what gets me is the fact that otherwise sensible and controlled adults can't work out that they could actually explore beers up to 5% and perhaps higher. After all, drinking 5 pints of 4% is exactly the same as drinking 4 pints of 5% beer. Are these people not able to pace themselves? I would be surprised if many readers of this blog are quite so narrow minded.
I dream of the day that a little bit of glamour is introduced into main stream beer drinking. Currently, exploring beers that don't fit the regular session ale category is seen as something of an obscure pastime and drinking out of anything other than a nonic pint is unmanly. Interestingly, the same people will suddenly, at the end of the night, declare they are full and please could they have some boiled and re-condensed beer. Not that I complain, a shot of scotch puts more money in my till than a pint of beer.
I want to try and work in a piece of news that I think is worthy. My barman Alan drinks at a pub called The Brown Cow. Landlord Phil is a grand chap and well into his ales. Recently he had a beer festival at the pub which appeared to go very well. Alan reported back the various goings on when he came to work. He didn't say much about the beer except for one he was itching to tell me about; Bez Suchého Chmele - Jeden, 4.8%, Brewed by Steel City Brewing. Alan had never heard of them and was very keen to let me know what he thought of the beer. Very nice he declared and certainly the best he had that weekend. For many drinkers 4.8% is not a session beer, I think that is a shame as it sounds like it might just be a cracker.
Meanwhile I am planning the highest ABV beer I've ever done. Over 10% I hope. It should be similar to a barley wine1, but probably not with traditional British hops. It'll be brewed in the next few days but I expect it will take at least 6 months before it will be ready to drink. I'm hoping there will be a market for the finished product but it concerns me that the pint drinking mentality will stand in it's way.
I'll probably drink 1/3 of a pint of it once in a while, out of a nice stemmed glass if I'm allowed. After about 3 pints of something around 4±1%.
1No, a beer that strong is not automatically a barley wine.