Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Come Autumn Come...

It's one of the those days here in Charlottesville, warm, cloudy and wet. It isn't actually raining at the moment, more that a damp murk has been drawn over the city. If it were about 30 degrees Fahrenheit cooler I would be sat here thinking about it being the kind of weather I grew up with in Scotland, and would be as happy as a pig in clover. I like cool, damp and dark weather you see, it is perfect pub weather - honestly, can you think of any place better to be during a downpour, or more likely back home, a steady soaking of drizzle, than a comfy pub with a pint of something good in your hand?

The problem though with such weather is that when you add in the extra heat and attendant humidity, my brain just turns to mush and I have problems deciding on what to write about. But as the weather has put me in mind of autumn and its delights, I have of late started stocking up the cellar with beers for the coming dark months - winter being my favourite season of all. As such, the following beers have been added to the cellar in preparation.

I have been on the look out for Fuller's 1845 for a while, and so when I asked the Wine Warehouse if they could get some in, the good people there duly obliged. At the moment I have 4 bottles in the cellar, in due course I will be buying up some more of their stock to join the London Porter, Vintage 2008, 2009 and Bengal Lancer in the cellar. 

Ettaler Dunkel is very much Mrs Velkyal's beer, we had it when we went to The Bavarian Chef for a special occasion of some sort and she liked it a lot. Bell's is a brewery I really like (they bottle condition their beers!), and dopplebock is a style I am ambivalent about, so I am hoping to see a little light with Consecrator. What can be said about Samuel Smiths, other than it was ridiculously cheap for such a well regarded brewery?

Ok, so a lot of people think of Kölsch as more of a summer beer, but in my experience it has a malty sweetness which lends itself just as much to supping as the leaves change to amber as it does to refreshing yourself in the heat of a German biergarten. Doppelsticke is an extra powerful Altbier from the Uerige Brewery and Alt is again one of my favourite styles, and I love that bottle. Rauchweizen I have discussed at length elsewhere and the bottle of Göse is there because I want to try and get more of a handle on that style, which uses salt and coriander.

These bottles are just the beginnings of the dark nights cellar, sure there will be plenty of homebrew being stocked up, my imperial stout and spiced Belgian amber ale will make appearances, and come Thanksgiving the first of my 1 year in the bottle barleywine will be cracked open. Another batch of the peat smoked Mild previously known as Experimental Dark Matter will be in the works soon, renamed as Machair Mild.

Sure, there are plenty of sunny days to enjoy, but it is the dark and cool of a winter's beer that I am looking forward to.


  1. I COULD NOT AGREE MORE about the Kolsch! I've had a hard time with some folks debating that too. I don't see it as a summer beer simply because it doesn't share the taste, body or character of what a summer beer should be.

    Of course that's just MY personal opinion and I completely understand that :)

    Interestingly enough, I side with you in that it's a perfect fall beer, or at the very least great for that little couple week stretch in between winter and spring. It just holds itself better in those seasons and times of the year than anything else.

    Also this post got me thinking towards other great deep fall and winter beers/ales. No question that many Porters/heavy Stouts fit the bill, but am I the only one who finds Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale a perfect fit?


  2. Ilya,

    No you are not! I love Nut Brown in the autumn - a beer that Newcastle Brown could only ever dream of being.

  3. Psssshhhhhh.....

    Newcastle....had a great laugh at that! ;)

    Samuel Smith's makes some great beer all around with all their styles. But my favorite of theirs remains their Nut Brown Ale, easily. And it's also not too "hearty" to be completely ruled out during the summer months either. Which is always great ;)

    I think an Oskar Blue's Old Chub also fits the bill pretty well for a fall/winter beer.



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