In a new series of monthly blog posts, we are delighted to welcome British Guild of Beer Writers’ Best Young Beer Writer 2017, owner of Beeson on Beer and regular The Beer Boutique customer, James Beeson. We’ve given James a blank page to write about whatever takes his fancy in the world of beer. This month, James tells us about his Desert Island Beers.
On a recent press trip to Catalonia I had the pleasure of spending some time with fellow beer writers from the UK and around the world. Naturally, the conversation over dinner tended to revolve around the subject of our favourite beverage, and on one particular evening we set it upon ourselves to debate the question: If you could only drink one beer for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
After much discussion, we decided the question was impossible to answer, and resolved instead to come up with the three beers we would take with us if we were to be marooned on a desert island forever. The parameters were set thus: The beer must still be in production in its current form, and it must be available in small pack format (sadly ruling out my number one choice of cask Timothy Taylor’s Landlord).
I thought for my first of a new monthly column for The Beer Boutique that I would share my choices, and invite you to propose your own. All of the beers I have chosen should be available in your local Beer Boutique store (convenient, right?) should you wish to seek them out and try them for yourselves.
1. Augustiner Helles – Crisp as a winter’s morning and stunningly drinkable, this is the only beer I want to drink on a hot sunny day, which I imagine there will be lots of on this fictional island. Made according to German Purity laws and all Bavarian hops and malt, this is as close as you’ll get to a perfect lager beer. Coming in at a close second was Pilsner Urquell, but having recently returned from Pilsen and experienced the unfiltered version of this beer in the cellars of the brewery, I think the regular, bottled version would pale in comparison.
2. Saison Dupont – The beer that really got me into beer. Picked here for its versatility as a match for almost any kind of food. I once found myself running into the Tunbridge Wells Beer Boutique ten minutes before closing on Christmas Eve because I realised I didn’t have a Saison Dupont to drink with my Turkey on Christmas Day – it’s THAT good. An honorary mention also, to Orval, which could have easily gotten the nod for its shape-shifting ability to develop over long periods of time, thanks to the brettanomyces yeast strain with which it is fermented.
3. The Kernel Export India Porter – Ok, so I’m cheating a little bit here in that beers from Bermondsey-based The Kernel Brewery vary in hop profiles and ABV from batch to batch. However, what remains the same in all Kernel beers, and the reason why this beer completes my list, is the commitment to quality, craftsmanship and flavour. The Export India Porter is a roasty yet hoppy number with a dry finish that would sit perfectly alongside a desert island sunset and a warm fire.
So there you have it: My list of the three beers I would happily drink for the rest of all eternity. Agree, or disagree? Get in touch/send me a tweet/comment below and let me know what you’d be bringing with you.
James Beeson is the British Guild of Beer Writers’ Best Young Beer Writer 2017. You can read more of his work on his website Beeson On Beer, in The Morning Advertiser, or by following him on Twitter @jdbeeson16.