I started off with beer from a new brewery to me called Hook Norton.
The twelve days was a nice dark beer, a little nutty with roast qualities. It pours a dark brown/almost black. There is some sweet toffee and plenty of malt to go around.
I liked it. The bottle said it goes well with a cheeseboard so I had it with some mature red cheddar.
Next up was Haymaker. This was a nice pale ale in the English style with plenty of goldings. Similar to my own Beggars Belief.
Nothing too complex here and perfect for sitting out in the garden, which is precisely where I was while drinking it.
Now here is something interesting, I popped in to Molloys liqueur store in Athlone to see what interesting beers they had. There were some, most I have had before but this was one I had not seen. Kasteel Cru is a lager that is fermented with Champagne yeast. It looked interesting so I grabbed a six pack. It is highly carbonated and has an aroma that reminds me very much of champagne. Even the taste is similar. As a beer it is very light, delicate even. My wife likes it so I can see the market that it will do well in whether or not it is aimed in that direction or not. It is worth trying, perhaps not my sort of beer but I am happy I bought it and tried it. It might go down very well in a hot day, it is so light you could drink them all day.
Also in Athlone I picked up this Spaten Oktoberfestbier. It was an extremely nice pilsner, very inoffensive and very smooth. Plenty of sweetness too.
I have had two Anchor beers recently and I tried my next two yesterday and today. I had the Steam beer. I was not too sure about this, it was my first steam beer or at least beer that claims to be a steam beer but it was essentially like a pale ale. There was nothing interesting about it but I did enjoy it. I would not bother with it again though as there are far better beers including the next one.
It is rare to completely gobsmacked by a beer and this one had that effect. For readers in Ireland and probably the UK as well, they might remember the TV ads for Tango. Well I was tangoed, hit in the face with a wet fish. I opened the so called small beer which comes in a rather large 660ml bottle and poured. What came out looked like a Cider, packed full of bubbles and a large white head which incidental stayed for the whole beer. When I too a whiff I got a sweet honey aroma so I was in for a shock when I tasted it and got a hop explosion of a very strong IPA. This is a very bitter beer. I liked it a lot, I would not say it is a fantastic beer but I just was not expecting the bitterness. This is something I might buy again. It is a very low ABV of 3.30% so you can enjoy a lot of them without getting too light headed.