And Lo! Did it come to pass that the Lord spake unto the Herberts of the tribe known as Buntingford despite their being more Royston in there positioning, and thusly did he spake (for had he of Speke that would have been wrong, for he was not of Speke or anywhere else near Merseyside). “Four beers shalt thou brew, not three for that would be coming up short and I shall not be pleased to find you wanting. And not five, for that would be one more, and six is right out I can tell you. Four shall it be, and four is the number will you brew”
And so it came to pass, that those of the tribe of Buntingford which is more like Royston really, did come up with the four beers of Christmas. For one they already had, a second was easily sorted, and the last two, well, verily did they cheat and bend the laws about Christmas themed beers slightly….
Beer No 1 – Silent Night 4.1%
A light brown best bitter, brewed with crystal malt & Summit hops for a nice sweet citrus flavour. This is our annual festive brew, in so much as the name stays the same and we change the recipe each year, just to confuse people.
Quite possibly the last year we’ll be doing it, as we are bored with the idea know. Mind you, we’d have to come up with a new beer name, and that, quite frankly, is getting harder…
Beer No 2 – Donner & Blitzen 4.4%
There is it seems a fad now for black beers full of hops. This is especially popular with breweries that have started up in recent years, and as such they think they invented the idea. Well you didn’t. We’ve done such things over all our ten years, and we were certainly nowhere near the front of the queue. However, what we (and those before us) failed to do was come up with a name for the ‘style’ – Black IPAs. Well they are black, but they aren’t Indian, certainly not Pale, and technically, if you want to pick hairs, they aren’t Ales, which originally was a name given to beer without hops in. So, utter genius, whoever came up with the name.
Donner & Blitzen then is a black beer full of hops – in fact, it is Polar Star but with dark malts in the recipe. Call it a Black IPA if you must, but if you get a slap from a mildly festive pixie as a result, it serves you right.
Beer No 3 – December 4.2%
Ok, so now things get tenuous. But hey, we’ve named a beer after all the other 11 months so far of 2011, so we weren’t going to ignore December. And as December just happens to contain Christmas (which is daft, why can’t we have Christmas when the shops are less busy?), a token sprig or two of holly soon makes for a festive pump clip – and there is little else that defines a Christmas beer these days… So our third Christmas offering is a ‘Fine Pale Ale’ (whatever that means), brewed with the merest hint of a dark malt to give a burnished colour, and hopped with English First Gold, Sovereign and Phoenix hops to give a traditional hoppy character.
It is of course the last of the 2011 monthly specials, and you’ll be pleased to hear we are being a bit more original name wise for our 2012 monthly offerings…
Beer No 4 – Summer (Single Hop Beer) 4.0%
It is at this point you will be thinking we have stretched ‘Tenuous’ to point at which it has snapped, quite possibly cheated more than a four year old playing Monopoly, and then obtained a whole van load of Liberties that were perhaps ours to obtain. Or maybe you’ll be impressed at just how damn clever we are…
Summer, is an Australian hop variety. And it just happens that it is ‘Single Hop Beer’ we are offering for December. And of course, in Australia, Christmas happens in the summer when the shops are less busy because everyone – including Santa therefore – is on the beach.
Oh yeah, now you’re realising we aren’t so mad after all eh? Anyway, it has Santa on the pump clip, so it is a Christmas Beer. And that’s the law. So there.
And so there they are, the ‘Four Beers Of Christmas’. Trouble is, our Catherine has an idea for a fifth….