With an odd 3.7kg of Pilsner malt in my cellar and a three-month-old Wyeast 1762 Belgian Abbey II in my fridge, it was time to brew up a small portion of the beer style I return to most often - the Strong, Dark Abbey Ale.
Hook Norton no longer uses its magificent copper coolship because a heat exchanger does the job far more quickly and with much less risk. So what's all this about "E.U. rules"?
Making an ale that may require as long as a decade to reach its peak causes a brewer to mull over more than just the way a beer is put together. Thinking in decades makes the ageing of a beer analogous with the ageing of a man.
Bamberg, with eight breweries in its centre and dozens peppering the surrounding region, lives and breathes beer as if it were air. And that air carries the meaty aroma of beechwood smoke.
With Vintage Beer, Patrick Dawson has given us a handy, easy-to-use book on a topic that is attracting more and more attention from beer drinkers.