Embracing the dark side!!!!!!!!

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So we had lots of interest in Beer Blogger position but no one followed it through!!

Just to clarify the ‘job’ is unpaid in cash money but the beer is free including membership to our monthly beer club and relevant events.

The idea is that when we put a new beer on you pop in, try some and write about it. The only requirements are that you are available two or three a week to drink beer (some kegs don’t even last 24 hours!!) and IT literate.

Interested get in touch through Facebook or here

So I thought I’d kick us off with a quick blurb about recent arrivals at Sonder. We are coming to the end of Chorltons’ Galaxy Double Sour (7.4%) and Dirty Wild Sour (6%) after their Autumn National Tap Takeover. According to many pundits Chorlton are churning out the best sour ales in the country and Mike (head brewer) has decided to only make sours from now on. This is bizarrely due to complaints that their beer wasn’t sour. Personally I will miss their non-sour Hemp!!

Are sours the new IPAs? We have a huge following that come running whenever Chorlton or the local sour fanatics, Woodmans Wild Ale are on tap but just as many screwing their faces up after a taste. For me they are like downing a packet of Tangfastics in one go!!

The Galaxy Double is a much easier drink in terms of jaw aching sourness. It has a mild hoppiness behind a fruity citrusy kick in it’s aroma and the same as you drink. Out of 10 it’s a 5 of the Tangfastics scale!! Very easy drinking with no sign of being 7.4%!

Dirty Wild is the favourite of a couple of of our sour disciples behind the bar. Issy is head over heals with it, so much so that we have to tell her to leave some for you guys! It’s based (loosely) on a Dirty Martini, which is Mike’s excuse for using Olive Brine in the brew. Yes, Olive Brine! It has an almost smoky, pickled smell to it which despite all the explanation isn’t unpleasant. The sharp, vinegar like (again not unpleasant) taste is paired with a sweetness that come and go as it goes down. The sharpness in this one hits 7 on the Tangfastics scale for me.

A while ago I was chatting to Des and Caron from Padstow Brewing over a beer or two. New beers got a mention and one of their first small batch brews was a Smoked Oatmeal Stout at a sensible 4.9%. This presented a dilemma for me as I’m not a huge fan of smokey beers but love stouts. It went on the bar last week and I was surprised, in fact relieved. It has the dark, rich, malty smell you’d expect from a stout with no hint of a smoke which is good for me. The flavours are really well balanced producing a smooth, flavour-full drink and then it comes, the smokey after taste. However, they have got it bang on (for me anyway). It doesn’t feel like a drinking a stout with your head over a bonfire but leaves a pleasant, malty lingering smokiness. I may be a convert!!

Now, this weeks major dilemma (1st world beer problems). I have often, quite vocally, said I wouldn’t put St Austell beer on the bar. There are a number of reasons the main being that they are everywhere and produced on a large scale. Another is their responsibility for twentysomethings asking constantly for a pint of the ‘C’ word in Sonder (beer snobbery at it’s finest) after being brainwashed for years.

I had heard rumblings of some amazing small batch brews being sent out and a Cask Club that I’m told 50 pubs belong with a ‘dead mans shoes waiting list’. I wanted to find out more and was told No by our local rep. It’s only cask and a huge waiting list. To cut a long story short this culminated into Roger Ryman, Master Brewer, and myself sat down over a beer talking about his passion for belgian beers and a small batch project he has on the go. So now I have eaten the proverbial humble pie and we now have one of the very kegs of Bad Habit, an amazing 8.2% Belgian Tripel pouring now with St Austell Brewery’s name in proud place on our digital board.

It has the classic bubblegum smell you’d expect and tastes incredibly smooth for a beer of this strength but has so many layers of flavour you could get lost!! There’s a distinctive yet mild pepperiness wrapped in a sweet but strong package yet manages to finish with a decent amount of hoppy bitterness!!

Well done Roger and St Austell Brewery! There, I said it.

We can’t wait for more project beers to cross our doorstep!! One of only a few places in the South West you’ll get these beers on tap!!

Thanks for reading, now volunteer to take over!