In honor of the beer critic Michael Jackson, who died last year, homebrewers were going to try to make one of his favorite beers, Cheswick Bitter Ale for National Homebrewers Month. This is all well and good, but I’ve never had the Cheswick, so I won’t really know if I’ve made the right beer or not. (I’ve also had to substitute ingredients, but one makes do.)
Last night, I’m at Belmont Station with Fuz, looking for beer. We’ve been there awhile and I want to hurry up and pick something because we’re burning daylight, you know? I find a beer from the UK and think; ‘Ah-ha! I can try this, take notes, and then compare it to my beer!’ In my head, I’ve just bought the Cheswick Bitter.
Oh yeah. Very, very smart of me.
OK, so I fucked it up. But eh, it’s still beer, right? And it’s from the people who do Guinness, so it’s bound to be OK!
Well, no. Though this claims to be an Irish Ale, what this really is is mass produced, quite dull red. It tastes like soda water, with no real malt to back up the color or give any flavor. How the hell does one produce a red ale without any malt flavor? Yet it has been done, and I can attest to it.
The one bonus is that I’d just finished a whole bunch of yardwork. Since this was more like water than beer, I felt pretty refreshed afterward, if a little foolish about my purchase. I guess I’ll just have to figure out my version of Cheswick Bitter on its own merits.