One thing that’s easy to do on tour is drink. Whiling away the hours in a green room with little to occupy your time but patchy wifi and a box of beer, it’s inevitable they start to slip down rather easily. This time, however, instead of just knocking it back blindly, I would sample, savour, and critique it as the dilatant connoisseur that I am. As we’d added ‘local beers’ to our rider (largely to avoid the slap-in-the-face awfulness of Budweiser et al) I decided to pick out my top three:
3rd place – Elissa IPA
Brewery: Saint Arnold, Houston
Taste: Complex hoppy notes complement a satisfying yet refreshing IPA experience in this very drinkable Texan brew. Floral notes complement a citrusy zing, while a malty body disarms the strong bitter flavours for a clean finish.
Best drunk: To cleanse your pallet of the bitter taste of having a damn democrat in the White House. He ain’t even ‘Mrrcan.
2nd place – Schafly Oatmeal Stout
Brewery: Schafly Breweries, St Louis
Taste: This rich, full-bodied stout instantly floods your palette with sweet caramels and honeyed raisin. There’s a moment of respite before the hit of bitter chocolate and roast barley finish.
Best drunk: In vast quantities before attempting the harrowingly cramped ride to the top of the St Louis Gateway Arch.
Winner – Fat Squirrel Ale
Brewery: New Glarus Brewing Co, Wisconsin
Taste: A whopping six different types of Wisconsin hops contribute to this clean, satisfying and wonderfully nutty brew. Barley malt provides the distinctive hazelnut flavour, while being unfiltered and bottle conditioned provides a bready nose and toffee finish.
Best drunk: While sat on your porch in a rocking chair getting a bead on them darn furry critters who keep stealin’ your cheese.
Also, special boozy thanks to Donna Bridge, who brought us a bottle of her rather excellent homebrew that she’d named after one of our songs ‘Deconstructed IPA’. Here’s Simon and I thoroughly enjoying it.