Saturday, March 02, 2013

A Feast of Brews: Vol 1

(an excerpt - apologies to George RR Martin)

Shoreditch Blonde by Redchurch Brewery
Jon Brew dreams of a Shoreditch Blonde.
The fog floated towards them, its long, icy tendrils stretching out from the woods. From atop the Wall, Jon looked out and shivered. He could see nothing through the cold mist, though it carried with it a smell he barely remembered, aromas of a warm autumn harvest, its bounty now long perished.

How strange, thought Jon, to be up here smelling anything other than damp fires and death. If there were to be an attack, now would be the perfect time. He quickly dismissed his fears and wrapped his furs tighter, eking out the last of their warmth as he drifted into a waking sleep, last night's revelries fresh in his mind's eye.

The songs and banter flowed as easy as the ale: a new one, freshly in from the Redchurch in the southern Capital, though how long he'd call it that was anyone's guess: King Eck of the North had already seized control of Holybrewed. Not that who ruled where concerned Jon now; he like his new brothers on the Wall was a Brewer of the Pint Watch. Among the benches in the hall, however, murmured discussions about the future of these lands edged uneasily from table to table.

Though cold, the beer - a Shoreditch Blonde - had brought a warmth to the frozen company of the Pint Watch. Cloudy - as solid as the Wall itself - and with a pungent nose, it reminded him of his youth in Porterfell, and the homebrewing experiments of his father Need Stout. This ale had matured in the bottle, Jon reflected, supping his lips, experiencing the full flavour of the unfiltered beer.

It had been a while since he'd had a beer like it, he thought. One that smooth, lightly fermented, with few bubbles lining the glass and no froth to adorn the beards of the mighty warrior around him. Nor was it too citrusy or perfumed, like other ales he'd had.

As he enjoyed its thirst quenching bitterness, the beer brought back memories of those precious short years before the onset of winter, of harvested wheat, of gathering pears and apples, of stolen peaches and kisses...

The sudden sharp sound of the horn awoke Jon from his daysleep. One horn for rider approaching. A second shrill sound broke the still air around him. Two blasts for Wildlings. Would a third sound? Jon peered into the darkness, his heart beating fast, his muscles taut, his eyes searching, every part of him focused. The horn blasted a third time. Last orders. Jon turned and sprinted for the staircase. There wasn't a moment to lose ...

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