Thursday, May 23, 2013

Columbus Discovery

Columbus by St Andrews Brewing Co
Columbus by St Andrews Brewing Co
The Number One sound you can ever hear is the sound of your children laughing. 

I was minded that tonight, while sitting with my kids in the bath, looking forward to them going to bed and that quiet beer with my name on it. To think I was so focused on later I nearly missed the now. 

I mind, a lifetime ago, sitting round a campfire, the glow off it catching our faces, picking up the tips of our tents. The sound of the waves rolling onto the sand, the easy laughter of friendship, of bottles of wine opening. In the darkness we talked about top sounds. The crackling of a campfire featured high on everyone's list. This was years before any of us had kids, and my Number One sound today never featured on anyone's list back then. 

Other great sounds include your car's engine turning. The clink of bottles. Key in the door. Feet upon gravel. Crunch of snow. A pibroch across the bay. Screech of a golden eagle in the mist. Your wedding song. These all carry their own stories and times, too.

Right now, with the kids bathed and bedded, a wee holiday stretching out in front me and this beer here next to me, my Number Two sound is the ktsch of this beer bottle opening. And not any beer. This is a Columbus by St Andrews Brewing Co. 

There's a sweet little song/wean-inspired backstory to this single-hopped ale. It belongs to the 54-46 series of guest beers St Andrews Brewing Co does (54% pale malt; 46% wheat, after the song by Toots and the Maytals). This bottle here is one of a batch of 552, and very nice it is too. 

The nose is potent hops with a citrus heart and a yeasty edge. It pours with a heavy carbonation that doesn't last long, though the cloudiness does. 

Columbus is a strong northwestern American hop, bursting with citrus and spice. You don't have to search hard for these flavours, but you also get a bit of hay and resin. It's enjoyably bitter at the back of the throat while the aftertaste is sweet, with a lingering hint of banana. 

Would hoppily have again. 

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