Sunday, August 11, 2013

Are you having a Laf?

Laf steam beer by Royal Deeside
Laf steam beer by Deeside Brewery
Remember a few weeks ago, when it was blistering hot, when a part of you was thinking, it's almost too hot, when it was blue skies and wispy clouds, when every cool pint was heaven (more so than usual), when you fantasized about rain, when the office was unbearable (more so than usual) and work impossible, when it was open season for umpteen Taps Aff Young Teams and all you wanted was to get out the city and down to the beach. Remember?

Well, I was on holiday in the Hebrides with my top off drinking a cold beer on one of the world's most beautiful beaches. There wasn't a cloud in sight. With the exception of my family, there wasn't a soul in sight.

Along with buckets and spades, we were wise enough to have brought a couple of bottles of Laf on our yomp across the machair. Laf's a delicious steam beer from those stylish brewers at Deeside Brewery (you can tell they're stylish because of their use of serif and san-serif fonts on the labelling). 

You hear a lot about perfect temperatures of beer. Extra cold, 14 degrees, half-hour out the fridge, slightly chilled, cellar cool, room temperature, and so on. Following extensive research, I can reveal the perfect temperature for a beer is when said beer has been kept for an amount of time in a plastic bucket filled with sea water, kept in the shade of rocks and half-buried in the sand. The sea water must be no hotter than 14 degrees though; none of your beer-curdling Med here. Condensation on the glass is a vital component, too.

Ours poured beautifully, amber golden with a floral, zesty head that gave promise to a deeply refreshing drink. Tastewise, there was a subtle yet robust wooden or earthy background flavour, which I took to be the characteristics of the steam-brewing process. And, in the glaring sun, its prominent crisp, light hoppy taste was an absolute godsend. Deeply refreshing.     

A nomination for Beer of the Year? Definitely.

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