Beery Advent Calendar #7

I'm partial to a ginger beer. I mean a beer brewed with ginger, not a barely-fermented over sweet bottle of incessantly-marketed mush. And the stronger the ginger is, the more I like it. When it starts to feel like I've swallowed a grater, I know the brewer's got it right for me.

And part of the attraction of a potent ginger beer for me is in its blending potential. Bring together the raggedy not-hop bite of ginger and the brooding malts of a stout and the results can be satisfying. Mix the likes of the Marbles Ginger and Chocolate and you have a world-quality dessert in a glass. So a nuclear-strength ginger beer (with a solid stout on standby) was a shoo-in for an Advent appearance.

Expect for the fact that I've ended up with something far more refined. Derby-based wholefood shop Sound Bites has a small but perfectly formed selection of organic bottles and I often pop in to buy Mrs Scoop some Dunkerton's cider. This weekend a Pitfield beer caught my eye - labelled as 'Sound Bites Christmas Ginger Beer' I'm imagining it's a customised name of the ginger beer featured on cask at this year's Pig's Ear festival.

It had a very hazy pour - partly my heavy hand, partly a chilly bottle, partly the nature of the beer - and a slim disappearing head. So far, so meh. Clear gingery aroma, mind, and plenty in the flavour although there's no fire. Instead, there's a lemon-meringue sweetness, a little of that earthy spice itch on the roof of my palate but nothing earth-shattering.

The sips got me thinking - thin. Not enough body. Half a glass changed my mind; 5% abv seems effortless, flavours are uncontroversial.... actually quite drinkable. But even so... this is supposed to be a Christmas beer, so I'm looking for bolder flavours, rougher edges. Pitfield have inadvertently brewed a great summer ginger beer, six months too late/early.

Pitfield beers can be ordered from their website and bought at several shops. And it seems they appear at farmer's markets too.

Tonight's gift: Lashings of Ginger Beer. Because, until now, I haven't really given radical feminist burlesque much of a mention.

Tonight's picture: the mere mention of the word 'ginger' means I have to steal something from b3ta. If you're a b3tan, you'll know why. If you've never welcomed b3ta into your life before, go get some. But if you don't like it, it weren't me that sent you there. Right?

(pic by drbroon on the b3ta board)