Last year, 2012, was all about change in our house. The goal of that change was losing weight, and although I’ve achieved what I was hoping to, I’m determined not so slip back into old habits and undo all that hard work. That’s made easier, of course, by the fact that Gem still has weight she wants to lose, but we’re both viewing the changes we made last year as being a permanent, rather than temporary, state of affairs. This was never so much about a “diet” as it was a lifestyle change.
One of the changes we made was to drink less alcohol. Not that we were ever heavy drinkers, you understand, although I bet everyone says that. But a cheeky couple of beers on a Tuesday night here, and few glasses of wine there soon adds up. I suspect many people, like us, consumes more than they’d like to admit. And the calories in those drinks tend to go uncounted, making it all too easy to pile on the pounds while maintaining a pretty healthy fruit and veg laden diet. I speak from experience.
Beer is a particularly bad offender, so it was definitely something that required a change. Step one was stopping buying boxes of whatever American or European lager was on offer in the supermarket – those beers are just too easy to drink, because not only are they relatively inexpensive, but because they don’t really taste of much. Rather than denying myself altogether, though, I decided to indulge my taste for better quality craft beers and real ales, but in more limited amounts.
Essentially I swapped quantity for quality, and I have to say it wasn’t that difficult a change to make. Not when the range of quality beers available these days is pretty good. And it’s getting better all the time, with new craft breweries, craft beer pubs and specialist beer shops springing up all the time.
Of course it’s always tempting to stick with the things you love. Once you find a beer, or a brewery, you love, it’s easy to stop trying new things. And so, at the start of the year, I made it my aim to try as many new beers as possible. So far, this year, I’ve drunk 22 beers that I’d never had before. They’re listed here, if you’re interested. Most have been decent, a few outstanding, and only one or two being a disappointment. However…
Whilst I’ve kept a record of which new beers I’ve tried, and for reasons unknown even to myself have taken photos of pretty much all of them, I’ve not kept a note of what they were like.
I think this needs to change, so beginning very soon, probably next week, I’m going to try my hand at reviewing beers here on the blog. This is something I might be absolutely rubbish at – I know I’m not very good at writing about music, something else that I love. but I’m going to give it a go anyway. How bad can it be?
Incidentally, the beer pictures at the top of this post was one I had at the weekend, and was one of the aforementioned disappointments. Alba Scots Pine Ale by Williams Bros is one I’ve been wanting to try for a while. Maybe it was a bad bottle, but it didn’t pour well at all and lost any head it might have started off with very quickly. The beer was syrupy tasting, pretty flat beer with only very slight hints of the pine and spruce that had been used in its brewing. I’d give it another go, right enough, because the rest of the internet seems to love it. But I won’t be rushing to do so. Which is a shame, because I’ve loved everything else I’ve had from Williams Bros.