Next up was St Feuillien’s Saison (6.5%). Now, I had high expectations of this. St Feuillien are a brewery I have a lot of time for and I’m a huge fan of their triple. I’m pleased to tell you that it didn’t let me down. Lemony fresh, with bursts of pepper and basil, the powerful taste of citrus attacks your taste buds and stays with you long after you’ve taken your final sip. Wonderful.
There’s no reason why anyone should know this, but it was my birthday last week. That’s right, 21 again! Ho ho ho. As a little treat, I was taken for dinner at Lowlander Grand Cafe in Covent Garden, a marvellous little restaurant with a huge selection of beers (15 on draught and around 80 by the bottle). From the big names to the tiny microbrewery, they have it all; which is why I love to go there. Every visit is a new adventure!
They’re big on their food and beer matching, with recommendations next to each choice on the menu. And the menu is very good. Three words: Continental Sausage Platter. Says it all. Obviously I went for the confit duck leg (you have to be posh on your birthday).
I won’t go through everything we sipped and chomped on, but these two stood out for me as the stars of the evening. First up is Hopus, a strong Belgian ale (and strong it is at 8.3%). Okay, so this probably isn’t the best way to start an evening, but it really is a tasty little number. I love the way it’s presented; both the bottle and the glass really add to the experience. And look at that beautifully white frothy head! Floral and fairly herbal to the nose, the taste was of caramel and burnt sugar, skirting close to medicinal and resulted in a particularly bitter finish. Very nice if you like that sort of thing.
If you’re from or visiting London I’d recommend a trip to the Lowlander. There’s a nice atmosphere, the staff are friendly and they really love their beer, it’s not just for show. Needless to say I’ll be returning very soon.