Last Thursday I went to the Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court. While there I bought a copy of 300 Beers To Try Before You Die by Roger Protz. The book provides space for tasting notes and has an index with checkboxes so that you can mark off all the beers you’ve tasted.
My extremely unoriginal plan is to try and get through as many of the beers listed in the book as I can. Some of them are likely to be a bit of a challenge as they’re not all widely available, but I shall do my best. Naturally, I shall write some brief notes on this site as I go along. I may even write about beers I try that aren’t in the book but are worthy of a mention. I shall also, for the purposes of writing about them, assume that I haven’t yet sampled any of them at all, even though in reality, of course, I have.
Incidentally, I don’t think that my love of beer indicates any kind of latent (or otherwise) alcoholism. I rarely drink to excess and I tend to prefer beers that aren’t over strong. Indeed, one of may favourites is Manns Brown Ale, which is only 2.8% alcohol and thus barely qualifies in some people’s books as an alcoholic beverage at all. For me it’s all about the wonderful complex flavours of proper beer (as opposed to the nasty, flavourless, gassy ‘lagers’ that many of the big brewers churn out in vast quantities). I think it’s a great shame that many restaurants, especially those with pretensions to excellence, don’t serve real ales alongside the decent wines and fancy foreign lagers.